Stoddart tips Webber for more title contention
30 November 2010 – Paul Stoddart is against the belief of many that Mark Webber will not enjoy another shot at the World Championship in 2011, with the Red Bull driver having led for much of 2010 only to finish the season third overall and 14 points in arrears of title-winning team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
After narrowly saving Minardi from missing the 2001 season, then team owner Stoddart signed Webber up for the following year, which began in dramatic fashion when the 25-year-old finished fifth and scored two points in hometown Melbourne (top).
“It certainly was his best season, no question about that,” Stoddart told India’s F1Pulse.com of Webber’s latest Formula 1 campaign, “but I would partly contest that he would not get the chance again. Let’s be honest, a couple of things have gone a different way.
“I know “if” is ‘F1’ spelt backwards, but if a couple of results like in Korea and especially the collision in Turkey - and few other things like that - wouldn’t have happened, then Mark would have undoubtedly been World Champion.
“So he’ll be fighting, I’ve spoken to him; he’ll be fighting quite hard for the championship again next year and he’ll be in a very competitive team.
“Red Bull, certainly under (Chief Designer) Adrian Newey, will be one of the top three teams next year, if not the top two. Mark is in his part of his career where he is 34 years old and has got a good car and team that does well, so he’ll be there or thereabouts.”