Webber expects equal status with Vettel for 2012 title battle 10 July, 2012 Mark Webber celebrates his second victory of the season after the British GP at Silverstone Jul.10 (GMM) Mark Webber insists that he is not worried that Red Bull will ignore his bid for the 2012 Formula One world championship, because with two wins to his name this season, the Australian is Fernando Alonso’s closest challenger for the title. Furthermore, Webber is a full 16 points ahead of Red Bull’s reigning double world champion Sebastian Vettel. But in 2010, the 35-year-old sensed that he was not racing on a level playing field, famously declaring his Silverstone win was “not bad for a number two driver” after earlier slamming his glass on the table of the interview venue when answering a question about driver equality. Webber, however, insists things will be different in 2012, telling The Age, “They [Red Bull] know that this year’s championship is so open that we don’t have the luxury of maybe just seeing how the season might unfold if you put the energy and the focus on one car.” Asked if he thinks he will enjoy equal number one status with Vettel, Webber added: “Yes, I believe that, for sure.” Team consultant Dr Helmut Marko told Sport Bild: “There will be no team orders; the drivers can race freely.” Team boss Christian Horner added: “Having both drivers competing for the title is a good headache to have.” But it’s uncharted waters for Vettel, as he pushes to restore his status as the Red Bull favourite. Bild newspaper said after the British grand prix that the 25-year-old German is current “nothing more than the number two”. Vettel commented: “It’s too early to start counting up points.” Subbed by AJN. Tweet Related NewsRicciardo: Vettel has been very respectful to meRed Bull marginalise Vettel ahead of his departureVettel slams completely stupid engine rulesHorner: It’s just between Lewis and Nico nowVettel looks set to start race from pitlane in AustinMateschitz optimistic about life after VettelMateschitz made no attempt to stop Vettel from leavingRicciardo: I hope not to rely on Vettel’s helpMarko predicts Alonso is heading back to McLarenRed Bull deny Vettel is demoted to number two fools so when do you start counting points then Vettel. Its the half season mark. Start counting. Harsha I guess you know about Seb more than any one Mark the More you Push him the High the Results will be With your Shadow pole and Win in Monaco ignited him and he was on Pole twice and Almost won the Valencia GP with a Huge Margin And with your Second win i guess He was going to Make things turn again fools @ Harsha if that message was directed to me. i didnt understand anything you mentioned. Harsha @fools It didn’t meant to you I was supposed to say that if Webber was Trying to out score him with Podium or Win Sebastian wins races in order to compete with him and Mark knows about that very well Hawk Man, your tenses are all over the place. Jody Renza In the end it was best for Mark to have signed with Red Bull…thing is I don’t believe he will really get “equal status/equipment” because I think he is not Marko & Horner’s favourite…they would rather see Vettel win…only thing is, Mark will help them secure another constructors title & that’s the main reason Red Bull signed him again… Mark just might surprise us and win the title!! Only thing that worries me is that “normally” when a driver signs a new contract his results start to slip.. Kevin Red Bull is possibly the only team capable of supporting two hard line competitors in the same team without assigning one or the other as the number one or two driver – and still deliver constant improvements to the hot rod. While there have certainly been instances of favoritism, such as the wing swap debacle, this is an old Enzo Ferrari ploy to keep the drivers on edge and hotted up – which appears to be working with Weber. He’s finally taking the bull by the horns (pun accepted) and is going after it. Watching Vettel’s more thoughtful strategic approach contrasting with Webers bonzai Aussie hardness, fired up by Alonso keeping a torch lit under this flamable pairing, with the black horse of Lotus lurking – it’s all great stuff.