Australian Webber came close to winning the championship in 2010, but ultimately it is his young teammate Sebastian Vettel who is the reigning back-to-back title winner, having utterly dominated last season.
And it is likely Adrian Newey has penned another field-beater yet again for 2012.
“I don’t want Red Bull to dominate in the same way but I fear that’s what will happen. That’s why I put my hopes on Mark Webber’s shoulders,” F1 chief executive Ecclestone said recently.
Webber turns 36 later this year and many tip Red Bull to replace him with one of rookie team Toro Rosso’s new chargers for 2013.
But Ecclestone insists it is not too late for the Australian.
“I think he could win, yes for sure,” he is quoted by the Herald Sun.
“I think you are going to see a different Mark this year. What he has to do is come to appreciate that Sebastian is quick, and he has to make sure he is quicker.
“(And) get it out of his head that people are not supporting him because they actually are.”