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Q&A with Red Bull’s Mark Webber 06 Jun 2013

Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Preparations, Montreal, Canada, Thursday, 6 June 2013 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Saturday, 25 May 2013 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Preparations, Montreal, Canada, Thursday, 6 June 2013 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Race Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday, 21 April 2013 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing,.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Preparations, Montreal, Canada, Thursday, 6 June 2013

Mark Webber is yet to win a race in 2013 and has scored little more than half the points tally of his illustrious Red Bull team mate. Can he fare any better in Canada, a race that has not traditionally been kind to the Milton-Keynes squad? We caught up with Webber in Montreal to get his take on the coming weekend…

Q: Mark, looking at the Montreal track, what would you say is the most difficult thing to handle?
Mark Webber:
I would say that the rhythm in the chicanes is important - and braking. But becoming comfortable with the chicanes is really what could make a difference. And then there is the balance between top speed and getting it right in the corners. All these points always make Montreal a very interesting race, as it is a lot about finding the right compromise with the car between qualifying and the race. Qualifying might be wet, so it is probably a bit more straightforward in terms of set-up. It is a very small circuit but the long straight makes it very difficult on the compromise of the car set-up.

Q: Tyres will be an issue here. How are Red Bull going about that challenge?
MW:
I think everybody is still very strong and happy with their experience on Monday after every Grand Prix. (laughs) I think we are going into every race with as much ammunition as we have - what we think is right. Right now on paper it looks like a testing weekend in terms of preparations, but then again it’s the same for everyone. Different-to-Monaco tyres will be a big issue again. In Monaco qualifying was powerful and the race execution was a chess match, whereas here you might not have that luxury. So let’s see how the tyres behave and how naughty - meaning green - the track will be throughout the weekend.

Q: Speaking about tyres, if you had three days running on a track after a race like Mercedes did following Spain, how much knowledge would you gain from that?
MW:
Well, there is no beating around the bush. Let’s be frank, it is a nice scenario to go to the same venue you have just competed at - that is quite an attractive option. You should get a pretty good impression of what is working and what isn’t. I would say that all in all it is not as powerful for a driver as a normal test, but from a team perspective it is probably much more powerful.

Q: When did you first hear about the test?
MW:
Sunday morning in Monaco.

Q: What was your reaction when you heard about it?
MW:
Heartbreak.

Q: Is the tyre issue taking some shine off Formula One racing for you these days?
MW:
Probably the guys who have done over 100 Grands Prix have seen a different form of racing than this. But then we have come across so many changes - the V10s, the V8s, refuelling, different qualifying formats - that what happens now is the normal grind for a driver. Maybe the real difference is that in Monaco I started to watch my tyres after the third corner! It is different, no doubt. Maybe a bit extreme, but also very strategic from the pit wall. The communication is now like: ‘please can you get us to that lap!’ So yes, it is very different, but you still do get some nice moments in the car! (laughs) The satisfaction side is just different now.

Q: Can you say why Red Bull are not successful in Montreal?
MW:
Probably in the last three or four years we didn’t have the most power with downforce and putting the whole package together. That is probably also the case in Monza - on that kind of track. Canada has been a challenge for us, but we are talking about a problem on a very high level. Some other teams would have loved to have our results here in Canada. Seb [Vettel] and I had a double podium here in 2011 so there is not really anything to complain about. But coming to tracks that are not a perfect fit for your car is part of the 18 or 19 races of the championship. You can’t love them all!

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