Mark Webber is emerging as the favourite to win the 2010 world championship.
That is the belief of Mercedes reserve driver Nick Heidfeld, after seeing Webber’s second pole position within a week on Saturday.
Webber, 33, still lags his highly-favoured teammate Sebastian Vettel in the points standings, but won dominantly in Barcelona and is the favourite to hang onto first place in Monaco on Sunday.
He is 3:3 in his 2010 qualifying battle with Vettel, and now has the momentum of recent success, Heidfeld told German television Sky.
“We all know how strong Sebastian is,” said the German, “but Mark is now beating him. It’s his third pole position.
“More and more he is evolving into the world championship favourite,” added Heidfeld.
Also impressed with Webber is retired ten time winner Gerhard Berger, who is in the Principality this weekend and has spent time watching the cars from a trackside vantage point.
“What is great is that the driver can still make a big difference here,” said the Austrian. “At the chicane Webber is really very good — very aggressive, fast.
“We are seeing that it is not only the car but also the driver,” added Berger.
And triple world champion Niki Lauda told Kleine Zeitung: “Right now he (Webber) is almost unbeatable.
“Vettel’s problem is that suddenly his greatest enemy is within his own team, just as it was with myself at McLaren with Alain Prost,” added the Austrian.