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No driver will dominate rest of the season - WebberLaurence Edmondson at Spa-Francorchamps August 25, 2011 « Schumacher has 'not many regrets' | »
Mark Webber does not think any single driver will be able to emulate Sebastian Vettel's start to the season over the remaining eight races of the championship, but insists that does not mean the championship is over.
Red Bull's Vettel won six of the first eight races of the season, which has helped him rack up an 85-point lead in the drivers' championship ahead of this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix.
Webber is still Vettel's closest rival despite not winning a race this season, but when asked on Friday if any single driver could take the rest of the season by storm, he said: "No, that's over in terms of having five, six or seven victories on the bounce. I think that's not going to happen. I think it's going to be more evenly spread, with the same customers and obviously I want to get involved myself."
But to win the championship Webber reckons he needs team-mate Vettel to register some DNFs.
"As long as Seb doesn't finish two races," he said when asked if he still has a shot at the title. "I wouldn't just rely on someone not dominating. There are eight races to go and, yes, Seb's in a great position - no question about it - but he's not completely comfortable yet.
Webber expects this weekend to be one of the closest of the season despite his Red Bull team struggling compared to its rivals on the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in recent years.
"I see the weekend being tight to be honest," he said. "Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull - there will be no clear advantage I don't think. It's going to be as tight as we have seen at the last three or four grands prix - nip and tuck around the pit stops."
Weber added: "We had a strange month with those cooler races. Budapest, Nurburgring can be like that, Silverstone was very cold - it was a bizarre little month. We saw Valencia being normal and McLaren were in the shit on Sunday, and then at the other races they were very, very strong. Clearly there is a lot to understand on all of that."
Webber also seemed confident about his chances of staying at Red Bull next season.
"I'm still really enjoying the car and there is a huge chance, a huge chance that I'll still be racing in Formula One next year," he said.
Asked if it was a formality, Webber said: "It will be cheeky for me to say yes. My decision has to be taken into account, although the team's decision is pretty clear. Dietrich [Mateschitz] has been great, as obviously have all the boys and everyone at the team. All will become clear shortly."
Laurence Edmondson is the deputy editor on ESPNF1