Formula 1 legend Sir Jackie Stewart believes Mark Webber can still win this year’s title – but only if he remains mentally strong.
The Aston Clinton-based Red Bull driver currently sits second in the championship, two points ahead of team mate Sebastian Vettel and 40 points behind leader Fernando Alonso of Ferrari.
Sir Jackie, who lives near Butler’s Cross, believes the title is Webber’s for the taking provided that he learns from his 2010 mistakes – where he effectively lost the title by failing to get the results he needed in the final few races.
The three-time world champion said: “Yes he can win it this year, Mark Webber is just at the right age to be able to deliver it.
“And this year he has the capacity to do it and a bit more experience. Mark Webber is very tough mentally, hard working and of course all the girls love him.
“At the moment Alonso has the biggest chance, but we are just halfway through the racing season. There are nine races still to run and Webber has the Red Bull team behind him.”
However, Sir Jackie has warned his fellow Aylesbury Vale-based driver to stay strong and keep calm behind the wheel as he attempts to close the gap.
“Emotions are very dangerous, certainly I found that if you remove the emotion completely I did a better job.
“Alonso does that well out of the current crop of racing drivers. But Mark Webber can also do that.”
This weekend Formula One heads to Belgium, an F1 race which Webber has never won.
Webber said: “It’s an absolutely spectacular circuit and the drivers all love going there.
“It’s one of the few places in the world where you feel the track is laughing at the cars.”
Testing takes place on Thursday, practice is on Friday and qualifying starts Saturday.