Marko: 'Webber can't handle title pressure'

Red Bull Racing, Getty Images

8 January 2013 by TF1T Staff

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko doesn't believe Mark Webber has what it takes to handle the pressure of competing for a championship.

The Austrian, who has often criticised Webber, told the Red Bulletin magazine that he doubts Webber has what it takes to fight for a title despite showing strong form on occasion.

"It seems to me that Webber has on average two races per year where he is unbeatable, but he can't maintain this form throughout the year," Marko said.

"And as soon as his prospects start to look good in the world championship, he has a little trouble with the pressure that this creates.

"In comparison with Seb[astian Vettel's] rising form, it seems to me that Mark's form somehow flattens out.

"Then, if some technical mishap occurs, like with the alternator for example, he falls relatively easily into a downward spiral."

Marko used the 2010 season as an example to prove his point after Webber headed into the final race with an advantage over Vettel, but the German was eventually triumphant, taking his first of three titles to date.

"In 2010, it was particularly extreme. Webber headed into the final race with better chances than Vettel, and he probably carried the disappointment of his defeat into the 2011 season, which is so easy to understand," he added.

The 69-year-old also put some of the responsibility for Webber's form on the arrival of Vettel who has dominated his team-mate during recent seasons.

"Something that I think is also very important is that for much of his career, Mark was never in a top team, but he was always regarded as a high flyer if he only could get into the right team.

"Then Red Bull puts him in a car - a possible winner – and suddenly along comes this young kid and he snatches the booty from under Mark's nose.

"Psychologically it's not easy, of course; this would gnaw away at anyone's confidence. It's more than understandable."