Formula One Fantasy - Red Bulls Mark Webber 21 Jun 2011
If ever there were a realist in a Formula One paddock full of dreamers then it would be straight-talking Australian Mark Webber. Focused on the business of racing and never afraid to speak his mind, you cant imagine Webber spending much of his downtime daydreaming. But we persuaded the Red Bull driver to formulate a few Formula One fantasies, including the return of refuelling, Brabham and Magny-Cours, and celebrating his first world title with a junk food binge back home down under
Q: You must choose a city for a new Formula One street circuit - which city, anywhere in the world, do you choose, and why?
Mark Webber: I would say downtown San Francisco. All those hills and jumps - it would be very good, and great to watch for the fans.
Q: If you could choose one former world champion as your team mate, who would you choose and why?
MW: Juan Manuel Fangio. My second pick would be Sebastian (Vettel).
Q: Formula One innovations of the past - ground effect, active suspension, turbocharging, six wheels, the list goes on. If you could bring back one past innovation, what would it be and why?
MW: 1300 horsepower. Big engines and big noise. That is what fans relate to Formula One.
Q: What innovations would you like to see in the future?
MW: Bring back refuelling. It is better to drive cars that are lighter.
Q: You can only drive at one circuit for the rest of your life - which circuit, past or present from anywhere in the world, do you choose?
MW: Sepang. Its a great track. Its a tough race, with the conditions that are always there, but I love the track.
Q: Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Tyrrell, March are just some of the teams that have departed the sport. Which former team would you most liked to have raced with and why?
MW: Definitely Brabham. It would be great to see Brabham back, if only for patriotic reasons.
Q: You have to design a new F1 circuit, combining all your favourite corners from other tracks around the world. Which three corners are top of your list and why?
MW: Eau Rouge from Spa, Copse from Silverstone, the old first corner there, and the first chicane at Magny-Cours - the one after the hairpin.
Q: You can travel back in time and compete in any decade of Formula One racing, from the 1950s to the 1990s. Which decade would you choose and why?
MW: The 1980s. It was dangerous so drivers needed big balls. It was the era I watched on TV when I was little. And to be honest the 1950s and 1960s were a little bit extreme. So the 1980s were the right time - the right balance between safety and extreme.
Q: What current Formula One regulation would you most like to change and why?
MW: I would demand less pit stops. More attacking and pushing the cars to the edge. More racing and less strategy.
Q: If you could pick two Formula One greats of the past (from different eras) to watch race against each other, whom would you pick?
MW: I would go for Ayrton Senna and Jim Clark. Both were extraordinarily quick. I think we saw a bit of this when Senna and Alain Prost were racing against each other. I think Prost was a bit similar to Clark, in terms of being tacticians.
Q: If you were a team boss, which current driver would you pick first for your team?
MW: Fernando (Alonso). He is incredibly complete. He is experienced and he is fast.
Q: Just 19 of the worlds motor racing circuits feature on the current F1 calendar. You can add one more. Which circuit do you pick and why?
MW: I always liked going to Imola. But of course the memories of many in Formula One of going there are probably not so good. In some ways it is a bit of a dark track after what happened there. Obviously it is not the luckiest venue, but I think a lot of drivers would love to go back there for the atmosphere. And to be honest I always liked going to Magny-Cours. Even though many complained that it is in the middle of nowhere, the track layer was very nice. And I liked it there because there were no groupies and no clowns walking around in their suits - it was just racing! (laughs)
Q: You are having a dinner party and can invite four people from the world of motorsport, past or present. Who do you invite?
MW: Roger Penske, Jim Clark, Ayrton Senna and Mario Andretti.
Q: You are given the chance to drive any legendary Formula One car of the past (excluding those made by your own team). Which car would you choose?
MW: The FW14B - the Williams car from 1992. The most sophisticated Grand Prix car ever.
Q: Rooftop swimming pool, bowling alley, revolving sushi bar - just some of the features most F1 motorhomes dont possess. If you could add one thing to your teams motorhome, what would it be?
MW: A snooker table.
Q: Imagine you have just won the world title. Where would you go for your celebratory meal and what would you choose from the menu?
MW: I would go directly to Australia, invite all my friends from Europe down there and of course all my friends in Australia, and order maybe some junk food. It doesnt have to be caviar. It is all about having a good time.
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