Williams: Webber now a title contender

Mark Webber has developed himself into a genuine world championship contender judging by the run of form that has seen him emerge as the man of the moment

Williams: Webber now a title contender

That is the view of his former team boss Frank Williams, who thinks that the Australian's back-to-back pole positions in Spain and Monaco shows he now has the speed and confidence to take the fight to team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

And Williams, who has never been afraid to speak out when it comes to rating drivers, has admitted that his team got it wrong in thinking Webber was not up to the job when it ran him in 2005 and 2006.

"When we had him our car was a disappointment, and we felt that he was part of the problem - but he probably wasn't actually with hindsight," said Williams at Monaco.

"He has developed himself, believed in himself I am sure, and probably charmed everyone around him at Red Bull.

"Mark has risen, there is no question. It shows in equal cars that Mark is on top form, providing Vettel is also on top form. It is pretty even-stevens actually."

Williams thinks that part of Webber's step forward has come from him being better able to deal with pressure.

"Two or three years ago I would have said that Mark put himself under too much pressure, but I don't see any evidence of that now looking from the outside," he said. "He is cool and calm within himself, and what you are seeing is real."

And although Williams may be kicking himself for letting Webber slip through his team's fingers, he says he is overjoyed about the run of form that the Australian is displaying.

"I can honestly say, no bulls***, I am delighted," said Williams. "He has worked very hard. He is as straight as they come - I've seen him in airports and when people stop him he has all the time for them. He's very impressive."

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