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Ask the Expert - Red Bull's Mark Webber 27 May 2009

Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing. Formula One Testing, 1-5 March 2009, Jerez, Spain. Mark Webber (AUS) KL Minardi Asiatech, Paul Stoddart (AUS) KL Minardi Team Owner Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne, 3 March 2002. World © Bearne/Sutton Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB5.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 6, Monaco Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Saturday, 23 May 2009 Mark Webber (AUS), winner, Slick 50 Formula Ford Festival, Donington Park, England, 8 September 1996. World © Sutton Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing celebrates his third position in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Race, Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 10 May 2009

What is biggest draw for tourists in Oman? What was special about the pen former Minardi boss Paul Stoddart brought to the 2008 Australian Grand Prix? What does the Swahili word Simba translate to in English? And has Mercedes or Jaguar enjoyed more success at Le Mans? These are just some of the questions we thought Red Bull’s Mark Webber would take in his stride after he agreed to be the latest participant in our personal trivia test, ‘Ask the Expert’...

Q: In 2008 you were listed in the Top 50 Australian Sports Earners list. Where did you rank?
Mark Webber:
I don’t know. Did you just say fourth? Not bad! My mum always said I need to get a real job! I can show her that now.
Incorrect - fourth behind golfer Greg Norman, footballer Harry Kewell and Supercross rider Chad Reed.

Q: You were once quoted as saying, “I’ve lived in England for ten years and I’ve loved the English people and the comedy and all that sort of stuff. But when it comes to sport, I hope they get absolutely battered.” What sporting event in particular were you talking about?
First of all any sport where Australia plays England. But I guess you mean football.
Half marks - to be specific, it was the 2006 Football World Cup.

Q: One of your sporting heroes is Muhammad Ali. Why was he stripped of his championship title and boxing license in 1967?
Because he did not do military service. He didn’t want to go to Vietnam.
Correct - he refused to fight because of his religious beliefs.

Q: You live in the Buckinghamshire village of Aston Clinton. The famous car manufacturer Aston Martin took the first part of its name from the village and combined it with that of its co-founder. But what was Mr Martin’s first name?
I have no idea! What was it? Lionel? I would have never guessed that!

Q: You’ve said that one of your favourite holiday destinations is Oman. But what does almost every Omani city and town have that proves to be a big draw for tourists like yourself?
Forts. Although I have to admit that I never visited one. But that’s what you read.
Correct - most of the forts were built or had major expansions during the Al-Yarubi dynasty rule of Oman between 1624 and 1744.

Q: On your website you state the Great Wall of China is one of your favourite wonders of the world. But what was recently discovered about the ancient landmark?
Wasn’t it that they discovered that it is substantially longer then what was always believed?
Correct - a two-year government mapping study discovered that the wall spans 8,850 kilometres (5,500 miles) - previously, the length was commonly put at about 5,000 kilometres.

Q: Your team mate last year, David Coulthard, enjoyed a long and fruitful F1 career. But how many hours of fitness training did he complete over his 15 seasons in the sport?
Is there somebody really counting? I haven’t got a clue! But from my own experience it must be a hell of a lot.
Incorrect - Coulthard completed 31,332 hours.

Q: Your team mate for this season is former Toro Rosso driver Sebastian Vettel. What does the German carry to bring him luck over a race weekend?
Isn’t it a pig?
Half marks - as well as a little metal pig, Vettel also carries a one cent coin, which he found on the street during the 2007 US Grand Prix.

Q: Your former boss at Minardi Paul Stoddart returned to the Formula One paddock at last year’s Australian Grand Prix as a guest radio commentator. But what was special about the pen he brought with him to the Melbourne race?
The pen does all his contracts. Not only that Champ Car/IRL deal, but all the contracts that he was ever involved with!
Correct - it was famously used to sign the document that united the Champ Car and IRL series in 2008.

Q: Although in a recent interview you said you preferred Austin Powers to James Bond, your hometown of Queanbeyan has a special link to Bond. What is it?
One of the Bonds - George Lazenby - is from Queanbeyan. From my home town! He probably wasn’t the best Bond ever, but at least he was a Bond! And his mother still lives in Queanbeyan.

Q: In 2006 you were awarded the Lorenzo Bandini award, but which of your rivals won the trophy in 2005 and 2007?
2005 must have been Fernando (Alonso). And 2007 I guess was (Felipe) Massa.

Q: One of your dogs is called Simba, but what does the Swahili word translate to in English?

Q: One of your driving heroes is Alain Prost. How many teams did he drive for over the course of his 13-year F1 career?
Williams, McLaren, Renault and Ferrari. That makes four.

Q: You famously finished your Formula One debut in Melbourne with Minardi in fifth place. In what position did your team mate Vettel finish his debut with BMW Sauber in 2007?
Eighth - behind me. That’s why I know it.
Correct - at the 2007 US Grand Prix.

Q: You have so far scored four podiums. Three other Australian drivers scored podiums during their F1 careers, can you name them?
Jack, AJ and Schenken.
Correct - Jack Brabham took 31 on his way to his three championships, Alan Jones scored 24 as well as his 1980 title, and the lesser known Timothy Schenken, who took one - a third place - at the 1971 Austrian Grand Prix.

Q: You are a keen and skilled tennis player. You were born on the same day as which former tennis world number one?
Correct - Spain’s Carlos Moya, was born 27 August, 1976.

Q: You have raced for two legendary car manufacturers - Mercedes at Le Mans and Jaguar in Formula One. Which of the two has been more successful at Le Mans?
Correct - Jaguar, with seven wins to Mercedes’ two.

Q: Just two Australian drivers have won Le Mans - can you name them?
Vern Schuppan and David Brabham. No, that’s not true. Wait a minute. It must have been Geoff.
Correct - Schuppan in 1983 and Geoff Brabham in 1993.

Q: You won the prestigious Formula Ford Festival in 1996. Which other drivers on the current F1 grid have also won the event?
Sorry, please can you repeat that question. I was just had my eyes on the cycling. That was Jenson.
Correct - it was indeed Jenson Button in 1998.

Q: You have led a Grand Prix five times in your F1 career, most recently at the 2009 Chinese race, where you finished second. On the other four occasions you failed to finish the race - can you remember where?
Indianapolis, Fuji, Melbourne, Monaco.
Correct - Indianapolis (2003 - Jaguar), Melbourne (2006 - Williams), Monaco (2006 - Williams) and Japan (2007 - Red Bull).

Final score: 23.5 points from a possible 28
Ask the Expert rating: 84%

Current leader board:
1. Mark Webber - 84%
2. Sebastien Buemi - 72%
3. Robert Kubica - 70%
4. Jenson Button - 69%
5. Nico Rosberg - 66%
6= Sebastian Vettel - 64%
6= Rubens Barrichello - 64%
8. Nick Heidfeld - 57%

More drivers coming soon.