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Webber confident in new race engineer

ESPN Staff
March 7, 2013 « Di Resta hopeful of breakthrough year in 2013 | Marussia still in negotiations with Ecclestone »
Mark Webber says his relationship with Simon Rennie has got off to a good start © Sutton Images
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Mark Webber says his change of race engineer will not affect his chances of challenging for the championship this year.

Over the winter, Webber's engineer for the past seven years, Ciaron Pilbeam, moved to Lotus while Kimi Raikkonen's 2012 engineer, Simon Rennie, moved the other way to take Pilbeam's place. Webber said his new team is fully motivated and believes it will be capable of challenging for the title.

"This is part of Formula One," he said. "Unfortunately there are sometimes changes but it's moved in a way so that everyone is still positive to work with and we have a fresh start and a new environment. Ciaron is happy to have a change of scenery as well and you don't want him to be unhappy where he is. So overall we still have a strong team and one that can challenge for the championship."

He added: "Ciaron was my engineer ever since I joined Red Bull, so all the results I've had have been with Ciaron and all the wins he's had in Formula One have been with me; we've had some really good times together. He chose to move to a different team and he'll be missed at Red Bull. But we have a great engineer in Simon Rennie who is coming from Lotus and has a very good pedigree. I've been working well with him in winter testing along with Gavin Ward, my performance engineer, and the three of us are starting off very quickly."

Webber believes the burden is now on him to maintain a high level of performance at each race and said that his long tenure at Red Bull has not changed his approach.

"It's very unusual for a driver to be in one team for so long," he said. "Seven years has actually happened fast! But for sure we have achieved some really good things and I have another opportunity this year to achieve some good things and get the last box ticked.

"I think that most of it comes down to me because if I'm not performing, I'm not fit or if I'm not well then for sure a top team doesn't want that driver. So that's my first job, to make sure I'm performing every single weekend of every year.

"Then of course I'm in the market and Red Bull have been keen to keep me, so that's been good and we're focusing now on a new season in which we want to beat everyone else. For sure I'm not looking too far ahead, and every year there is new challenges so we'll see how it goes."