Webber: Piquet & Nakajima are no use

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Mark Webber has given an amusingly frank assessment of F1 rookies Nelson Piquet Jnr and Kazuki Nakajima. Asked how well his Red Bull team would fare compared to Renault and Williams he replied:

We have two drivers. Williams and Renault have only one. We must extract the full potential from the current car as quickly as possible.

It’s fair to say he’s probably not talking about Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso.

He may be proved right but I think it’s too early to judge either of them – particularly Piquet, who’s bound to be race-rusty after a year of testing.

And we must keep in mind that after Lewis Hamilton’s impressive debut last year expectations of what a rookie can achieve in Formula 1 have been raised.

Red Bull have four points in the constructors’ championships from Webber’s two seventh places. Williams have 10 and Renault eight.

Which makes me wonder is Webber really talking about Piquet and Nakajima – or are his comments an indirect way of putting pressure on his own team mate, David Coulthard? After all, Coulthard has scored as many points as Piquet – zero – and been involved in two collisions more fitting of rookie than a driver with 231 Grand Prix starts to his name.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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25 comments on “Webber: Piquet & Nakajima are no use”

  1. Nakajima has scored three points.

  2. Might have to offer you a job as a proof reader Don! Fixed, thanks.

  3. He should have kept his mouth shut… It’s the kind of declaration that, even if proved right, only shows how unpleasant he is… That would only make sense if either of them were direct contenders, and he wanted to play a "mind game". In a way, Renault and Williams are Red Bull main rivals, so, he might have his reasons :)

  4. Ah, I see the pressure is getting to boyo Webber.  It must be hard, being referred to constantly as part of the most experienced pairing in F1 – and for "experienced", read "way past sell-by date"…

    Nakajima’s doing fine.  As well as his three points, he is avoiding the usual Japanese driver’s weakness of crashing through over-excitement.  A few more races and he’ll be giving Webber something to think about.

    And Piquet is improving steadily.

  5. Not sure about Piquet as he was one of the 2006 GP2 title contenders. But surely not surprised about Nakaz. Webber is sure that Redbull has to fight with Alonso and Rosberg not with Williams F1 team and Renault F1 team.

  6. And what exactly has Mark Webber done during his illustrious career? Zero victories, two podiums in 106 career starts.

    Webber is the most overrated driver on the F1 grid. I’m so sick of hearing how he’s the best driver on the grid without a win, how if he only was in a good car, about how he’s such a hard man on the track.


  7. Of course F1 is all about money and backing. There are drivers who has got backings and some talent excel in F1 and some with no talent but backing still excel.

    In common if a driver has got a good backing and some talent then he is a F1 meterial for the teams.

  8. A think that Webber says about the short experience of Nakajima and Piquet in F1. Not so much about the driver´s quality. For instance, Mclaren drivers are very good. But both have only one year experience. An that for sure affects the Mclaren team a little…
    PS:Keith,  I´m awfully sorry about my typing mistakes,

  9. Don’t worry about it – loads of people whose first language isn’t English post here, and I can’t write well in any other languages so I’m not going to criticise them!

  10. I don’t think Webber has ever won a championship in his life.  I don’t rate him as a driver, while he’s shown flashes of speed he’s also shown himself to be a dirty driver given the opportunities.

    I’d rather see Piquet or Nakajima given a chance than someone who’s just jealous because the big teams didn’t offer him a chance.  And there’s probably a reason for that…

  11. Go Mark!  This is my he is one of my favorite drivers!

  12. It seems we’ve traded someone who can’t qualify but can race (in Wurz) for someone who can do neither :(

    At least Kaz has time on his side to learn though.

  13. I thnk it is indeed very early to judge either of the two drivers that Webber mentions in his comments here, espicialy given the crummy car Renault is operating with currently. In my opinion, he has little ground to judge other drivers from- given that he’s never gotten a win yet in F1- but perhaps his remarks are indeed an indicator of disappointment at Red Bull more than anything else.

    Red Bull has plenty of cash, good facilities, experienced drivers, and Adrian Newey in the design office- that normally adds up to a far better perofrmance than what they have displayed this season. It will be interesting to see where they go with the changes to the car in time for the Spanish GP.

  14. Nakajima is there because it guarantees Williams decent Toyota engines and Piquet Jr is providing Briatore with an object lesson in why messing about with drivers to solve a technical problem doesn’t work. Even if neither of them could drive out of the pit garage (and plainly both of them can), they would be of use to their respective teams.

  15. Mark Webber always say things like he sees it, he not afraid to ruffle a few feathers.

    I think it is great that there are still drivers around who can speak their minds. (I’am not implying that he is necessary correct in his assessments, but he has a right to what he wants and does it.)

  16. Hear, hear Melanie.

  17. Yes it is good that a driver can be open and honest? – if only his racing could do the talking – then I might listen  – just wait until he is in another racing incident and hear who he blames for that one

  18. But…

    Renault and Williams scored many many points at an unusual race… so the standings should not be considerer…

    Red Bull is faster then Renault and they’re not ahead in the championship…

  19. The day that Mark Webber gets soundly beaten by his teammate is the day that he becomes over-rated and past it. Would Kimi or Fernando won titles for Jaguar, Williams or Red Bull in the past few years?

  20. Well put, Mark.

    Like Nick Heidfeld, Webber has the talent to be a world champion, but he has just never been in the right team.

    But I’m not holding my breath, Mark has only been on the podium twice, has never been on pole, and has never won a race, is Mark destined to become a journeyman?

  21. I´m a Mark Fan. But a friend call him Mark Marketing.
    I don´t agree, but it is funny…

  22. Webber’s a waste of space. You could put him in a Ferrari or a McLaren and he still wouldn’t make a podium.

    1. Oh really ? ALWAYS look at drivers in the same car as the comparison. If you’d done that, you wouldn’t have mad such a stupid comment.

      Webber beats his teammates over a season virtually EVERY season. Including Rosberg, Heidfeld, Coulthard. Use your brain and check Formula1.com historical results.

      Will we see Vettel added to that list this year ? the kid is a huge talent and he is basically neck and neck with Mark on points. Who expected that ? this is Marks toughest year for sure, and he is coming through. He was outqualified again for Monza, but only by one grid spot. Who knows if he will end up in front by the end of the race

      When the car is right, there are maybe ten fantastic drivers in F1 who can win races and maybe even championships.

  23. This reminds me of Brundle, a few years back while commentating on a race in Coulthards last year at Mclaren. Mclaren wanted to release Coulthard because he wasn’t giving them the results they desired, and Brundle being his manager was of course doing all the public relations freely on live tv. Cutting a long story short, Brundle felt because Coulthard did all his public relations duties well for the team, he deserved to be retained by Mclaren.

    Back to Webber. Yes he shows occassional speed and "skill" but what has he achieved? Director of the GPDA? Which is just about the same Coulthard is busying himself with at the moment.

    I’m not saying driver and circuit safety isnt important, but for goodness sakes, the teams are paying the drivers to drive the cars and deliver, not to have driver associations and industrial actions.

    Is he trying to label himself as one of the greats with such patronizing comments? Why couldnt he develop Williams into a winning team like Rosberg is doing right now?
    He may have had talent, but his age is begining to show.

  24. It’s funny reading comments a long time after they were written!

    Rosberg didn’t turn Williams into a winning team, Webber was put into a car capable of winning and scored two wins and several podiums. And Nakajima and Piquet are not in F1 anymore.

    Not trying to criticize anyone, I would have probably agreed with most people on here back then. Just pointing out what a beautiful thing hindsight is!

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