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Whilst (Red Bull racing advisor) Helmut Marko might not be Mark Webber's biggest fan, team boss Christian Horner clearly has a lot of time for the veteran Australian.
Having secured another season (his seventh) with the Austrian outfit, things didn't exactly get off to the best of starts when Marko warned that it would be the Australian's last. Marko, subsequently went on to claim that while Webber has his moments they are essentially few and far between, that he is inconsistent, lacks commitment and that once his head drops it's all over - a charge that could be levelled at a number of his rivals.
However, Horner disagrees, insisting that Webber is in the second Red Bull on merit and could even see another season with the Milton Keynes based outfit.
"The last three years have apparently been Mark's last year, and yet he has been retained by the team because of what he is doing in the car," he told reporters. "There are an awful lot of drivers who would like to be sat in a Red Bull car, but he's there on merit, and whilst he delivers for the team he will have that place.
"The difficulty for Mark is that he is constantly judged against a young man in the other car who has achieved so much," the Englishman continued. "What he (Vettel) has done in just over 100 races, with 25 victories, three-time world champion, youngest points scorer, pole winner, race winner, champion, is remarkable.
"He's being constantly measured against a driver that is, in my view, the best of a generation, and that makes it harder for Mark.
"We're very happy with Mark going into what will be his seventh year with the team, the fifth consecutive year he will have been paired with Sebastian. He has demonstrated that on his day he can be unbeatable, and he does just need to string a campaign together... he's improved as he's matured. Last year he drove very well.
"If we didn't think he could still do it then we wouldn't have taken him for another year with the team."
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