The likelihood of imminent 'number 1' status for Mark Webber has taken a backwards step.

The likelihood of imminent 'number 1' status for Mark Webber has taken a backwards step.

After the Australian moved further ahead of Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel in Belgium two weeks ago, he suggested the time might be nearing for the team to put its eggs in the Webber basket.

However, the 34-year-old has a tetchy relationship with team consultant Dr Helmut Marko, particularly after the Silverstone front wing saga and Webber's unhappy boast that he is the "number 2 driver".

So when it was put to Austrian Dr Marko that Webber might now be favoured over Vettel, he told Sportwoche: "A few races ago he (Webber) was demanding more equality!"

Marko is also critical of McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh's post-Belgium comments that Vettel has become F1's "crash kid".

"That's not a fair way for them to fight for the championship," he charged.

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Marko hints preferred status unlikely for Webber