Straight talking and often controversial Helmut Marko makes it quite clear that Sebastian Vettel is the outright number one in the Red bull team, while taking a poke at Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber.
In a candid interview in Red Bulletin magazine, Marko pulled no punches as he started by slamming Vettel’s critics who claim that the triple world champion’s success is down to the genius of Adrian Newey’s designs.
Marko reacted to the allegations, “There is a lot of nonsense being said; ‘Vettel can’t overtake.’ Ridiculous; just look at Abu Dhabi and Brazil. ‘He is only able to win because he’s sitting in a Newey car.’ We have two Newey cars, so why aren’t we clinching one-two at every race?”
“Then the comment of the great Jackie Stewart that Vettel must go to another team to prove himself. This is said by someone who scored all his greatest successes in just one team, Tyrrell,” stressed the Austrian F1 advsior to Red Bull billionaire Dieter Mateschitz. “I can’t take it seriously. We at Red Bull Racing are not just a bunch of civil servants. As long as we provide Sebastian with a car and an environment in which he can become world champion, he will probably stay with us.”
Much has been said of an energy drinks manufacturer beating teams such as Ferrari and McLaren. Marko was asked if such a scenario would have irked Enzo Ferrari.
He responded, “There’s no way Enzo would have liked such defeat, but he would acknowledge the performance of the opposition – and then would whip his boys accordingly so they’d do everything to beat us. But not with such actions as we have recently experienced.”
On the subject of Alonso, Marko was forthright in his comments, “Alonso is constantly involved in politics. I believe that we saw the stress that he was under towards the end of the season. Saying things like, ‘I’m competing against Hamilton, not Vettel,’ and ‘I’m up against Newey,’ these psychological skirmishes. We said, ‘Just ignore him.'”
The former F1 driver also had some choice words about Webber’s inability to match Vettel during the course of a full season, “It seems to me that Webber has on average two races per year where he is unbeatable, but he can’t maintain this form throughout the year. As soon as his prospects start to look good in the world championship, he has a little trouble with the pressure that this creates.”
“In comparison with Seb’s rising form, it seems to me that Mark’s form somehow flattens out. Then, if some technical mishap occurs, like with the alternator for example, he falls relatively easily into a downward spiral. No driver remains unaffected by this, because the tension is palpable,” said Marko.
He also pointed out; “In 2010, it was particularly extreme. Webber headed into the final race with better chances than Vettel, and he probably carried the disappointment of his defeat into the 2011 season, which is so easy to understand. Something that I think is also very important is that for much of his career, Mark was never in a top team, but he was always regarded as a high flyer if he only could get into the right team.”
“Then Red Bull puts him in a car – a possible winner – and suddenly along comes this young kid and he snatches the booty from under Mark’s nose. Psychologically it’s not easy, of course; this would gnaw away at anyone’s confidence. It’s more than understandable,” concluded Marko. (GP247)
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