Mark Webber Q&A: I feel I am at the top of my game again 21 May 2011
After watching his Red Bull team mate Sebastian Vettel take pole position at the opening four races, Mark Webber is feeling mighty relieved on Saturday in Barcelona to have finally found his way back on to the P1 grid slot. Webber looks back on the qualifying session and looks ahead to Sundays race
Q: Mark, it must feel cool to be back on pole position
Mark Webber: Yes, it definitely does. It was quite smooth sailing to pole position actually. The preparation in qualifying worked perfectly. The team did a fantastic job. It is a bit like last year here, with only the Red Bulls fighting it out amongst themselves. We werent too sure about where we were after Q2 - we thought it would have been a lot closer - but in the end it wasnt. It was a very rewarding afternoon for me.
Q: So in terms of race pace and overtaking, what will Sunday be like for you?
MW: Well, we will see a slightly different Spanish Grand Prix than weve seen in the past, with a little bit more entertainment on the front straight and on other parts of the track, when people are in tyre trouble. The run to the first corner is crucial and of course I want to stay in P1 to manipulate the race a bit in my favour. And then we will see how the tyre degradation goes.
Q: Last years Spanish race turned your season around. Can Sundays race kick start your season again?
MW: You can hope and pray, but in the end it boils down to hard work. And I obviously have some very strong rivals. Fernando (Alonso), Lewis (Hamilton) and Seb are all phenomenal. But I feel I am at the top of my game again, so there shouldnt be a reason not to be fighting for the win. This track has always been very good for me.
Q: Barcelona was always a track where it was pretty difficult to overtake. Will it be different for this years race?
MW: Lets wait and see how the rear wing works here. It is a very interesting track aerodynamically. I hope I have a good first stint and well take it from there.
Q: How much difference can DRS really make here?
MW: Actually quite a bit. The wing is very powerful on the long straight, so it will be very interesting to see how creative guys try to change their position.
Q: What made the difference today between you and Vettel?
MW: I dont know. I had a very smooth and easy qualifying, but I dont know exactly what happened to him. I guess he hasnt had the smoothest day today.
Q: Are you prepared if your team mate tries to attack during the race?
MW: Maybe at some stage in the race. But I am a big boy - Im not so worried. Of course we all know that hes very strong, but I also feel that today Ive got a bit of momentum back for myself. But we all know that the margins are very slim.
Q: The hard tyres seem to be causing a few problems. How do you think that the race will unfold?
MW: Yes, there is a big difference between the soft and the hard tyres, and it will be very interesting to see in which part of the race people will run the different compounds. And it will be interesting to see what different strategies everybody thinks will lead to success. I also think that the track temperature will play a role. Unfortunately we will only learn the truth about how to use the tyres perfectly tomorrow - like everybody else.
Q: What do you think the other teams can do in the race?
MW: I dont think there will be a one second gap to Ferrari and McLaren. It will be much less. If it is half a second or four tenths we dont know, but my guess is that they wont stay with us. But then you never know.
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