Mark Webber speaks of ‘camaraderie’ with Vettel

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The multi 21 fiasco may have dominated the headlines recently, yet Mark Webber has now spoken of the respect that he and teammate Sebastian Vettel have for each other within the Red Bull setup.

Webber’s relationship with Vettel appeared to be at an all-time low following the incident in the Malaysian Grand Prix, which saw the defending world champion pass Webber for the lead against team orders. However, the Australian driver has suggested the opposite is true in a recent interview with IANS.

“Sebastian and I are a team and we share a great camaraderie,” Webber said.

“Sebastian is an experienced driver. Besides, we have a common goal as teammates to make our team proud.”

Webber suggested that it was the drivers’ duty to Red Bull to respect and push each other.

“We continue to respect each other and will continue to remain focused in wanting to make the team proud.”

Although rumors of an impending move to Porsche’s World Endurance Championship squad fail to go away, Webber is confident that he can still challenge for wins this season, and perhaps even the title.

“The goal is always to win. That’s what keeps me motivated on the tracks. I will give it my best shot and leave the rest to fate and destiny.”

These comments will certainly confuse many Formula One fans following the incident in Malaysia, although they may be nothing but empty words in order to draw attention away from the inter-team battle, thus easing the pressure on Mark Webber.

F1 2017 driver review: Sergio Perez

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Sergio Perez

Team: Sahara Force India
Car No.: 11
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P4 (Spain)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 1
Points: 100
Championship Position: 7th

While failing to hit the podium as he did in both 2015 and 2016, Sergio Perez once again finished the year as Formula 1’s leading midfield team driver, but faced a greater fight from within Force India in the shape of Esteban Ocon.

Perez has long been knocking on the door of F1’s top teams should an opportunity come up, and 2017 saw him continue his solid if unspectacular form. The dominance of Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari meant any finish higher than seventh was impressive, something he managed to do on five occasions.

But there were some missed opportunities along the way, most significantly in Baku. Force India had been quick all weekend, with Perez charging to sixth on the grid, and when drama struck at the front, he and teammate Ocon were eyeing a podium finish as a minimum.

Contact between the two forced Perez to retire and prompted Ocon to pit for repairs, leaving the team without the top-three finish it targeted heading into the season. With Lance Stroll taking P3 for Williams and Daniel Ricciardo winning the race, a maiden victory for Force India was not out of the realm of imagination.

Perez and Ocon came to blows on a number of occasions, with the final straw coming in Spa when they twice touched on-track, prompting Force India to introduce team orders. Perez finished the year 13 points clear of Ocon in the final standings, meeting his own pre-season target of 100 points, yet the Frenchman had arguably made the bigger impression at Force India through his first full season in F1.

Force India remains the top underdog in F1 with Perez spearheading its charge, but it is difficult to see either taking the final step to becoming true contenders at the front of the field anytime soon, as solid as their displays have been.

Season High: P4 in Spain after retirements for the ‘big three’.

Season Low: Losing a sure-fire podium, if not a win, in Baku after contact with Ocon.