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'Fired-up' Webber 'has the right attitude', say F1 greats

12 November 2010

Australia's previous two F1 World Champions Sir Jack Brabham and Alan Jones reckon Mark Webber is primed to follow in their wheel tracks by lifting the sport's ultimate trophy in Abu Dhabi this weekend – arguing that the Red Bull Racing star is 'fired-up' to do it, has 'the right attitude' to do it and is mentally the best-prepared of the remaining four protagonists.

To lift the laurels at Yas Marina, Webber must overturn the current eight-point deficit separating himself from current F1 2010 World Championship leader Fernando Alonso – but he may depend upon the support of his RBR team-mate Sebastian Vettel in order to do so.

The 34-year-old's task is complicated, however, by the fact that the young German similarly remains in contention to clinch the crown – albeit at a greater distance back from Alonso. Throw in McLaren-Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, too – even if the 2008 title-winner is now the longest of long shots to leapfrog his three adversaries – and there are all the makings of a Middle Eastern thriller. One in which both Brabham and Jones believe Webber has the ability to come out on top.

“He's got the right attitude,” underlined 1959, 1960 and 1966 F1 World Champion Brabham. “He's going to go and do it. I've spoken to him on the 'phone a couple of times and he's very fired-up. He will need a little bit of luck with it – basically, he's got to win the race to be sure of it – but I hope he makes it. It will be fantastic for Australia if he does.”

Jones concurs with his countryman's sentiments, reasoning that the path Webber has had to tread to the top of the sport – in comparison with the rather easier ride some of his competitors have enjoyed – makes him mentally the toughest to cope with the draining tension of a weekend that holds so much at stake.

“I think he's better mentally-attuned to a challenge,” Williams' 1980 title-winner told Fox Sports. “In all honesty, if there are any mind games or mental tests, it's in Mark's favour. He's come up the hard way. The others, to some degree, have got a silver spoon in their mouths – they will be more likely to throw a tantrum. He's just got to treat it like another grand prix. He cannot go in pre-occupied with the championship. I used to take one race at a time.”


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