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Webber will be stronger in 2011 - Coulthard

ESPNF1 Staff
November 16, 2010 « Young drivers ready to make their mark | »
David Coulthard on the flight from Abu Dhabi to Salzburg with Red Bull © Getty Images

Red Bull advisor David Coulthard is convinced Mark Webber will be even stronger next year and says he has already begun to patch up his relationship with team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

After his failed push for No.1 status this year, and now the loss of the drivers' championship to Vettel, speculation was once again rife that Webber might quit F1 over the winter. But Coulthard, Webber's former team-mate, insists "there is no doubt in my mind" Webber will stay at Red Bull.

"There are 119 days before the next season kicks off and he will go away and reflect on what worked and what didn't. He will come back stronger," Coulthard wrote in his Daily Telegraph column.

There are also signs that Webber has been patching up his strained relationship with his young team-mate. They travelled on the same plane from Abu Dhabi for the Red Bull title celebrations in Salzburg, and Coulthard was there to witness it.

He said: "I know they spent a whole hour after the race in the drivers' room talking it all over, which from Sebastian's perspective is quite a thing when you have just won the world championship and everyone is outside getting drunk."

Coulthard said that on the plane "Sebastian and Mark sat next to each other and dozed and talked."

But before Webber bounces back next year, his father expects him to enjoy a rare holiday and even a few indulgences, after working hard in 2010 to keep his 6 foot frame below 75 kilograms.

"He'll recover and he might actually have a bit of a holiday," his father Alan told the Canberra Times. "He'll maybe put a little bit of weight on and have to work hard in February to get it off again. He's not getting any younger but if he relaxes and has a great off-season he'll come back very strong."

There is, however, some speculation that it was Webber's call not to be involved with the first testing of the Pirelli tyres late this week.

And he is quoted by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport: "This was perhaps not my last chance to be world champion, but surely it was my best."