Champion one way or another
THIS is Mark Webber’s biggest week. By Sunday night he will either have joined Sir Jack Brabham and Alan Jones as Australian Formula One world champions, or not.
Either way, Webber is a champion. The way he has behaved this season, in a team that is backing Sebastian Vettel against him, has been amazing.
There have been no public tantrums, nothing unprofessional or nasty, just a down-the-line performance by a man who has worked hard for everything in his life.
All right, there was his line about ‘‘not bad for a No.2’’ after the finish of the British Grand Prix, but winners can afford to be grinners. Occasionally.
Lots of people lost faith in Webber during his troubled time in Formula One. Some were never believers.
Yet Webber has lifted to every challenge, from his first start at Albert Park with Minardi, through the tough times at Jaguar, then the awful realisation that Williams would not be able to give him a winning car.
When Webber joined Red Bull he had to prove himself against David Coulthard, a race winner. When he finally got the right car for the job, he also got Vettel as a teammate.
There is plenty to celebrate in Webber’s past. There was the time his Mercedes sports car backflipped at Le Mans nearly killing him. Twice.
And what about his comeback last year from the mountain bike crash in Tasmania that could also have killed him?
This year Webber has been in his prime, bagging pole positions and winning races in a Red Bull RB6 that matches his skill and commitment.
Most people expected Vettel to wipe him but Webber has been brilliant.
Will he win this weekend? Perhaps. Maybe. Hope so.