Exclusive Q&A - Red Bulls Mark Webber 19 Jul 2008
Getting a car onto the front row at Silverstone recently was a sensational experience for Red Bull. Even if Mark Webber went from hero to zero on lap one of the race, it proved that Adrian Neweys design touch is finally having a serious effect on the team. Webber may have left the British Grand Prix disappointed, but he arrived in Germany safe in the knowledge that Red Bull are very much on an upward path - one that could put the Australian back on the front row very soon, even if it wasnt to be in Hockenheim
Q: Mark, another Grand Prix, another qualifying session and again you made it into Q3. So the pace must be there
Mark Webber: Yeah, we fought our way through to Q3. This was one of the tightest sessions of the season so far. Bahrain was also tight and there we did not get through, but this here was relatively easy to make. I had a pretty good first run in Q2 although my lap was not great. Overall we have been quite good, although we could be in better shape. Toyota and Renault looked strong, so all the four teams behind the big three are quite close and for the race it will not be easy to fight with Jarno (Trulli) and Fernando (Alonso) - which is a bit of concern for me!
Q: Lets go back to the last round at Silverstone for a moment. You gave Red Bull their first ever front-row grid position and you looked set for a good result, then lap one changed the odds - what happened?
MW: Obviously I lost the car in Becketts, but you have to drive the car to the limit and I came back and gained a lot of positions. Other than this incident there was a lot of positives from the Silverstone race. Unfortunately we did not gain any points when my guess at the start of the race was to finish in the top six.
Q: At Silverstone Red Bull lost their fourth position in the constructors standings to Toyota. Can you regain it this weekend?
MW: Well, it doesnt look that easy. Toyota looked very quick, but we have all learnt this season that anything can happen in a race and we still have nine races to go. If we keep on improving the car we might well get back to fourth position.
Q: Silverstone fuelled the old saying that you are a better qualifier than racer
MW: Well, I have 18 points this year, thats all I can say. And as you dont get points in qualifying I must have done well in the races. My racing this year has been good - and nobody talks about the mistakes that the McLaren and Ferrari drivers make. Everybody makes mistakes at some point - even Michael Schumacher. Robert Kubica so far this season has made the least mistakes. And as for me, most of the races I get into the points.
Q: You have signed for another term with Red Bull Racing. A choice from the heart?
MW: Of course! I enjoy working with this team a lot and I enjoy (Red Bull owner) Dietrich Mateschitzs passion for the team, and how we can race against the big manufacturers. All that makes it very easy and pleasant for me to continue.
Q: David Coulthard has announced his retirement from active racing at the end of the season and Sebastian Vettel has been announced as your new team mate for 2009. Whats your opinion on that?
MW: He definitely deserves the chance. He is a very fast driver and he is very disciplined. He definitely will go to the top in this sport and I am looking forward very much to working with him next year.
Q: Do you consider him a serious challenger?
MW: Of course!
Q: Since the Spanish Grand Prix, Adrian Neweys design touch finally seems to have taken hold. Would you agree and where do you see the changes since then?
MW: The car is a big improvement from last year and we feel that every race is a step forward. At Silverstone the car was very quick in the fast corners, but in the lower speed corners its still not ideal for us. Adrian did an extremely good job with the car, with the resources that we have. We are an energy drink company and show good performance that the big manufacturer teams clearly see - and that is very rewarding for us. And, yes, when looking back our advancement probably started at Barcelona. From there on the performance curve has been going steadily upwards.
Q: And finally, whats in store for you in Sundays race?
MW: To get a few points.