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Webber looking forward to exciting season, dismisses Marko’s criticism


By Berthold Bouman

Webber looking forward to exciting season, dismisses Marko's criticism - Photo: InfinitiWebber not impressed by Marko’s criticism

Mark Webber again dismissed the criticism of Red Bull Racing’s controversial advisor, ex-Formula One driver Helmut Marko. The 69-year old Austrian recently said Webber is Red Bull’s number two driver, and also hinted Webber should play a supportive role this season.

“For four years, Vettel and Webber have driven together in our team. Sebastian was runner-up once and champion three times. The statistic speaks for itself. There is no reason to think the balance of power will change,” Marko said earlier this month.

Webber, however, was not impressed and at the time rebuked that he had no intention to play second fiddle at the successful Austrian outfit. “I’m there for myself to get the best results possible and to do that I need to be part of the team. So, no, I’m not going there thinking of [myself] in a supporting role at all,” he said.

Asked about the war of words with Marko, Webber was certainly not impressed and said on his personal website, “Look, everyone at this level has their own agendas and it’s been evident for a long time now that I’ve never been a part of Marko’s.”

Webber is looking forward to exciting 2013 season

During the winter stop Webber had a 40cm long titanium rod removed from his leg, and the surgery went smoothly, the Australian said. “My recovery was exceptional. I had a few weeks off from my normal training schedule but I was able to ease myself back into it by the first week of January and now I’m back into it properly.”

Mark Webber is looking forward to the 2013 season - Photo: Infiniti

Mark Webber is looking forward to the 2013 season – Photo: Infiniti

Asked about his expectations for the 2013 season he commented, “I’m sure we’ve got another exciting and challenging season ahead, and it’ll be interesting to see who comes out of the gates strongly; you might get an inkling from pre-season testing to the form book but it’s only when we arrive in Melbourne for the first race that the gloves really come off.”

He’s also looking forward to drive the latest creation of Red Bull’s designer Adrian Newey, the RB9. “I’m certainly looking forward to getting my hands on the RB9 and I also have a new race engineer in Simon Rennie,” Webber said, adding, “It’s going to be important to have a solid pre-season with him after spending some six years with Ciaron Pilbeam who I had a long and enjoyable relationship with, but he’s no longer with the team.”

But he refused to make any predictions about the first race of the season, the Australian Grand Prix, his home race. “I’m looking forward to starting the season in Australia having prepared very well for it over the past two months. But it’s clear there’s no point getting too far ahead of yourself, so it’s a case of taking each week, test and race as it comes.”

The Red Bull RB9 will be unveiled on February 3, in the team’s factory in Milton Keynes, Great Britain. Then the new car will be transported to Jerez, Spain, where the first pre-season testing days will take place, starting on February 5.

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