Webber ‘can take points off others’ – Marko image

(Inautonews.com/GMM) Mark Webber is headed into a backseat role for the rest of the 2011 world championship.

That is the controversial suggestion of Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko, who denies the Australian driver is already set to be Sebastian Vettel’s ‘number 2′ this season.

Vettel has had a meteoric start to the 2011 championship and after four races is 38 points ahead of Australian Webber, who sits third in the drivers’ standings.

“We do not have any team orders,” energy drink company Red Bull’s motor racing consultant Marko told Germany’s Sport Bild.

“But it’s a fact that, generally since Silverstone 2010, Mark has been three tenths of a second slower than Sebastian,” he said.

“That’s too slow to be able to win with his own steam. But if as in Turkey he races at a high level, he can take important points away from the others,” added Marko.

Webber is the only significant member of the Red Bull team whose contract beyond 2011 was not recently renewed.