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Red Bull Racing motorsport director Dr Helmut Marko says he thinks the team’s number two driver, Mark Webber, can’t maintain winning form for a whole year and struggles with pressure.

Marko shared his thoughts about Webber, along with the Australian’s Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso, in an interview with the energy drink company’s own Red Bulletin magazine.

Sixty-nine-year-old Marko told the publication, “It seems to me that Webber has on average two races per year where he is unbeatable, but he can’t maintain this form thoroughout the year. And as soon as his prospects start to look good in the championship, he has a little trouble with the pressure that this creates.”

Mark Webber

“In comparison with Seb’s rising form, it seems to me that Mark’s form somehow flattens out”.

“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 [Vettel] 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.”

Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel

Marko, a former Grand Prix driver of 10 races, also makes mention of two-time Formula 1 World Champion, Spaniard Fernando Alonso, being “constantly involved in politics” and “psychological skirmishes”.

On the season of three-time Formula 1 World Champion and 2012 title holder, Vettel, Marko is full of praise saying, “Sebastian’s driving was virtually flawless. But he is a phenomenon: it is always like that.”

The 2013 Formula 1 season begins in Melbourne on March 14.

  • Cars

    So give him the sack!
    Then he can be the #1 driver at another competitive team. Then you can rue the day as he leaves your beloved Vettel in his mirror. There is only one direction for Vettel so Marko better get used to it.

    • Mike

      This is really dumb. Webber certainly could and would have left, had he received a better offer. Red Bull has treated Webber better than most other teams treat their no. 2 drivers; and which top team would have a reason right now to pick Webber over one of the recent champions as their no. 1?

      • Cars

        No no no, you are really dumb. Team Red Bull know Webber is a real threat if he finds another competitive ride hence he is the perfect #2 behind Vettel. Vettel has always had team priority. If Webber was afforded the same priveledge he would absolutely be winning a lot more races.

        • Phil Curtain

          I agree, webber gets the short straw all the time!

  • Andrew

    10 races and you’re an expert Dr HelMuttley? Sounds like you’re still wanting to have Vettel’s baby.

    • guest

      I suppose you’re more of an expert on racing than Dr. Marko is? I don’t suppose you’ve won Le Mans… Or ran a racing team?

      That said, Marko had better get used to the fact that Alonso will always be superior to Vettel. Alonso has the psychological edge and the ability to get the best out of an often inferior car. Alonso was particularly competitive last year in a Ferrari that was usually not the fastest on the grid.

      Vettel on the other hand has displayed a marked ability to get upset by little things.

      These comments by Marko are just nothing more than mind-games for which Marko appears to be infamous.

      • Andrew

         Any old snoozer can win LeMans. F1 is where legends are made.   Oh yeah, my race team is going well thanks.

        I just don’t get why a director of motorsport of a team would need to write that dribble. Hardly constructive I would have thought.

        • Amlohac

          Any old snoozer? Shall we put you in a cramped, 50-60 degree cabbin for half a day moving at speeds up to and beyond 300kph sometimes almost totaly blind on a race track?

          Me thinks you underestimate these guys.

  • pixxxels

    Goddammit Marko is such a slimeball. He is 99% of the reason why i dislike Red Bull as a team.

  • Jober As A Sudge

    Good ol’ Dr Marko…at least he’s open about his man-crush for Vettel. As for Webber…he threw away the 2010 Championship by spinning in Korea unfortunately. He’s shown he has the ability to match Vettel…he just needs to get his head in the right space (and a KERS that functions)

    • Monk

      The DNF maestro struck again at the most inoppotune time that day…

  • Guest201319

    Mark Webber cannot start well, how many times did he wasted the front role? I don’t think he should be in such a fast car…

    • Mark

      Vettel had his share of problem starts this season as well 

  • Bobserver

    Vettel was primed from young to be Red Bull’s man and given all that took to make him a champion.  Mark Webber was an afterthought for Red Bull that turned out better than expected.  Webber has helped Red Bull in several constructors championship which the good doctor failed to mention above.

  • AndyGF

    BMT (big match temperament) is a common sporting problem, typically (and this applies to MSC too), the older you get the less willing you are to die as a result of an overtaking maneuver. I think the average F1 driver these days probably has a couple moments a race where if it was not for instinct taking over, his life would have flashed before his eyes.

    Suppressing that fear is a big part of the sport… I for one done blame anyone for not wanting to die, just for a few extra trophies.

    Don’t get me wrong, not making excusing for the man, its just the way it is…

  • tsport100

    How biased is this has-been? “Sebastian’s driving was virtually flawless”??? 

    What Grand Prix season is this bloke talking about? The one where Vettel got involved in a huge crash with Senna on the first lap of the final race of the season with the World Championship on the line and ripped half the sidepod off the car?Flawless my arse!

    • Mark

      Spot on! 

  • Rocket

    Webber can lap just as quick as Vettel but needs to get his starts sorted out and hopefully less mechanical issues and anything is possible. Good luck Mark.

  • Guest

    As mentioned, Webber seems to have a real problem with his starts – undoubtedly the team are aware of this and working on it. However he has always been treated as second-best at red Bull. Witness Marko’s frequent mind games, the time Webber had to sacrifice the newer wing for Vettel, the times he has been told not to overtake Vettel, and the many many occasions on which they got his tyre strategy and pit times wrong. To say nothing of the time Vettel deliberately took him out during an overtaking manoeuvre and got off scott free.

    I really wonder why Webber keeps signing with red Bull year after year. They don’t value him and they certainly haven’t looked after him.

  • Save It For The Track

    Seems there is now a clearly defined number one and two at red Bull…..(world championships aside)

  • Igor

    Vettel’s consistently faster than Webber in qualifying & racing.
    Guess that makes him the better driver.
    Ferrari & Alonso are the biggest sooks and most unsportsmanlike in the true Italian tradition…often blaming others for their own failures.

    • Cars

      Vettel always gets the best of everything including engines. Webber is always left to make do with the team’s second best resources. Small wonder Vettel is usually faster.

  • Al Tungupon

    He only won one race in 2011 courtesy of a Vettel gearbox problem, then just a couple last year, one of which being the Monte Carlo procession. In spite of technical first places, other drivers have won more than he did in supposedly less competitive cars in a given season. It’s not really what I call winning form as far as Mark is concerned.

    Most of the comments here criticise Helmut’s favouritism to fellow German Sebastian, but Australians are no different in being biased to Mark. While Marko’s statement is uncalled for given that Webber is working in the same squad, it’s Vettel who oftentimes brings it home.

  • Guest82345

    Can’t believe some of the rubbish statements here.
    Vettel’s the youngest triple world champion ever.
    Give the guy some credit.

    • Cars

      Sure he is a great driver but he’s be nothing without Red Bull. The team and it’s equipment are second to none. I’d like to see how competitive he would be in another seat!

  • Phil Jones

    I always thought the Motor Sport Director was supposed to support the whole team NOT just one driver.
    Mark does extremely well despite the handicap..Eg record at Monaco that is said to require the highest driver input !!!
    Vettel is excellent and Mark is very good even with less support .

  • Alan

    Its easy being No2 when your team is going out of thier way to make the the “Austrian WonderBoy” gets everything to ensure his own team mate cant compete.
    Ever wonder why Webber has a “gearbox problem” when ever he gets cloes the Vettel ???.
    Talk about No1  & No2,….if they didnt have such a good car Vettel wounldnt look so crash hot either…spoilt little Austrian snot…

    • Sydlocal

       Austrian? Vettel is German, it is the team that is Austrian.

    • Jonesy

      A bit short on facts are you Alan ?
      Educate yourself.

  • Doctor

    Silly comments by Marko. Mark has been a fine number 2 driver who has given RB its constructor’s championships. The best number 2 driver in the field who sadly didn’t get a good car until too late in his career.

  • Goodfa

    I think he is making these comments to motivate Webber for next season.

  • Norm

    Can’t or doesn’t? Big difference. 

    If he really thinks Webber can’t – then what does that say about his decision to keep Webber in the team?

  • steve

    marko has always preferred vettel if he wants to make a hidous comment like that why does’nt he drive

  • Save It For The Track

    Aside form Webbers well documented starting issues, his car very often has KERS issues, which is much less publicised, and often only known or heard about by those of us that watch the races in full. I have said before though, i fear he may have lost his chance at winning a championship after leading the 2010 championship

    • Mark

      Vettel had some poor starts this year as well.

      Your right about AMW Kerrs problems, and this is really the first season that Kers was important as well   

  • Mike

    It’s quite common to see disparaging remarks about Vettel – everyone else is a better driver, he is only champion because he gets an incomparably better car etc. Those people overlook that someone _wanted_ to put Vettel in the fastest car, because of what he accomplished _before_ he was in it. Also, considering his performances in the last couple of races last season, I’m at a loss as to how one can deny his driving ability with a straight face.

    However, be that as it may – if there is one driver who can be compared fairly, because he’s driving he same car, it’s Mark Webber, and he consistently scores lower, at least in the long term.

    It may not have been useful or wise of Marko to publicly make these statements, but he is essentially correct.

  • Monk

    Webber must acknowledge that his mouth has probably earned him the #2 driver spot more than his form.