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F1 NEWS 

Mark Webber shrugs off Helmut Marko's criticism

Mark Webber Helmut MarkoMark Webber has shrugged off Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko's criticism of his driving and mental strength, saying he is well aware of the Austrian's opinion of him.

Marko recently told Red Bull's in-house Red Bulletin magazine that Webber "falls into a downward spiral" when confronted with team-mate Sebastian Vettel's pace or mechanical problems and cannot cope with the pressure of being a Formula 1 title contender.

In an interview for his personal website, Webber said Marko's disparaging view came as little surprise.

"Look, everyone at this level has their own agendas and it's been evident for a long time now that I've never been a part of Marko's," he said.

Webber's long-time race engineer Ciaron Pilbeam left Red Bull over the winter to take up a new role with Lotus. Simon Rennie moves in the other direction to replace him having previously worked with Kimi Raikkonen.

Asked about his 2013 expectations, Webber said getting up to speed with Rennie would be a critical part of pre-season testing.

"I'm certainly looking forward to getting my hands on the RB9 and I also have a new race engineer in Simon Rennie," he said.

"It's going to be important to have a solid pre-season with him after spending some six years with Ciaron Pilbeam who I had a long and enjoyable relationship with, but he's no longer with the team."

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