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Marko Watch: For those new to TJ13, we have fans in 132 different countries on the look out for the regular and dastardly mischief making in which Helmut Marko and Niki Lauda frequently engage.
All is not well for Helmut, he is beginning to wear the cut a forlorn figure in present times. Last week Lauda Watch saw Niki rustling up a mean looking posse to confront the good Austrian doctor. As if that wasn’t enough for Marko to contend with – he needs to watch his back. There’s dissent within his own ranks.
For those of you who were sleeping or skiing (or both), here’s the puggish put down Marko delivered to (as Mrs. Judge describes him) ‘the lovely Mark’ – a week or so ago.
“It seems to me that Webber has on average two races per year where he is unbeatable, but he can’t maintain this form throughout the year. And as soon as his prospects start to look good in the world championship, he has a little trouble with the pressure that this creates.
“In comparison with Seb’s rising form, it seems to me that Mark’s form somehow flattens out. Then, if some technical mishap occurs, like with the alternator for example, he falls relatively easily into a downward spiral.”
The apparently oppressed and down trodden Webber (handle: @AussieGrit) today strikes back with a dismissive slap in the face for the unofficial mouth piece of Mr. D. Mateschitz.
“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,” says @AussieGrit
Having summarily disposed of the irritating mosquito by means of a clipped sentence, Webber continues without breaking stride, “I’m sure we’ve got another exciting and challenging season ahead, and it’ll be interesting to see who comes out of the gates strongly; you might get an inkling from pre-season testing to the form book but it’s only when we arrive in Melbourne for the first race that the gloves really come off.
“I’m certainly looking forward to getting my hands on the RB9 and I also have a new race engineer in Simon Rennie. 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. I’m looking forward to starting the season in Australia having prepared very well for it over the past two months. But it’s clear there’s no point getting too far ahead of yourself, so it’s a case of taking each week, test and race as it comes.”
You may remember Kimi and Mark exchanged gifts over Christmas with the Finn’s engineer being offered to Webber – as his new personal valet to up the ante in the ongoing ‘Battle Royale’ with Vettel. Then in a typical Aussie reciprocal act of respect and appreciation, Mark in turn sent his manservant, Ciaron Pilbeam, across to Enstone to provide his friend with any assistance he in turn may require. This was a pleasant moment of selflessness in the otherwise cut throat world of F1, where it’s ‘dog eat dog’.
‘The lovely Mark’ ironically fell off his push bike in 2008 and the resulting break of the leg required a large metal rod be inserted for support. This was removed over the festive break.
Mrs. Judge and all other Mark Webber fans will be pleased to know that despite a short hospitalisation, @AussieGrit is back meaner, leaner and a a fair bit lighter than before. “The surgery went very smoothly and my recovery was exceptional. I had a few weeks off from my normal training schedule but I was able to ease myself back into it by the first week of January and now I’m back into it properly.
“I didn’t really know what to expect from having it removed, apart from my own peace of mind, but I’m very happy that some of the niggles and pain I’ve sometimes experienced with my training over the past three years already seem to be a thing of the past.”
photo tweeted by @AussieGrit from his recovery bed