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Webber seeking Monaco F1 tonic
Ian Parkes
06:17 AEST Wed May 22 2013

Mark Webber is hoping the comfort of Monaco will help him get his Formula One title challenge back on track.

Webber has so far endured a troubled season, with its low point the sorry saga in Malaysia where he was deprived of a win by Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel's decision to ignore team orders.

The 36-year-old Australian has suffered other woes to leave him sixth in the drivers' standings, 47 points adrift of three-time champion and current pacesetter Vettel.

If Webber is to have any hope of mounting a charge, he has to start this weekend in F1's blue-riband event, the Monaco Grand Prix, where he has taken the chequered flag twice in the past three years.

"It's always been a good track for me," said Webber, whose 2010 win remains one of his best memories.

"I won there in Formula 3000, and I've had my couple of wins in Formula One.

"It probably goes back to my street-racing experience in Adelaide in Formula Ford. I'm comfortable on street circuits, although I can't translate it to Singapore yet. I don't know why.

"As for Monaco, it's still a daunting place, a very challenging venue. I'm not saying you are on holiday there.

"But when I'm out there, I don't know what makes me feel as comfortable as I do."

Webber, though, starts far from favourite for a hat-trick of wins as Mercedes are expected to mop up the front row, which they did in Spain 10 days ago, and make it four pole positions in a row.

"If Mercedes retain their one-lap pace and hang it out the front, then it will make it an interesting race," added Webber, whose F1 career remains very much in the balance.

Team principal Christian Horner recently stated no decision will be made on who partners Vettel next year until the summer.

The feeling is, given the furore that erupted in Malaysia and the ongoing lack of team harmony and unity between Vettel and Webber, the Australian is facing the end of the line this year with Red Bull.

The next few races seemingly represent make or break for Webber.

Asked by Sky Sports News if they (next races) were an opportunity, or increased pressure on Webber to stake his claim for 2014, Horner replied: "It's probably both.

"At the end of the day, there is pressure to perform, but that exists for all the drivers.

"Monaco is a circuit Mark enjoys and excels at so hopefully he can have a very strong run there."

As to whether Webber stays or goes, Horner added: "If Mark is delivering, motivated and has the desire to continue, as a driver we know and has achieved so much with us, we'll consider very, very closely.

"But no decisions will be made about drivers until later in the summer."