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Mark Webber Q&A: Still plenty of work to do 04 Mar 2009

Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB5 Formula One Testing, 1-5 March 2009, Jerez, Spain. Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB5 Formula One Testing, 1-5 March 2009, Jerez, Spain. Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB5 Red Bull Racing F1 Team launch the RB5, 9 February 2009, Jerez, Spain.  
Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB5 Formula One Testing, 1-5 March 2009, Jerez, Spain. Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB5 Formula One Testing, 1-5 March 2009, Jerez, Spain.

While Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel ended his two days at Jerez a happy man, a much gloomier Mark Webber climbed out of the RB5’s cockpit after a difficult session on Tuesday. Webber, however, believes the team still has plenty of time to remedy any issues. Indeed the Australian is optimistic that by the time his home Grand Prix gets underway later this month, all the car’s teething problems will have been solved and Red Bull’s fans won’t be disappointed…

Q: Mark, how did it go for you today?
Mark Webber:
Not too good, actually. We did a few laps and I wasn’t too happy about the balance, so it will be a long night for the guys. We did a bit of pit-stop practice and checked a few things with the race tyres. We had a problem with the clutch this afternoon, we knew that, but continued running. Apart from that, not a bad day but we need to get a bit more performance.

Q: How important was Red Bull’s private test in Valencia last week?
As everybody gets one private test, every mile that you can do these days is important. And we have been lucky with the weather - we got some reasonable mileage in. It’s good to go to a different track as well, as it gives you different problems that you need to look at.

Q: How far have you been from what you consider an ideal set-up?
I haven’t really gone back to where we were when I first drove the car here, and where I was very happy with it. That means that we still have a lot work to do in the remaining days.

Q: Considering all the problems you’ve just mentioned, how hectic is this test, considering that there is only one more left before Melbourne?
It is pretty busy, but it’s the same for everyone. We have to make the most of every run and understand as fast as we can. It’s a bit hectic, yes, and it’s very different to what we had in the past with two cars and much more time.

Q: How annoying is the thought that if you don’t get it right next week in Barcelona, you probably won’t get it right for the whole season?
I don’t think that it is that drastic. And it will still be the old fighting for lap times as usual when the season starts.

Q: It’s the first time that we’ve seen eight teams running at a test with their 2009 cars. Where do you see the RB5 in the current pecking order?
It is quite tight. It looks like Toyota is there but BMW is always hard to read. Last year they went to Melbourne and were there with a bang, but they had never shown much in practice. And for sure Ferrari and McLaren - you can never discount them. It seems to be so tight, which is remarkable considering all the regulation changes that we’ve gone through. It is impressive, as everybody seemed to have a different idea of how to interpret those changes, but the lap times are pretty similar. And never forget that teams will have different packages from here to Melbourne.

Q: How different is this car from the one you will race in Melbourne?
There will be some aerodynamic differences. I guess everyone will have a different car. Conceptually it will not be very different but I am sure we will have some upgrades. You only want to have upgrades that go in one direction - and that is improvement. And hopefully we are going in the right direction.

Q: Will you be running KERS at this test?

Q: Will you use it at the first races?
I think the team is going to make some decisions in the next week. But it’s really tough!

Q: How is your leg taking it? You’re still limping a bit…
Good. The hardest thing is walking at the moment - I am going easy on a bike and it’s easy in the car. I have absolutely no problems in the car and actually I prefer it that way than the other way around - walking beautifully and having problems in the car.

Q: What programme are you running on your last test day here?
Working on the balance, that’s the biggest thing, and we have some aerodynamics up for test. We have a lot of the race stuff here, which obviously didn’t go according to plan, but we went through some procedures that we will have in Melbourne. And of course mileage is another thing we will focus on.

Q: Thanks to the difficult weather conditions over the winter, everybody seems to expect some surprises in Melbourne. Could the RB5 be one of the surprises?
I hope. But I always hope and sometimes those hopes get destroyed. And from the strong opposition that we’ve seen here, I would not even dare a guess.