Mark Webber Q&A: Expect a very interesting race 23 Oct 2010
Five drivers are fighting for the title, but however pressurised the situation is, not one of the contenders is showing any nerves. Red Bulls Mark Webber, who is currently leading the standings, is full of self confidence, even though team mate Sebastian Vettel is on pole position in Korea...
Q: Mark, how was qualifying for you?
Mark Webber: Well, it was very close again between Seb and myself - I dont know how many times we have occupied the front row this season. It was a good fight, actually. I got the maximum out of what I had and in the end it was just a bit shy of pole position. I am still in a good position to start the race. I am fully aware that I am on the dirty side of the track, but in the end it is a long race. Fernando (Alonso) and Lewis (Hamilton) are right there, and from what everybody had whispered about the pace of the others I could be a lot further back than where I am.
Q: Why was your team mate faster than you?
MW: Hes better.
MW: I dont know. Obviously Seb got a fantastic lap in so he was a bit quicker. At the end of the day, he is driving one car and I am driving the other.
Q: How much of a disadvantage is it to start on the dirty side of the track?
MW: Well, there is rain forecast overnight so if that happens it will eliminate a lot of the advantage of the clean side. If it rains shortly before the race, the right-hand side dries much quicker than the left-hand side, so the left side will not be all too pretty. If it is fully dry, yes, I do expect a bit of an advantage for those on the right-hand side and I could imagine coming under pressure from Fernando right away. But that is not the end of the world because, as I just said, it is a long race.
Q: You are just shy of the pole position time. Was it a good lap for you?
MW: Yeah, I am pretty happy with it, to be honest. It probably wasnt the best lap, but I was happy with my lap.
Q: Vettel was slightly quicker than you in Sector One. How much have you both struggled at that part of the circuit?
MW: I will go through the data thoroughly with the engineers to see why I have lost against Seb in Sector One. But it was not only Seb. We are losing against Fernando in that part of the track and Lewis is somehow off the charts, as he has a very big speed advantage there.
Q: Will there be lots of overtaking here?
MW: I was just talking with Fernando and we both agreed that on paper it looks quite good for overtaking, but obviously neither of us has any experience. We have seen tracks in the past with similar specifications on paper but then it didnt translate to real racing, so we will find out tomorrow. There is really only one line in the braking area because it is really slippery off-line. Then you have those with the F-Duct, who approach the end of the straights with a very different top speed. We know that there are some who are a bit more vulnerable. We know that the McLarens and the Renaults have the best F-Duct system going so they are very strong. Lets see what develops. The first lap will be crucial, but the last lap will be the one to decide how many points you score.
Q: If its dry, what are your thoughts on the tyres?
MW: We have seen that if the track stays dry we gain almost two seconds every session but that should help the tyres only marginally. We have our eyes open to all tyre aspects.
Q: Could it all come down to strategy?
MW: It could. At least I predict that it will be a very interesting race. Probably we will see all kinds of strategies - not the normal one-stop race. Or it still might be a one-stop race but we might have some interesting tyres finishing the Grand Prix. I only know that I have to keep finishing at the front and I am in a good position to try and do it tomorrow.
Q: How important is mental strength in the race for the championship
MW: Every race demands equal mental power and so far I have to say that Sundays have been very good for me. Of course I have some sensational rivals but am sure I will do my best to stay ahead!
Q: What kind of weather would you personally prefer?
MW: A dry race would be fine. But if it is wet, we will deal with it!
Q: What do you expect?
MW: An interesting Grand Prix.
Q: After Suzuka you said that when you got close to Vettel you couldnt get past him because you know the rules. There has been a lot of speculation about what know the rules means. Is there some sort of agreement?
MW: No there is not.
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