Mark Webber Q&A: Too early to judge rule changes 08 Jul 2011
Free Practice One saw Red Bulls Mark Webber clocking the fastest lap time at Silverstone. The wetter afternoon session produced a different story, with Webber 14th and team mate Sebastian Vettel 18th. Nevertheless the Australian is hopeful the new diffuser regulations brought in this weekend will not harm their supremacy
Q: Mark, todays conditions were anything but easy. How did you get along?
Mark Webber: Well, everybody expected it to be that way, so it was not really a big surprise. It is a bit normal for Silverstone. But the forecast predicts better conditions for qualifying and the race on Sunday. The rain came down very fast and the wind was pretty strong. So yes, it was quite tricky on track - and probably not ideal for the fans to hold out in the wet. Weve got very helpful information from the intermediates and will come back for the drys tomorrow.
Q: So what happened to you in the first session?
MW: I stopped on the track - no big deal.
Q: This weekend will see a change in engine mapping. How does that affect the driving style?
MW: It certainly doesnt affect my driving style. At the moment we have to be a bit careful on the way it affects the lap time a bit, but we have to see how it goes in the dry. At the moment its not a big story.
Q: From todays running, what have you learned?
MW: Weve learned that the inters are pretty good. I did my entire running today on one set. That was pretty much the most interesting part of todays running
Q: From what youve learned today - the change in regulations regarding the blown diffuser - are you still in the game?
MW: Absolutely. We had a perfectly smooth day today and tomorrow with dry running it should work out pretty good for us.
Q: A young countryman of yours will have his F1 race debut this weekend: Daniel Ricciardo. What is your advice to him?
MW: There is no advice that I can possibly give him. I think hes a grown-up driver and thats why hes been given this chance. From this weekend on its his apprenticeship time. I have to say that today apprenticeships are getting shorter and shorter, but I am sure he will do fine. Starting at one of the smaller teams takes away a lot of pressure. And having two Australians in the grid doesnt really change my job. But when I look back at my first F1 race, yes, it is always a very special moment.
Q: Do you remember when there were last two Australians on the grid?
MW: Oh dear, that must have been quite a long time ago. Could I be right when saying it must have been in 1977? Ah, I am right!
Q: Coming back to the frontrunners, with this weekends changes in technical regulations, could that give you a bit of a break in catching Sebastian (Vettel)?
MW: To be honest, we still dont fully understand what they mean in the race. Todays weather conditions have been too difficult to draw final conclusions. Probably this change will support some driving styles and others not. But still, it is too early to say what they really mean and I have not felt that it has any impact on my driving style. But in the end I am really confident that it will work out well for us as weve done severe preparations over the last couple of weeks to be prepared this weekend. And given the fact that the conditions will be much better in qualifying and race - both will be dry - we should be able to show the same performance that weve shown so far this season.
Q: Coming back to the last Grand Prix, how would you sum up your Valencia race?
MW: Well, I would say that I was quite competitive in Valencia - as I was in Canada. Probably Monaco was a bit of a black sheep. When you have no technical issues you clearly can do better and I see no reason why it shouldnt go very well for me this weekend.
Q: Christian Horner proclaimed a new harmony in the team. To what do you attribute that?
MW: Because I am not Seb. (laughs) And its a fact that harmony always tends to be good if the results are there, so there you go.
Q: Are you a bit tired of fighting against Sebastian?
MW: No, because he is one of 23 other guys I have to fight. Of course, because hes my team mate its a bit different, but if I wasted even one bit of thought on being tired of fighting the cockpit would be the wrong place for me to be. And I am not the only guy fighting Seb. Hes got a lot of points, but I myself have a good tally so I dont see any reason to talk about this issue over and over again - except that you guys like it.
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