Webber feeling quietly confident in Singapore 24 Sep 2010
Monza may have taken him back yet again into the points lead of the five-way world championship fight, but Red Bulls Mark Webber remains the quiet man of the great struggle. Of course he comes to Singapore intent on winning, to add another 25 points to his account, but he says the last thing he is thinking about is his five-point advantage over McLarens Lewis Hamilton.
"Im leading, he acknowledged on Thursday. There are a few guys who have a few less points here and there, but its still very interesting. It can move around - in a negative or positive way for some people quite quickly. Its certainly a nice position to be in but Id certainly like a few more points. It doesn't matter if its two guys, four guys, eight guys.
You come here with the job of trying to win the race and that is what well try to do. But will five of us go to Abu Dhabi? The chances are it could. It might be three, might be five, might be one. We have to finish races, stay in there. We have to be in the hunt in Abu Dhabi. Leading the championship in Singapore is not the important thing, leading it in Abu Dhabi is."
Just as Hamilton has, Webber stresses that the crucial thing from now on to the end of the season is to finish races and to keep scoring.
"Im treating this as a normal race, he said. Its similar to what it was at the start of the year; we have to try and get the best out of the car, do our best for the race, and usually you get what you deserve in this game. Non-finishes are not part of the menu. I need to keep scoring, getting as many points as we can. But winning makes a difference, and thats what our goal is to try and do here."
In theory Singapore should see Red Bulls aerodynamic strengths play a much more significant role than they could at the recent low downforce tracks Spa and Monza, and he added: Without doubt we knew Spa and Monza were going to be probably a little bit more challenging for us. We know we have a fantastic car wherever we go in the world but we probably wouldnt go to Spa and Monza every day of the week to take our opposition on because there are not many tracks like that on the calendar. Were definitely focused on the tracks where we have the most of them and this is a similar characteristic to how most of the circuits are if you like, so we expect to be a bit more competitive here.
"We're not leading by mistake, weve earned it. Were looking to add to it pretty solidly this weekend, it should be okay for our car, its bumpy which has been good for us in the past. Were optimistic that we can continue to chip away. Its important to do that in the next few weeks."
Red Bull have said this weekend that they no longer consider McLaren to be their strongest opposition, and that Fernando Alonso and Ferrari have now risen to that position.
Webber conceded that he has yet to finish here, but said: Ive only had two races. I think Ive had a gearbox and a brake failure. But Brazil was a rubbish track for me in the past and I won there last year. Im ticking a few boxes off, so I hope to do well this weekend.
One of the things that could up skittle plans this weekend is if it rains during the race. We havent experienced the rain under the lights yet at this venue, Webber said. I think one of the biggest things we would like to experience sooner rather than later - if we need to - is the spray. Its something that we dont really know how it will work with the clarity of the lights coming through. My money is on everything being fine, I dont think there will be any huge problems.
"Itll be the same rules as normal tracks. If its too heavy we obviously cant race. It doesnt matter if its day or night; if the track is too wet, we cant have a car race. Its not about trying to race each other, it becomes a survival thing. But well leave it up to the guys to make sure that its safe enough to try and stay on the track. If its safe enough for that, then I think itll be a normal Grand Prix.
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