David Coulthard is confident Mark Webber can return to form this season but only if the Red Bull rediscovers his qualifying mojo…
David Coulthard is confident Mark Webber can return to form this season but only if the Red Bull rediscovers his qualifying mojo.
After a thrilling 2010 campaign in which Webber fought for the World title until the very last lap of the season, the 35-year-old suffered a drop in form last year.
While his team-mate Sebastian Vettel dominated qualifying sessions and the grands prix, Webber struggled to find his feet.
The Red Bull racer finished the Championship with three pole positions, one race victory and 134 points behind Vettel, who had 15 poles and 11 race wins.
Coulthard, though, reckons he could take the fight to Vettel this season but only if he is able to find his feet in qualifying.
“We’ve seen some incredible performances from Mark, and he’s a gutsy driver – his pass on (Fernando) Alonso at Spa, going into Eau Rouge… I nearly dropped the microphone in the commentary box, because I thought it was going to be an aeroplane crash,” Coulthard told the gathered crowd at the Autosport International Show.
“But he pulled it off, and he is definitely a great racing driver.
“One of his key strengths in the past was his qualifying, and if you qualify well, it makes your whole weekend so much easier, because within the team you get the prime choice on strategy, you’ve got track position, and running in clean air is much easier than running in dirty air.
“Mark just needs to rediscover his mojo for qualifying and he’ll be fine, because all the rest is there.
“But there’s no question that in 2011 he was not as strong as he was in 2010. You can’t hide from that fact, and Sebastian somehow gained in confidence and really grew in his qualifying performances. That was key to him winning so many races and the Championship.”