Webber says Ricciardo versus Vettel will be 50-50 in qualifying

Mark Webber with Daniel Ricciardo

Mark Webber with Daniel Ricciardo

Mark Webber expects his replacement at World Champion team Red Bull, fellow countryman Daniel Ricciardo, to put up a competitive challenge alongside Sebastian Vettel this year.

By the end of the tense Webber-Vettel pairing, the duo were barely on speaking terms while Vettel was at the top of his game, winning a fourth, consecutive Championship in dominant style.

Australian Webber, who has switched to Le Mans with Porsche, managed to outqualify Vettel only twice in 2013, but the 37-year-old thinks that Ricciardo will put up a stout effort this season.

“He’ll go well,” Webber told the March issue of Motor Sport magazine.¬†“I think he’ll give Seb a real hard time in qualifying – it’ll be 50:50 in the first year, I reckon.”

He suggested that the bulk of Vettel’s advantage under the former regulations, his superiority in slow corners, was due to Adrian Newey’s famous ‘blown floor’ cars.

“I took a few off Seb last year – and the blown floor is gone now,” said Webber.¬†“I think Daniel will be fine, and it certainly won’t hurt him that he’s come through the Red Bull system. I just hope that he gets better starts than I did!” (GMM)

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