Q & A with Mark Webber

Q. You had your first mechanical retirement of the season at Hockenheim, and even that wasn't the car's fault. You must be really pleased with that?

Q & A with Mark Webber

Mark Webber: So far, so good. I was really surprised to see smoke from the back of the car because it has been a long time since we stopped on track. I copped a large bit of debris from Timo Glock's car and that split the oil radiator instantaneously.

Q. How close were you to the crash?

MW: Not that close. I stayed on full throttle the whole time because I knew he was on the right well away from me. I got a lot of debris when he first went in because it was across the whole track and I couldn't miss it. I thought I was very unlucky with the debris - I wasn't thinking too much about it.

When I went through Nico Rosberg's debris at Monaco, I thought for sure I'd picked something up because that was such a different ballgame. Anyway, the good thing was that Timo was OK because the back is always a very important part not to get injured.

Q. You were very strong at Silverstone in particular - Hungaroring is a very different type of circuit. Do you think you can get the same kind of performance on a slow track?

MW: I hope so. The car has been pretty quick at every track with the exception of Hockenheim - we struggled there, particularly in the second sector. A lot of that was - we're down a bit on horsepower. We hope that a lot of corners here might be a good thing.

But in Monte Carlo - I would say that was our least competitive outing even though I got a result there because Sunday was a different type of race. If it was a dry normal race, in Monaco we would have struggled. We have got a few unanswered questions ourselves about this kind of circuit. We're looking forward to see how we go on Saturday and Sunday.

Q. Renault are often running with trimmed back wing to help them in the races - are you doing the same?

MW: Yes. You have to make sure that you're protected in the races which makes Sundays sometimes a bit harder because you are working the tyres harder in the races. Power is always a beautiful thing to have!

Q. How much testing of the 2009 aero have you done?

MW: I did a full day in Jerez last week. It was very good in terms of data collection for us, we did a lot of laps on the slicks. A lot of teams are still getting their heads around how they are going to get the aero back and how it's going to work. It's the normal thing with a big regulation change - everyone will find out in Melbourne. It went relatively smoothly - it's still early days on the slicks learning about them but they're totally useable. It's a very good decision they made to keep the tyre blankets in.

Q. What's your initial feeling of what it's going to be like for you next year?

MW: It's going to be pretty quick I think. The cars aren't going to be slower, that's for sure. I think they're going to be faster than this year, especially with KERS. We will be increasing the speed of the cars for all.

Q. So next year is into the unknown?

MW: We have no idea. It is really flipping ten coins and see where the teams are. By the looks of it, eight of the ten teams are going for Magneti Marelli with KERS, McLaren and BMW are doing their own thing. There's KERS and whoever decides to run it - some teams are running parallel programmes to see if a KERS car will win in Melbourne. Naturally, there are a lot of people who would like to see it delayed for another season just to see - they've been pushing hard since the announcement was made. But phasing it in in the heat of battle is a big undertaking - some teams are spending £50 million on KERS. That's a massive expensive.

Q. Is there a a degree of excitement, or a degree of apprehension going into next season? Now your challenging for third - would you prefer not to change?

MW: For us it's better if we stay as it is, but it's not going to happen. I am not excited about KERS at all. The regulation changes are alright. To take on the teams we've taken on this year is a real credit to Red Bull. We've silenced a lot of critics in terms of reliability. We've gone out and delivered and haven't made excuses for ourselves. We've still got eight races to go and we have to continue to do that but the team can take a lot of satisfaction. We're doing something right and I think obviously the racing hasn't been too bad this year.

My opinion is that next year the racing will be so much more spread out because people will be getting used to the rules. The spectacle won't be as good in the short-term. Whenever you change the rules, some people get it wrong and some people get it right. If you look at the last 30 races how far apart the grid has been, it's a real good reflection that they've made a lot of good decisions. Maybe doing it in one hit is a good thing - all the best to the commentators who have to explain everything that's going on in a Grand Prix next year!

Q. What are you hoping for for the rest of the season?

MW: It would be an absolutely massive celebration if we could get back into fourth and hold onto it. It's a tall order, but not impossible. We're within a point in it. We need two cars to do that - that's the only way we can do it because Glock isn't hanging around when he has a good day and Nelson just picked up eight points. Both David and I need to operate every weekend on the back of the BMWs, which is 7th end 8th. If we can be there, we should do it. But it's so easy to say that.

Q. Is there a large amount of pressure because of the difference in the financial rewards between, say, fourth and sixth in the constructors' championship?

MW: It is significant - it would be nice to get it. Dietrich is very keen on it. There's always pressure, we've been told that's what we've got to try and achieve. But I don't think he's going to sack 200 people if we finish fifth! It's a game as well.

Webber: Red Bull must score with both cars

Previous article

Webber: Red Bull must score with both cars

Next article

Q & A with Nelsinho Piquet

Q & A with Nelsinho Piquet
Load comments
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Plus

Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Plus

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of “glory” if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1’s other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021
The F1 media favourite who lifted a broken Lotus Plus

The F1 media favourite who lifted a broken Lotus

Graham Hill was nearly 30 when he made his Formula 1 debut. NIGEL ROEBUCK examines the life of a gifted racer whose talismanic personality defined an era

Formula 1
Sep 11, 2021