Formula 1: Vettel favourite despite new rules, says Mark Webber


Mark Webber believes Sebastian Vettel is still the favourite next season to win a fifth consecutive Formula 1 world championship. There will be major rule changes in 2014 but Webber says Red Bull will surely adapt quickly to the new regulations. "Seb's the favourite for the drivers' championship," said Webber, who has recently quit Formula 1 to race for Porsche at Le Mans. "They'll be favourites for starting the season very strongly, which is probably not what people at home want to hear."

Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey disagrees, saying next year's regulations are "a fresh roll of the dice for everybody". In 2014, Formula 1 cars will have turbo-charged engines for the first time since 1988 and these will be fitted with energy-recovery systems. A whole list of aerodynamic changes have also been introduced and those will prevent Red Bull exploiting some of the areas in which they have dominated the Formula 1 world over the last few years.

But Webber said: "I think they are going to be very strong. It's an engine category next year more than probably a car/aerodynamic category, which is probably not a bad thing for some people. But there will also still be decent driver input, especially from a brainpower perspective in terms of pacing and managing and all the technology the cars are going to have next year, which will help Sebastian. That's right up his alley. Perfect for him."

The bookmakers agree with Mark Webber, here are the outright odds at Bet365 for the Formula 1 Drivers' Championship 2014:

Sebastian Vettel - 5/6
Lewis Hamilton - 4/1
Fernando Alonso - 11/2
Kimi Raikkonen - 10/1
Daniel Ricciardo - 14/1

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