Wednesday November 21st, 2001
Mark Webber has predicted that the Renault team will take Formula One by storm in their first season as a re-branded outfit in 2002.
Webber, who tested for the Benetton-Renault team last season, believes the improvement on-track towards the end of the last campaign will continue into next year when Benetton become solely Renault.
"I think Renault made a fantastic improvement during last season," Webber said in an interview with Eurosport's website. "If they keep improving at the rate they did last season they will start winning races next year.
"It will be hard, but if they can go forward from where they are now it would be a huge step."
Webber is currently in limbo as he is contracted to Renault boss Flavio Briatore, but could be out of a test drive with the team after another of Briatore's drivers Fernando Alonso was recalled from Minardi to test-drive for Renault in 2002.
Aussie Webber, however, could make a move in the opposite direction with Minardi looking for a replacement for Alonso. Webber indicated he would love to drive for the Anglo-Italian team.
"Paul (Stoddart - Minardi boss) is a man who has great ambitions," he added. "He is hungry to take the team forward and I hope that I can be a part of it next year, with me hopefully at Minardi."
Webber is currently in talks with Briatore and Stoddart, in a bid to resolve his immediate future before the winter testing ban ends in January.
Published at 11:31:59 GMT