Exclusive - Coulthard and Webber on 2007 26 Nov 2007
Red Bulls Mark Webber and David Coulthard may have been two of the most experienced drivers on the 2007 grid, but they were also two of the unluckiest. The Adrian Newey-designed RB3 had its problems, but by mid-season both Coulthard and Webber were enjoying improved pace and reliability, even though, on paper, results were few and far between.
Both men, however, have taken great heart from Red Bulls 07 campaign and hope they can garner much more from 2008
David Coulthard, Red Bull
Championship position: 10th (14 points)
Best race result: 4th (x1), Best qualifying: 5th (x1)
Ultimately you measure success by the points scored and the results on track. The desire is to win Grand Prix and based on that, we havent achieved as much as wed have liked to. But, that said, it was always going to be a road of discovery this year as Adrian Newey got to understand what tools he had available to use at Red Bull.
Hed previously been accustomed to McLaren systems, which hed been involved in creating and when he came to Red Bull he inherited a system that was already in place. There were a number of results which initially came out of Red Bulls wind tunnel, which didnt necessarily show the same results as those on the race track. The team needed to learn what the difference was and, as the years gone on, weve understood that a lot better.
Looking to next year and the development of the new car, this gives me a lot of confidence that well be able to take the next step needed to get better results. We have a continuing relationship with Renault for 2008, which has worked very well, and we will continue to use Bridgestone tyres. The team's looking good - it's grown and were getting to the point where we have the man-power necessary to develop the car to be very competitive in Formula One.
The general trend of the year has been that Mark (Webber) has been generally a bit quicker in qualifying and Ive been a bit quicker in races. We have had some problems with reliability and some incidents on track, but thats racing. We finished in front of Honda and Toyota in the constructors championship, two major manufacturers who have been investing in F1 for a number of years, so we have to take some positives from that.
I love Grand Prix racing, so Ive really enjoyed having all the opportunities this year to go racing on a Sunday. Of course, there have been some frustrations with reliability, and Ive made some mistakes on track, such as in Australia when I crashed into Alex Wurz but, that said, Ive been really pushing and doing the best I can out on track to help the team move forward, using my experience.
The teams growing, theres a lot of good people within Red Bull Racing and lots of employees that have come from other teams and moved up into higher roles within Red Bull. Theyve stepped up and grown into their new roles, so its an exciting time. Thats one of the things I love to see off track - how you can bring hundreds of people together working in harmony towards one common goal.
Mark Webber, Red Bull
Championship position: 12th (10 points)
Best race result: 3rd (x1), Best qualifying: 5th (x1)
Looking back at the season, personally Im very happy with my performance and consistency. Ive shown pace in qualifying and also the races. Obviously there have been a few incidents, particularly the one in Fuji that took me out of the race, that was disappointing, and also the one in Canada with the safety car. Both incidents cost us a lot of points, but thats the game were in, thats the sport and you just have to keep working hard.
The drivers championship has been a little bit mixed up this year, with a few crazy races. If Id have finished better in Fuji, my position in the standings would have been very different, but this is not the case and the points are not there. It has been difficult for a lot of teams to get points this year and, after BMW, the points have been spread out very thinly. I dont think the points reflect the season Ive had as a driver, but thats how it is and Im looking forward to improving next year.
Overall, looking at F1 as a whole, the season has been good. Yes, there were some politics off track, but at the last race everyone was already focusing on the three drivers fighting for the championship, so I think the off-track politics were forgotten pretty quickly, and thats a good thing.