If Mark Webber’s move to Red Bull backfires, it could spell ‘game over’ for his formula one career.
Those are the words of Tony Purnell, who was team boss at the Milton-Keynes factory when it was called Jaguar.
The Briton praised energy drink mogul Dietrich Mateschitz for pumping in the cash and assembling a top lineup for 2007, but warned that the pressure could pile on Webber’s shoulders.
Purnell, who heralded Webber as the ‘new Schumacher’ when he drove for Jaguar in 2003 and 2004, told F1 Racing magazine: “If success isn’t forthcoming, the blood-letting could be x-rated and that’s no environment in which any driver can perform.”
He warned that, unlike in the team’s Ford-owned Jaguar guise, Webber is unlikely to be encouraged into a leadership position at Red Bull.
Purnell said of the 30-year-old Australian: “If it doesn’t work it could be game over, because he’s no longer a youngster — and that would be tragic because Mark would make a great champion.”