Vettel team leader and Webber number two - Berger

By on Saturday, April 16, 2011

Apr.16 (GMM) Sebastian Vettel continues to grow while Mark Webber is slipping into a subordinate role at Red Bull.

That is the view of Gerhard Berger, who was 23-year-old reigning world champion and championship leader Vettel's first F1 team boss at Toro Rosso a few years ago.

"He wanted to be the youngest champion, the first for Red Bull, he wanted to be better than his teammate Mark Webber -- he has succeeded on all counts," the Austrian ten-time grand prix winner Berger told Welt newspaper.

He said the young German is destined for greatness while Australian Webber is slipping into a Rubens Barrichello-like role when the Brazilian was Michael Schumacher's reluctant number 2 at Ferrari.

"It looks like it," Berger was quoted as saying on Saturday, as Vettel soared to a third consecutive pole in China while Webber bowed out in Q1.

"Sebastian was already faster last season but in the mid-season had a little slump. Now there is a huge gap between them. The roles are clear," he insisted.

Berger speculated that it is "difficult to cope mentally" for Webber, having seen Vettel and 50 other important team members including Adrian Newey and Christian Horner all extending their contracts.

"When it's not going so well, the pressure is great, from the team, the fans, the media.

"I think the time will come when Webber wins races again because he is an excellent driver, but overall the picture is Vettel as team leader, absolutely," he said.

Berger also commented on Lewis Hamilton's recent claim that Red Bull is "only a drinks maker".

"That's the nicest compliment he could make. They have beaten the car manufacturers at their own game," he said.

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