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F1: Webber Calls For Greater Driver Quality, Blames Tyres For 2013 Struggles Photo:
 
 
TMR Team | Oct, 03 2013 | 1 Comment

Mark Webber, who is preparing to leave F1 after more than a decade-long career, has warned the sport to insist upon "quality".

Hitting out at pay-drivers locking more talented drivers off the grid, Australian Webber also criticised unpopular yet lucrative races like this weekend's Korean grand prix.

Telling British broadcaster Sky the pay-driver situation is "not right", Webber said: "We've got to be careful we don't have a bit of a vacuum not having those top boys come through."

Another problem, he said, is races like Korea.

"I think keeping the quality is important, keeping the quality events," said Webber, as F1 congregates for the fourth but perhaps last time in Mokpo, an odd and eerie place for a grand prix, where journalists and mechanics stay in 'love motels'.

"Korea, there's no one there," Webber complained. "We need to have quality events, quality drivers, quality teams and keep that going."

Korea has been given only a provisional date on the bustling 22-race 2014 calendar, with promoter Won-Hwa Park admitting he is trying to negotiate a better deal with Bernie Ecclestone.

Asked what chance there is of a race next year, he admitted: "I would say 50-50, but we are very much firm in continuously holding this event."

(GMM)

 

Webber says 2013 struggle due to tyres

Mark Webber has pointed to Pirelli's 2013 tyres as the reason for his struggle against dominant teammate Sebastian Vettel this year.

The Australian, who is heading to Le Mans with Porsche next year, fought Vettel hard for the title in 2010, but the German utterly dominated in 2011.

"In 2011 I was only behind Sebastian in qualifying," Webber told Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.

"It was clearly something to do with the fact that his driving style was better suited to the car.

"In the race, we were pretty much the same -- I got a lot of fastest laps," he added.

Last year was a better season for Webber, because he said the RB8 was "more of a normal race car".

In 2013, however, Vettel has been dominating again.

Again, Webber points to the tyres. "They are not always easy to understand," he said. "You lose a lot of time if you don't bring them into the right working window."

Referring to Singapore, where Vettel's dominance moved into an even higher gear, Webber said: "On the medium tyres, I had a good balance. I was able to get the very best out of them.

"But as soon as we went onto the softer ones, it was very difficult to drive."

(GMM)

 

Marko says Vettel cheat claims 'nonsense'

Red Bull has slammed reports it is flouting the rules as Sebastian Vettel stamps his dominance on the 2013 season.

After Singapore, former F1 team owner Giancarlo Minardi raised doubts about the German's RB9, saying its handling and engine tone reminded him of traction control.

"Utter nonsense!" Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko told the German newspaper Bild.

Reports have suggested Red Bull might actually be mimicking the banned 'blown exhaust' era with a clever engine mapping solution.

Bild said F1's governing FIA would not comment.

(GMM)

 

Alonso denies struggling with qualifying discipline

Fernando Alonso has hit back at suggestions he could up his game in the discipline of qualifying.

When it was announced that Kimi Raikkonen is heading back to Ferrari in 2014, Alonso's friend Mark Webber said that is good news for the Spaniard.

"Fernando needs to be pushed more on Saturday afternoons," said the Australian.

Indeed, in Alonso's four seasons wearing red, he has been on pole only four times, compared to 36 in the same period for Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel.

Alonso told Brazil's Totalrace: "It's on Sunday that the points are given.

"But even if Saturday is not the priority, I have been the best in terms of qualifying that Felipe has had as a teammate.

"My advantage compared to him is 82 per cent," he insisted.

"So even if Saturday is not my strongest point, in eight out of ten weekends, I'm in front of him. So I don't think this is a problem for me," Alonso added.

(GMM)

 
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