Formula 1 News

Webber not Vettel's number 2 - Mateschitz

The comment conflits somewhat with the fact that the German driver has won three straight Formula 1 championships.
Monday, March 11, 2013

March 11th (GMM).- He might have won the last three world championships on the trot, but Sebastian Vettel is not Red Bull's number 1 driver.

That is the claim of team owner Dietrich Mateschitz, the Austrian billionaire who said Vettel's veteran teammate Mark Webber will continue to enjoy equal status in 2013.

"When he (Webber) has a strong day, he is a tough opponent for Vettel," the 68-year-old said during an interview with Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper.

"He has a hard time against Vettel, but the team guarantees him the same material and the same treatment," added Mateschitz.

"We are pleased to have two number one drivers," he insisted.

The fact remains, however, that Australian Webber only has a deal in place for this season, while Toro Rosso hopefuls Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne champ at the bit.

Asked if he has a chance of joining the senior team in 2014, Frenchman Vergne told RMC Sport: "It's too early to tell.

"Nobody is saying that Webber will retire in 2014. Maybe he will win races, maybe even the championship. For now, there are too many 'ifs' about 2014," he added.

Meanwhile, Mateschitz admitted that Mercedes has made progress over the winter, and named Kimi Raikkonen as a possible dark horse for the 2013 title race.

But he told Kleine Zeitung newspaper: "We assume that we (Red Bull) will surely once again be among the top two or three teams."

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F1 Standings

Drivers
Teams
1 Lewis Hamilton 384
2 Nico Rosberg 317
3 Daniel Ricciardo 238
4 Valtteri Bottas 186
5 Sebastian Vettel 167
6 Fernando Alonso 159
1 Mercedes 701
2 Red Bull Racing 405
3 Williams F1 320
4 Ferrari 214
5 McLaren 187
6 Sahara Force India 152

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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Yas Island, Yas Marina Circuit
1
Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes
2
Felipe Massa
Williams F1
3
Valtteri Bottas
Williams F1
Fastest Lap

Daniel Ricciardo
1'44.496s

Pole Position

Nico Rosberg

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