Q&A: Webber cautious ahead of Monza
Mark Webber says that Red Bull Racing will be in for a tough fight against McLaren and Ferrari this weekend, despite having proven a class above at Spa.
The reigning Constructors’ Championship winning squad finished one-two in Belgiun two weeks ago on a circuit not expected to suit the RB7s.
While taking confidence from that result into this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, Webber is expecting a highly competitive final European race of the season.
See below for Webber’s thoughts from Monza’s pre-event press conference.
QUESTION: Mark, even this morning people were still talking about your overtaking manoeuvre with Fernando at Spa. Now you’ve had a look at it from a different angle, what did you think of it?
MARK WEBBER: Ah, it looked closer on TV than it did in the car, to be honest. Yeah, as I said at the time, I had some momentum and I didn’t know… I mean most people were comfortable on the out lap through Eau Rouge but I didn’t know how comfortable Fernando would be so I probably would have had to wait and see how it went but I thought ‘well, I have a chance, I’m up to speed, let’s see how it goes’.
So yeah, it worked out OK. Fernando fought hard and fair and as we’ve had many sensational battles in the past together and that’s what it’s about. Extremely rewarding. That day it went my way – there’s been many days it hasn’t gone my way and Fernando’s had it, so it was good that it turned out OK.
Q. What about this circuit? The team was quite nervous before the start in Belgium, what about this circuit?
MW: Spa’s given us a little bit of confidence. We were a bit more competitive in the first sector and the last sector in Spa where traditionally we haven’t been. The track here, yes it’s quick but it does have some different demands to Spa in terms of the way the profile of the corners are and obviously there’s some kerbing as well. So we have some confidence after Spa but we’re not coming here thinking we’re going to be in amazing shape.
We’re going to be competitive. Ferrari and McLaren will be quick again so Spa just gave us a bit of confidence to come to this venue and maybe do a bit better than we probably would have been able to if it was the other way around – if Monza was first we might be more nervous.
Q. Does it surprise you when you actually overcome circuits where you’re not meant to be doing well? We’ve had one or two this year and yet you always seen to have done extremely well as a team.
MW: Yeah, but we got beaten on the tracks where we should have won. Fernando dominated Silverstone, so it’s been a bit different this year, that’s the way it’s been. Let’s hope it’s the same here again and we’re quick and competitive but then can pick our performance up on the tracks where we should be better.
Q: You’re in second position in the championship this year but you haven’t won a race yet. What are your feelings about that, and your chances for this weekend?
MW: Yeah, it’s disappointing that I haven’t won a race yet this year but I’m sure it will happen before the year’s out. I’m confident of that. I’ve been very, very strong and consistent which is also not always easy. You have many opportunities to make errors and mistakes but I’ve also done things that I’ve been very proud of this year but the victory hasn’t yet happened. I’m sure it will come. I’m not getting too fired up about that to be honest. Like Nurburgring, you know. It comes when you least expect it. If it’s this weekend, (there’s) no better place to start than in Monza.
Q: Yesterday at Pirelli, there was an interesting discussion about whether maybe next year teams could chose which two compounds Pirelli would bring for them, rather than Pirelli saying ‘we’re going to bring this and this’. You could actually chose, say a month ahead: ‘we’d quite like this one and this one.’ Do you think a) it would change the racing very much, and b) would most teams probably go for the same thing in the end? What’s your initial feeling about that? Could it be a good thing?
MW: It obviously throws a little bit more into the mix. It would not be easy to pick (the tyres) a month before, in terms of allocation and what specific venues might need, but there’s enough data to float around so that you could probably get quite accurate with what your car would need. Obviously, that’s what the teams would be targeting. Clearly Ferrari, at some venues this year, would probably take a different type if they could but they don’t have that luxury at the moment. It’s the first I’ve heard of it, not easy for you guys to explain in terms of commentary… I suppose different people having different problems with tyres.
But, yeah, not a stupid idea but obviously it needs a bit more thought to see how it would work over the course of a full season, and obviously for the lead teams to make the decision… it’s another part of our week in that we would have to make a decision, as we have to do with lots of other components on the car. The compounds would be another part of that mix.
See below for Speedcafe.com’s Race Guides for this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix and Rally Australia events