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F1 Driver Review: Mark Webber

Dec 16, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT

Webber 24-11 Getty Images

After talking about the big stories and ranking our Top 10 drivers from the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship season, my colleague Chris Estrada and I are taking a look back on how each of the 23 Formula One drivers who took to the grid fared this past year.

In third place, Red Bull number two in his final season, Mark Webber…

MARK WEBBER

No. 2 Red Bull-Renault
2013 Stats: 3rd Place, 0 Wins, 8 Podiums, 12 Top-5s, 15 Top-10s, 69 Laps Led
Average Start: 5.4
Average Finish: 7.0
DNFs: 4

DiZinno says: A perplexing year for Webber, who seemed as good as gone from Red Bull and F1 after the “Multi 21” fiasco at Malaysia. You got the sense he didn’t always extract the maximum of what was clearly the best car. You also wondered why, consistently, he either got off to terrible starts or bore the brunt of any Red Bull mechanical failure. Webber had his highlights with a pair of poles and a fighting tenacity in the second half of the season with a few podiums, and ultimately helped the team through to its fourth straight Constructor’s Championship. But frankly F1 needs him more than he needs it, and his departure will benefit both him and the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Estrada says:  Put in the shade thanks to the brilliance of teammate Sebastian Vettel, Webber still had a steady final season in F1 with two poles and eight podiums – four of which came in the final five events of the year. However, he did have multiple instances of bad luck as well such as losing a wheel in China, catching fire in Korea and having his alternator fail in India. Then there’s the matter of getting blanked by Vettel, 13-0, in terms of victories despite the RB9’s clear-cut superiority to the rest of the field. One can’t help but assume the “Multi 21” episode may have had him thinking a little more about what lay ahead in the future over the matters in the present. But considering how much Red Bull had become Vettel’s team, could he be really taken to task for such a thing?

  1. bigstig - Dec 16, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    It is a shame that a driver of Mark’s caliber has been driven out of F1 by Red Bull. It is never good for any sport for a single athlete or team to be so dominant that everyone else is always playing for 2nd place. Red Bull is all about Vettel and Vettel is all about Vettel – i guess it’s a match made in H3LL.
    Good luck to Mark in his new endeavor.

  2. testover6370 - Dec 16, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    I know it doesn’t make any sense for a team to sabotage itself, but the frequency and consistency of Webber’s mechanical failures was just implausible, especially in comparison to Vettel’s bulletproof car. Something weird was going on there. Sometimes it seemed like 100% of the maintenance and preparation efforts went to Vettel’s car, and Webber’s burned out chassis was rolled back onto the transporter, rolled back off at the next track, and straight out to practice with nothing more than new body panels to replaced the burned ones.

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