Webber sticks the knife in

13/02/2007
NEWS STORY

At a time when his own car is hardly setting the F1 world alight, Mark Webber has chosen to focus his attention on his old team, Williams.

The Australian, who in recent times has gained a reputation as a whiner, claims that his former team is on a slippery slope and that having switched to Toyota powerplants is now doomed to serve as the Japanese manufacturer's 'B' team.

"There will be denials but there is a feeling that a B team is how it is," he told the Sydney Morning Herald. "They'll work hard to beat Toyota, but Toyota in Japan will prefer any success to come to the factory team."

Since the launch of its 2007 contender, the FW29, Williams has enjoyed something of a resurgence, with Nico Rosberg and Alex Wurz usually on the pace, or thereabouts. The same can not be said of Red Bull.

Although the pairing of Webber and Williams promised much it delivered little, the loss of BMW at the end of 2005, halfway through his two-year contract not helping matters. However, though the British team had a dreadful season in 2006, causing Patrick Head to admit he was "ashamed" by its performance, Webber never looked likely to 'do a Schumacher' and drag the team up by its shoulder-straps.

Now, much like Juan Pablo Montoya before him, who virtually blamed Frank Williams for his lack of fitness, Webber appears to be sticking the knife in.

"They might have new engines, but not a lot has changed in the structure," said the Australian. "There's no real reason why the results should be any different for them this year.

"I thought I would go to Williams and then finish my career at Williams," he added. "But it was a tough gig for the credibility of a lot of people. That's what happens when there's such a huge drop in form."

Bet there's a few (ageing) Australian, former Formula Ford racers that wouldn't have minded a shot with Williams… had they been given the chance.

Anyway, what's the betting that Williams finishes ahead of Toyota and Red Bull this season?

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Published: 13/02/2007
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