Webber backs Vettel for 2014 title
13 December 2013 – Mark Webber says long-time Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel will remain the driver to beat next season.
The Australian, who is embarking upon a new sportscar challenge with Porsche, reckons that although there are a plethora of regulation changes, the Milton Keynes-based outfit is well positioned to cope with the demands.
If successful, Vettel would wrap up a fifth consecutive world title, equalling Juan Manuel Fangio's overall total.
"Seb's the favourite for the drivers' championship," Webber told BBC Sport.
"They'll be favourites for starting the season very strongly, which is probably not what people at home want to hear. I think they are going to be very strong."
Webber added: "It's an engine category next year more than a car/aerodynamic category, which is probably not a bad thing for some people.
"But there will also still be decent driver input, especially from a brainpower perspective in terms of pacing and managing and all the technology the cars are going to have next year, which will help Sebastian. That's right up his alley. Perfect for him."
When asked to name the best driver he has raced against in Formula 1, Webber added that, along with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, Vettel sits at the top of the list.
"Probably between Seb and Fernando," he explained.
"You've got to pull everything together. It's hard to say. We've had to always tweak our skill-sets, that last part of our profession – Pirellis, refuelling, one-lap qualifying, all that sort of stuff.
"So to try to answer the question, on Sundays Fernando over two hours is a handful. There is no question about that. Over one lap I think he's not with Seb. But on Sundays between those two it's very, very tight.
"Lewis [Hamilton] is handy but probably not quite as much of a machine as those two are. They are literally 'plug them in and off they go'. They are very, very handy."