Webber still a contender in F1
NEVER TOO LATE TO BE BACK ON FORM: Mark Webber may have had been in team mate Sebastian Vettel's shadow for most of 2011 but the Red Bull driver showed he is back on form with a superb win in Monaco.
Author: ALAN BALDWIN
LONDON, England - Those who thought Mark Webber had blown his one and only chance of winning the Formula 1 title back in 2010 may need a rethink after the Red Bull driver's victory from pole at the Monaco Grand Prix.
In this most unpredictable of seasons with an unprecedented six different winners in six races, Webber has become a contender again.
With 14 races remaining, Webber is level in points with Red Bull team mate Sebastian Vettel and only three behind Ferrari's overall leader Fernando Alonso.
'BIT OF A MYSTERY'
Perhaps more importantly, after a disappointing 2011, Webber showed that he has recovered his form.
Webber said: "Last year was a little bit of a mystery to be honest. The gap sometimes was really really extreme and it was hard for me to understand why it was like that sometimes. I think there was also a factor of me getting on top of the tyres but it wasn't all of it.
"The first five months was very tough and I was in a different category to the other car, whereas this year it's much more like 2009 or 2010, which is nice," he said.
In 2010, Webber won four races and went into the final grand prix with one hand on the championship.
Losing out to Vettel came as a hammer blow. In 2011, Vettel left Monaco celebrating a fifth win in six races and speeding towards his second title.
Australia's triple champion Jack Brabham, a family friend, certainly feared at the end of 2010 that Webber had let a golden chance slip through his fingers and that he might not get another.
Webber has done better than Vettel in three of the races, each having won once.
HORNER THE PRAISE-SINGER
His contract expires at the end of the season but now the media speculation is more about a possible move to Ferrari for 2013 rather than any impending exit from the sport.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, whose team are now the only ones to have won twice in 2012, sang his praises and indicated that Webber was more likely to stay put.
Horner said: "He is driving really well and he is in great shape. He is at the top of his game. We have a very open and straightforward relationship with Mark and this does not change that situation.
"Why would he want to leave?," added Horner, who has a firm friendship with the driver as well as being his boss. The team are doing well and Mark knows the team very well. We are only at race six and a lot depends on his motivation and desire going forward. He is doing a great job and we are really happy with him," he said.