Mark Webber Q&A: Id give myself seven out of ten 25 Nov 2011
Red Bulls Mark Webber loves Interlagos and after going top in opening practice he remains optimistic that he could score his first win of 2011 here on Sunday. Webber admits there have been missed opportunities this season, but the ever-candid Aussie insists its not been as bleak as some would have you believe - and maintains he can come back stronger in 2012
Q: Mark, what will the picture be like on Sunday? Its an interesting track with only one DRS zone and many tight corners, which should be to Red Bulls liking. You normally go very well here - and today underlined that fact
Mark Webber: Well yes, I would say that we are the usual suspects, but you also have Fernando (Alonso) and the two McLarens. The weather always plays a role here too, but in general I think that we will see a quite similar picture to the last few races where we had a very even spread of pace. Obviously weve done our long runs today and it looked pretty promising, but then - surprise, surprise - it will all boil down to the race on Sunday! (laughs)
Q: This is obviously much more a Mark Webber kind of track. Wouldnt it be nice to finish your season with a win?
MW: Yes, its a bit old school. (laughs) Its always been a challenging circuit for all the drivers and we definitely love coming here. Its a great track.
Q: When looking back to the Abu Dhabi race, you had to look after your tyres and that probably didnt allow you to be as aggressive as you wanted to be - is that correct?
MW: No, not at all. I could have overtaken Jenson (Button) in Turn eight a lot of times, but it was not beneficial just to get repassed on the next straight, so that was that. The car had a lot of downforce because of the tyres and the sidepod so this was not really helping us in the performance. But clearly the battle with JB (Button) was fun and it would have been nice to clear him earlier, get the move done and try and move away. But even at that point when he didnt have KERS he was doing a good job, which eventually got him on the podium.
Q: You had some quite good moments this season - even if the results are probably not to your liking - so what were your personal favourites?
MW: I dont think that there have been many highlights for me to be honest. (laughs) But yes, there has been some quite good overtaking, so the season was not as bleak as it sounds. We all had some very good racing.
Q: You probably havent had a season that lived up to your expectations, so do you walk away from it saying, Ive done enough, Ive done all I can? Or could you have done more?
MW: I am pretty happy with most of the things that Ive done, but also very clearly we have to step up and do a better job - from my side but also from the team side, to have two cars in the front all the time and to do a better job in 2012.
Q: What could you do? What was the main problem?
MW: Consistency on the car, obviously. We have to address that over the winter. We probably also have to get better in the first stint - we have to keep working on that.
Q: What marks would you give yourself?
MW: Probably a seven out of ten.
Q: Would you say that DRS is a success story?
MW: Yes, DRS is a good one. I think the FIA has done a pretty good job.
Q: How much did DRS and the tyres change the strategy of races?
MW: Well DRS opened up the racing a little bit compared to previous years. Before, strategy was basically done around refuelling to gain your position back when youve failed in qualifying. Now it is starting on a different compound. In the end, with a fast car there is always a way to re-strategize your race but we dont hear of mega-strategies with slow cars at the end of the grid, because whatever you would do with strategy, the pace was simply not there.
Q: This weekend we might see the last race for Rubens Barrichello. His career spans two decades
MW: That is incredible, yes. All of us probably envy him for his energy and his inspiration. It is a little disappointing that we are not quite sure how we deal with him crossing the line - can we expect him to be back? But we are not quite sure. He has been through some tremendous highs and some tremendous lows throughout his career - so yes, hes a very special person.
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