Cham­pion one way or an­other

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Onroad - Paul Gover Na­tional edi­tor

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.