Archive for the ‘F1’ Category

Mark Webber – time to get out of F1?

Saturday, April 13th, 2013

I’m a big fan of Mark Webber. He’s a great driver, and a fabulous character. Formula One needs more drivers like him.

But over the last couple of years, we’ve seen a change in his demeanour around the paddock; he’s not enjoying racing as much as he used to. I remember his debut ten years or so ago for the Minardi team (run by that other irrepressible Aussie, Paul Stoddart). He was young, keen and competitive. He’s still competitive (at least, as far as his team allows him to be) – but it seems that racing has become a chore for him. This can’t be good for him personally.

I lay the blame firmly at the door of the Red Bull team. They’ve made it clear (by actions, if not by words) that he’s the number two driver in their team. We’ve seen this before in F1 (remember poor old Rubens Barichello trying to convince us all that he had equal status with Schumacher at Ferrari? Or Ronnie Peterson playing second fiddler to Andretti back in the 70s?) – and no doubt we’ll no see it again. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen a driver so completely demoralised by it.

One option might be to move to another team – but where? Right now, he’s in one of (if not the) quickest car on the gird; I think it’s unlikely that he could engineer a move to a team that could give him a competitive drive – and a car that struggles to get into Q2 is going to be even worse that his current situation.

If I were Mark, I’d seriously consider getting out of F1, and got and drive in a series where he can enjoy the racing again.

For me, it would be a tragedy if Mark left the sport – but I think that for him, it’s possibly the best thing he can do right now.