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Webber moves on from 2011 'mystery' problems

ESPNF1 Staff
May 31, 2012 « Vettel wants to stay at Red Bull | F2012 still needs more downforce - Domenicali »
Mark Webber: "The first five months was very tough and I was in a different category to the other car" © Sutton Images
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Mark Webber has admitted he felt like he was driving in a different category to Sebastian Vettel at the start of 2011, but is confident he is now back at his best.

Webber struggled to get to grips with the combination of the 2011 Red Bull and last year's Pirelli tyres, finishing the championship 134 points off team-mate Vettel. After six races this season, Webber is tied on points with Vettel with his first victory of 2012 coming at the Monaco Grand Prix last weekend. Whatever his problems were last year, he is confident they are now solved.

"Last year was a little bit of a mystery to be honest," he said. "The gap sometimes was really, really extreme and it was hard for me to understand why it was like that sometimes. I think there was also a factor of me getting on top of the tyres but it wasn't all of it.

"I didn't feel that I had lost that much form but as the season went on, obviously things got a bit closer and a little bit better. The first five months was very tough and I was in a different category to the other car, whereas this year it's much, much more like 2009 or 2010, which is nice."

Webber thinks the key to this year's title will be to avoid registering DNFs and making the most of winning opportunities when they come up.

"You have to grab them with both hands and feet and hang on to them like hell. That was the plan [in Monaco] but consistency is nice, but wins are what wins championships - well, DNFs can shag championships as well, but you need to win and then keep consistent."

Webber's victory in Monaco was Red Bull's third consecutive win in the principality, but Webber thinks this year's car was the weakest of the team's recent efforts around the street circuit.

"I think this year is probably the weakest car we've had here in the three years that we've come here, but it was still enough to win, so the other years were a little bit more straightforward, this one was much, much more difficult. I don't know, maybe the guys are drinking a lot of Red Bull and it gets them in the zone for the special weekend, but they're very fortunate we've won three in row here and it's a brilliant effort from the team."

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