Mark Webber predicts 'very tight' battle for victory in the Australian Grand Prix

Mark Webber is predicting a tight battle for victory in the season opening Australian Grand Prix, with teams still unsure about how well their preparations are going in winter testing

Mark Webber predicts 'very tight' battle for victory in the Australian Grand Prix

While many view Red Bull Racing and McLaren as favourites for victory in Melbourne, Webber insisted on Thursday that his team was feeling good about its progress - but was taking nothing for granted.

"We are all anxious to get to Melbourne eventually and see where all of our work is, but I think the team have done a phenomenal job in terms of preparation and working as hard as we can - and we just have to see if that is going to be enough," he said, after ending the first day of the Barcelona test fourth fastest.

"There are some phenomenal teams out there pushing very, very hard, like McLaren, Mercedes, Ferrari and Lotus as well. We are pretty happy so far, but that can change very quickly as you know in F1."

When asked about his prediction on how close the fight was likely to be in Australia, Webber said: "I think it is going to be really tight. The racing will be between several teams for sure and it is difficult to understand who is doing what at the moment, because we have such a big variation in fuel and tyre conditions and all sorts of stuff.

"You can analyse it until you are blue in the face but ultimately - even when we have done the race in Melbourne we need to go to Sepang and we need to get a picture on how the championship is unfolding.

"One 90 minute race in Albert Park won't be deciding the championship, it will be whoever can pull things together for the first part of the championship and come back with some decent points."

Webber believes Red Bull Racing had made some steps forward in getting a better understanding of the RB8 since last week's test - but he feels there is room to be even better.

"We are making progress, and there are so many things to obviously consider when we have a pretty condensed winter programme like all the teams have," he said.

"You need to get your priorities right and work on those as best you can, and that is where the experience comes in with the team like we have here.

"So it is going well in terms of what we want to test, but there are not enough hours in the day at the moment and I am sure we are not the only team doing that."

He added: "We have more boxes to tick for sure. We have some more data to gather, more crucial information to gather and that is important before we go racing because obviously at a race weekend it is harder to capture that data.

"So we are still going through that at the moment and the next three days it will be important to do that. There are definitely some boxes still to tick - but some of those boxes we hope are exciting, some might not be so exciting, and that is the way testing is."

shares
comments
Nico Rosberg believes delaying Mercedes F1 car debut was right decision

Previous article

Nico Rosberg believes delaying Mercedes F1 car debut was right decision

Next article

Romain Grosjean says Lotus F1 car feels as good as before

Romain Grosjean says Lotus F1 car feels as good as before
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Plus

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Plus

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021