Exclusive - Webber & Kubica on 2006 08 Nov 2006
After retiring from more races than he finished, Mark Webber would probably prefer to forget his second year with Williams. Having notched up 36 points and a podium finish a year earlier, 2006s hard-won tally of seven was little reward for his final season with the team. Robert Kubica, meanwhile, enjoyed just six races after replacing Jacques Villeneuve at BMW Sauber but came within two points of leapfrogging Webber and Villeneuve to take 14th in his debut season. Here Webber and Kubica review their seasons exclusively with Formula1.com
Mark Webber, Williams
Championship position: 14th (7 points)
Best race result: 6th (x2) Best qualifying: 2nd (x1)
It has been a very long season at Williams; I don't look at it as two seasons, but just as one season as a whole. Formula One is a tough game but we never thought it would be this hard and it has been incredibly hard for the team since I came here, in terms of missed opportunities. We thought last year was difficult but this year has been even harder so it's disappointment that comes across in an emotional season like this. Still, we have all been on the boat together, we have all suffered together, we have all done it together and unfortunately we haven't got enough of the good stuff together.
I wanted to stay at Williams for a long time and I wanted to make it work all right, but unfortunately it didn't work out like that and now I have got a new challenge next year. I am a guy who really doesn't struggle at all to keep my motivation going and if I have a good race, I try to make sure the highs are not too high because it's very important to keep it on a level playing-field when you have the tough days. However, I might have run out of steam a bit this time, which surprises me a little bit, because whereas I am normally 100 percent focused on everything in my job, this year I might perhaps have sometimes been not 100 percent on the details and that's something that does come with a very, very hard season.
In your fifth year in F1, it's tough to swallow seeing yourself as P13, P14 on the pit-board. But my time at Williams has not been tough all the way through, as we have had a lot of good results ripped away from us due to reliability problems. Two years ago when I decided to come to Williams, I was determined to drive for Frank (Williams) and Patrick (Head) and it has unfortunately turned out to be something which hasn't worked out for me. I have no regrets and it's just a shame we didn't get more out of it. I really hope that Williams are going to do better next year, just behind the team I will be driving for, but I hope they have a really good season and I hope Williams do come back because they deserve it and also because I am close to lot of the guys in the team.
Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber
Championship position: 16th (6 points)
Best race result: 3rd (x1) Best qualifying: 6th (x1)
The start of the season for me was really important because I was surprised to get such a big opportunity from the BMW Sauber team. I started as the test driver and Friday driver. I was enjoying it and trying to give the best feed back I could to our team. I was really surprised when I got Jacques' (Villeneuve) seat to drive in the Hungarian Grand Prix, and even more surprised when I heard I would continue until the end of the season.
In this races I have done up to know there have been some good moments, like in Monza, which was my third race and I was on the podium. I lived in Italy for five years so it was a kind of home race and this was special. It was really good for the team and me as it showed our potential. Then there were some disappointing moments like in Turkey. I could also say in China, I don't rate China as disappointing as we tried something with the grooved tyres. It didn't work but the pace was there, and without the accident on the first corner I could probably have finished further up after my overtaking from the back.
My debut race in Hungary was quite up and down, with both negative and positive moments. Scoring two points was something I couldn't have dreamed about, but unfortunately with the disqualification I lost these. However, I feel the races I have done this season are really positive and I am happy and enjoying myself.
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