Red Bull team manager Christian Horner has praised Mark Webber for not "crumbling" under the pressure from team-mate Sebastian Vettel in 2011.
Australian Webber, 35, finished third in the drivers' standings, 134 points behind two-time champion Vettel.
"Lesser drivers would have crumbled under that pressure but Mark isn't like that," Horner told BBC Look East.
"He uses the pressure to motivate himself and will come out really fired up for Melbourne in 2012."
Webber secured his only victory for the Milton Keynes-based team in last month's season-closing race in Brazil.
But apart from Italy, where he was forced to retire, he was always one of the first five past the chequered flag.
"He's a world-class driver," said Horner. "He's very strong mentally.
"He'll be focusing hard over the winter and will be determined to come back and have a really strong 2012."
However, Webber will need to produce something extra special in order to usurp Vettel as Red Bull's number one driver.
The German finished at least second in 16 out of the 19 Grands Prix on his way to retaining his title.
"Sebastian has been amazing this year," said Horner. "He's been absolutely faultless.
"To have won 11 races and finish second five times is the most remarkable season. He's a very deserving double-world champion."