Former F1 racer Mark Blundell has questioned Mark Webber’s ability to emerge from the midfield and become a grand prix winner.
40-year-old Blundell, whose most famous tenure in F1 was with McLaren in 1995, noted Webber’s highly rated talents but said the Australian had not yet proven himself in Minardi, Jaguar and Williams cockpits.
Webber, 30, will be David Coulthard’s teammate at Red Bull in 2007, where the Renault-powered ‘RB3’ has been penned by championship winning designer Adrian Newey.
“Webber still has a strong set of results behind him but nothing, as yet, to say he is a potential grand prix winner because he hasn’t been in the right car,” Blundell is quoted as saying by the major Australian broadsheet Sydney Morning Herald.
Former Champ Car race winner Blundell, however, described the Webber-Coulthard-Newey combination for ’07 as “strong”.
Webber, meanwhile, told the Italian magazine Autosprint that – after racing for Mercedes-Benz at Le Mans – McLaren boss Ron Dennis ended his hopes of entering F1 with the German carmaker.
He said: “Nowadays Mercedes probably has more power in the management of the F1 programme, but it wasn’t this way until a few years ago.
“Mercedes had a lot of respect for my work, they believed in my potential, but at McLaren the drivers never came under their discussion.”