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Webber: Rivalry with Vettel is 'healthy'

Last year's arguable breakthrough performer in the top flight - Red Bull Racing star Mark Webber - tips his 'healthy rivalry' with highly-rated young team-mate Sebastian Vettel to spur him on to even greater heights still in F1 2010...
Mark Webber has pointed to his 'healthy rivalry' with Red Bull Racing team-mate Sebastian Vettel as being the factor that motivated him to up his game and emerge as a genuine F1 title contender for some of 2009 – and it is that same mutual respect and intra-team competition, the Australian opines, that will drive him on again in 2010.

Whilst Webber ultimately finished fourth in the drivers' standings last season – by some considerable margin his finest campaign in the top flight to-date, with his breakthrough victory in Germany, a second triumph in Brazil and six further rostrum finishes along the way – midway through proceedings he actually appeared to be RBR's main threat to Brawn GP adversary Jenson Button for world championship glory.

Though it was in the end Vettel who went on to run the British star closest by finishing as overall runner-up, it seems inarguable that both men will once again be right at the sharp end in 2010, provided Adrian Newey's Renault-powered RB6 is up to the task – and few doubt that it will be, having comfortably led the way in pre-season testing in Webber's hands on day three at Jerez de la Frontera in southern Spain last week.

“It was very enjoyable last year,” the 33-year-old New South Wales native told Melbourne newspaper The Age. “It was a healthy rivalry, and made me very determined and very motivated to do well. If you have someone like [Vettel] as a team-mate, you have to be at the top of your game. I had some very good races last year, but qualifying was a little bit more demanding for me, particularly going into Q3.

“All-in-all, we have the same relationship now as we did when we weren't team-mates – and that is a very good sign. It's also thanks to how everything is managed from the top in the team. It is a very healthy team, and that in-turn helps the drivers to have a good relationship.

“We have to keep an eye on things as we progress through the championship, though, because in Malaysia we will not be talking about the second test at Jerez. Things change fast.”

Related Pictures

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Mark Webber - Red Bull Racing   [pic credit: Red Bull media]
Mark Webber - Red Bull Racing   [pic credit: Red Bull media]
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull RB5 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull RB5, German F1 Grand Prix, Nurburgring, 10-12th, July 2009
Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel with the Red Bull Racing RB5-Renault at its launch in the Jerez pit-lane   [pic credit: Red Bull Racing]
Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull RB5, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull RB5, British F1, Silverstone, 19th-21st, June, 2009
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF70H.
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF70H.
Red Bull R13, car launch, [Credit: Red Bull]
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Red Bull R13, car launch, [Credit: Red Bull]
Williams Martini Racing FW40
Williams, FW40, teaser shot [Credit: Williams Martini Racing]
Sebastian Vettel, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, ROC [Credit: ROC]
Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates after winning the 2017 Race of Champions title in Miami [Pic credit: ROC]
Race of Champions 2017, action [Pic credit: ROC]
Juan Pablo Monotya. Race of Champions 2017, action [Pic credit: ROC]
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Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]

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elsewhere - Unregistered

February 23, 2010 1:33 AM

MW is a great driver....i would love to see any other driver in the field take so many years of cars failing on him and continuing to press on race after race. Kimi would have given up after the second year!!!

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