Marko hints at Webber 2013 support role

Red Bull advisor and former F1 driver Helmut Marko has repeated claims that Mark Webber is expected to play second fiddle to Sebastian Vettel yet again in 2013.

The Austrian who is notorious for his mis-treatment of the Aussie told the German tabloid newspaper that “Mark knows what we expect of him. For four years, Vettel and Webber have driven together in our team. Sebastian was runner-up once and champion three times. The statistic speaks for itself. There is no reason to think the balance of power will change”.

The Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, has consistently shot down claims that Webber is told to bow down to his German counterpart, which has been particularly poignant since the two clashed at the 2010 Turkish Grand Prix.

Yet, Marko’s claims seem to disagree with Horner’s apparent fair treatment of the drivers, and it begs the question of if the Aussie will indeed be expected to be Vettel’s rear gunner.

Despite repeat wins in both Monaco and Silverstone, Webber lost pace mid-season before slipping down to finish in a lowly 6th in the Championship while Vettel recovered from an early lull to take his third world title.

Webber has a contract with Red Bull until the end of 2013 and it remains to be seen if he will be kept, or replaced by Nico Hulkenberg who seems to be the top contender for any spare seat at the team.

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