Exclusive Q&A - Red Bulls Mark Webber 14 Sep 2008
Monza saw a sensational qualifying for Red Bull. As the favourites struggled in the slippery conditions, the energy drink company placed three of their four cars on the front two rows of the grid, with Toro Rosso youngster Sebastian Vettel on pole. Red Bull Racings Mark Webber made his mark in third, raising his teams hopes of fighting for fourth position in the constructors championship. And after hearing the news, it is rumoured that owner Dietrich Mateschitz has hit the road to Milan to witness their success with his owns eyes
Q: Mark, it was an extraordinary qualifying session with a very surprising result
Mark Webber: Yeah, it was. The top ten people are a little bit different today, with the two Ferraris struggling for grip. We know that the Ferrari car doesnt like such conditions. Its not that Felipe (Massa) and Kimi (Raikkonen) dont know how to drive - its just that the car is not working and obviously Lewis (Hamilton) made a different decision than most other people and that probably hurt him. The bottom line is some people got it wrong and some people got it right. The real good thing of the qualifying is what it does for Red Bull. If you look what Red Bull does for the sport this starting grid is a little reward for their commitment. I am up there, young Vettel is up there, we are all one family and I am just happy for all of us.
Q: Three Red Bull cars in the top four. Was that something you had even dreamt of?
MW: Absolutely not. If someone would have predicted that on Saturday we would have called him insane. I have to give my big compliments to all the guys in the team and to Red Bull Technology - they were there to help us drivers seize the chance when it came up. We are now ready to race - wet or dry - and lets see what points we can bring home.
Q: Were you on low fuel when you hammered in your best time?
Q: The forecast for the race suggests a reasonable chance of more wet conditions - will that mean you can keep up your level of performance from qualifying? And what happens if its dry?
MW: Dry is much safer of course. Should we have a wet race it will be very challenging visibility-wise, especially in the first laps before the field spreads. And in terms of performance: we will see that on Sunday. Much will depend on the strategy the usual frontrunner suspects run on. At the start all the championship contenders are behind me so my first and foremost goal must be to keep them behind me as long as I can.
Q: Did the Monza test two weeks ago lay the foundations for that qualifying result?
MW: No, not really. It was not raining and the track was in a completely different condition. And honestly, should it be dry on Sunday it would give us more confidence for the basic things. Sundays race set-up will be totally different to what we tested.
Q: What was the secret of your P3 position? David Coulthard seemed to have been less fortunate
MW: Qualifying was all about timing. And it is very easy under such weather conditions to get it wrong. David was quite quick in Q1 - just like Lewis - but if you dont get on the track at the right time you get into traffic at the wrong time, so it is very easy to not get the time.
Q: Are you praying for rain for the race?
MW: We are ready for the dry and the wet. We certainly should get some points as we are still eyeing P4 in the constructors championship. Should it really be a wet race the strategy is not so important because then its all about when the track dries out and when you change the tyres. We also could see a safety-car phase, but that is unpredictable for everybody.
Q: Any predictions for where your third place on the grid will take you?
MW: No, never try to look into the crystal ball! In Silverstone I was on the front row and spun on the first lap. But we would not want that to happen again!