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Horner lauds 'awesome' Webber, 'a big part' of Red Bull's success

To some extent F1's forgotten man in the wake of team-mate Sebastian Vettel's extraordinary title triumph in Abu Dhabi, Mark Webber has received warm praise from Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner
Christian Horner has praised Mark Webber for an 'unbelievable year' of which he should be 'very, very proud' – and despite his previous confession that the future for Red Bull Racing is Sebastian Vettel, he has tipped the popular Australian to 'come back even more motivated and stronger next year'.

Towards the end of the F1 2010 World Championship campaign, Webber looked to be on-course to lift the ultimate laurels, arguably until the turning-point of Korea, when the man from Queanbeyan threw what would likely have been victory into the wall with an early error in treacherous conditions that ended up costing him dearly.

Coming up short in the Abu Dhabi finale last weekend – able to take the chequered flag just a distant eighth at Yas Marina – was the final nail in the coffin for Webber's gallant title challenge, as team-mate Vettel sped on to a brilliant victory in the Middle East, and with it the coveted drivers' crown to become the youngest F1 World Champion in history.

The New South Wales native has conceded that he is 'bitterly disappointed' by the outcome [see separate story – click here], and many are surmising that his best chance to claim the sport's greatest prize has now been and gone – particularly with Horner having admitted last month that since 'Mark is in the autumn of his career...we are building the team around Sebastian', doing little to convince RBR's detractors that Webber will have an equal crack of the whip in 2011.

The energy drinks-backed outfit's team principal, however, is adamant that the forgotten man amidst all of the post-race celebrations will be far from forgotten next season, and that he will not only come out fighting and determined to turn the tables on Vettel, but he will also – in the light of all the accusations of favouritism at Milton Keynes this year – do so with the full support of his team behind him.

“Take nothing away from Mark – he's had an unbelievable year,” the Englishman underlined of what has been comfortably Webber's finest campaign in the top flight to-date. “Mark can be very, very proud of what he's achieved. We're all very proud of what he's done – he's been an awesome competitor.

“He's taken this championship into the last race. He led during the summer, and he could well have won it himself at different stages of the year. Overall, he's been a big part of the success of this team, and he has pushed Sebastian to the limit. They've been so close on so many occasions.

“It's tough for Mark. He will look across at the jubilation on the other side, but he knows he's had equal equipment all year. He knows the support he's had from the team, so I've told him he should hold his head high. I'm sure given a few days to digest things, to reflect, he will come back even more motivated and stronger for next year.”

Horner is equally effusive in his praise for Vettel, after Red Bull's policy of not asking one of its two drivers to back the other at any stage during the season – facing criticism in particular for not switching the order in the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos earlier this month in Webber's favour – was vindicated in Abu Dhabi when the Heppenheim native overcame the odds to re-write the F1 record books. It will, he is confident, be the first triumph of many.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Celebration, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6 race winner and 2010 champion, Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director and Adrian Newey (GBR), Red Bull Racing , Technical Operations Director
Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6 race winner and Adrian Newey (GBR), Red Bull Racing , Technical Operations Director
Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6 race winner and Adrian Newey (GBR), Red Bull Racing , Technical Operations Director
Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6 race winner and 2010 Champion
Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6 race winner and 2010 Champion
Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6 race winner and 2010 Champion
Friday Practice 1, Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
Christian Horner
Race, Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director and Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB6
Saturday Practice, Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB6 and Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
Race, Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB6 race winner and Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
Race, Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB6 and Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
Race, Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB6 race winner and Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing & Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB 6
Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull RB5, Christian Horner (NED) Red Bull Sporting Director, German F1 Grand Prix, Nurburgring, 10-12th, July 2009
Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner receives a champagne shower from Mark Webber after the Australian followed team-mate Sebastian Vettel home in an historic RBR one-two in the 2009 Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai [pic credit: Red Bull Media]
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NutBallRacer

November 16, 2010 2:47 PM

It is just so interesting that Horner seems to keep trying to convince the world that Webber got equal treatment. 30 years from now, I bet he'll still be talking about it, trying to make it "true" by repetition. It is not a very intelligent approach by Horner. Whether Webber got equal treatment or not, we the public will never know, but Horner's constant comments on the subject only arouse suspicions, rather than allay them. The behavior of Webber and Vettel is another indication counter to Horner's assertions. If Horner would just stop mentioning "equality", maybe in 30 years or so we'd forget what a disingenuous guy he appears to have been.

irlirie69

November 16, 2010 6:26 PM

When an employee feels devalued by his employer, there isn't much good that either party will share during the employment of the employee. Anyone who has been in a position like this, no matter how good he may be at his job, is bound to make numerous mistakes. There is no worse feeling than giving your all to your employer only to feel like your contributions over the years have been rendered meaningless. I feel for you Webs, you shouldn't have to battle your employer. One is made to feel like he is stranded on an island all alone.



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