by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 36
5 Minutes with ... Mark Webber The Aussie F1 ace talksWILL BUXTON through the recent past and the exciting future finishes so that was rewarding for us. Trying at times, yes, and of course when it’s trying you learn. It’s the whole thing. In junior categories I didn’t learn much when I was winnin – but you learn a lot when you get your arse kicked. GPWEEK: Mark, a season of highs and lows – talk us through it … MARK WEBBER: Well, we started off and if you’d asked me that question after nine races, it was going really well. We’d scored a lot of points finishes and it was nice to be able to fight with Fernando quite often, which was an interesting one for us as we had the same engine and things like that. And then we did have a tough time across the summer in terms of the softer compounds, a few street tracks thrown in there, and we were never really competitive at those tracks, so unfortunately we didn’t get as many points as we had at the start of the year. I still feel that I have driven well this year in myself. I feel I’ve got most of the opportunities out of the car that have been there and overall it doesn’t matter if you’re Raikkonen or Hamilton, we don’t have 18 perfect Sundays and Saturdays. I’m surprised we’re seventh in the constructors’ championship but the scoreboard never lies. That’s where we are and it’s disappointing, But I was talking to someone from Honda the other day and they said they were 1.5s off the pace when they finished fourth in the championship and that’s where we are now. The midfield group is just so tight, and we’ve dropped off the back of it, unfortunately, through not scoring enough points. Would you say it’s been more of a trying season or a learning season? I wouldn’t say it’s been massively trying. It’s been trying in part but not all of it. It’d be very harsh to say it’s been trying for the whole year because we had some really strong weekends where we executed some good points 20 It’s a strong team and having guys like Adrian Newey and Geoff Willis on board must help hugely with confidence as you move towards the future. How important do you think they are to your chances of success in 2009? We’re so close but yet so far, obviously, and I think that the new huge regulation change next year is something that, although everyone in the pit-lane is saying it’s a huge opportunity, I hope it’s our chance to make a difference. It’s like boxers saying “I can do this and he’s going to be rubbish” – all the teams are pretty decent in Formula 1. They all know what they’re doing but having said that we need to do a very, very good job with the regs and go back to that path that Red Bull was showing at the start of this season in terms of development as a team. To do what we were doing at the start of the year was bloody good, because we knew how tight and competitive it was. So if we can get back to being at the front part of that group again, that’s what we’ve got to aim at again next year. Do you think the fact that the regulations are changing so much could affect the racing? As you said, a few years ago 1.5s was the difference between first and fourth, while it’s now the difference between first and last. Yes I think next year, certainly early doors, we’ll have a spread out grid because people will be getting their heads around the new regs. Later on in the season it will close up a bit, but the category has never ever been closer than it is now. We’ve had some great races in the 70s and 80s, of course, but in terms of how close the times are from the front to the back, it’s as close as it’s ever been. The reg changes are clearly aimed at trying to help overtaking so if you forget the discrepancy from front to back in terms of time, and we have a lot of overtaking, then that will improve the show. If we have the whole field covered by half a second but nobody overtakes the show is still going to be poor. A new team-mate for you next year. How much are you looking forward to working with Vettel? Yeah, I’ve had a few in my career, so another one … another German! I’ve had two Germans in the past, Heidfeld and Rosberg, so it’s my third German. To be fair I probably get on with him, in terms of leading into a relationship, best of any of the other guys. I’m looking forward to working with him – obviously he’s a hot talent and its very fortunate for Red Bull to finally win one of the young drivers out of their scheme. He’s an exciting guy for the future. I’m looking forward to it. From what you know of him what will he bring to the team? Well the consistency is important. He’s consistently quick at a lot of the venues we go to, so hopefully together we can extract some good points. You’re playing a crucial role with the GPDA. With KERS coming in next season there have been a lot of safety issues raised. Are you happy the issues have been overcome? I think they’ll sort themselves out. We’re going to have a few problems I’m sure, but will they be any problems that actually harm anyone? Unlikely, I would hope. We’ve got a lot of trust in the teams and that they’re going to be strapping us into a car that’s going to be safe for us with a KERS system – and for the marshals as well. So long as everyone is briefed and everyone understands [it’ll be fine] because it’s such a pioneering system, people maybe won’t give too much away on what they have in terms of how it’s working. It’s a fine line between getting enough out of them to see that everything is safe enough, and not getting too much because they want to keep their secrets. Finally, over the winter what are your plans? Well, I’ve just worked out that I’ve got two days of driving in 14 weeks! So I think I’ll be buying a go kart ...