Mark Webber Q&A: Still plenty of work to do 04 Mar 2009
While Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel ended his two days at Jerez a happy man, a much gloomier Mark Webber climbed out of the RB5s 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 cars teething problems will have been solved and Red Bulls fans wont be disappointed
Q: Mark, how did it go for you today?
Mark Webber: Not too good, actually. We did a few laps and I wasnt 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 Bulls private test in Valencia last week?
MW: 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. Its 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?
MW: I havent 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 youve just mentioned, how hectic is this test, considering that there is only one more left before Melbourne?
MW: It is pretty busy, but its the same for everyone. We have to make the most of every run and understand as fast as we can. Its a bit hectic, yes, and its 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 dont get it right next week in Barcelona, you probably wont get it right for the whole season?
MW: I dont think that it is that drastic. And it will still be the old fighting for lap times as usual when the season starts.
Q: Its the first time that weve seen eight teams running at a test with their 2009 cars. Where do you see the RB5 in the current pecking order?
MW: 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 weve 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?
MW: 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?
MW: I think the team is going to make some decisions in the next week. But its really tough!
Q: How is your leg taking it? Youre still limping a bit
MW: Good. The hardest thing is walking at the moment - I am going easy on a bike and its 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?
MW: Working on the balance, thats the biggest thing, and we have some aerodynamics up for test. We have a lot of the race stuff here, which obviously didnt 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?
MW: I hope. But I always hope and sometimes those hopes get destroyed. And from the strong opposition that weve seen here, I would not even dare a guess.