Mark Webber believes that the recent changes in the ruling on team orders, changing them from being banned to being allowed, will not change anything in the sport.
The team orders ban had been in force for some time, but following Ferrari’s flagrant disregard for the rule at Hockenheim in 2010, speculation was to be that the rule needed to either be enforced or dropped.
Webber, of Red Bull Racing, has been at the forefront of “second driver” following his teams clear desire to support team mate Sebastian Vettel.
“Like they [team orders] never went!” said Webber during an interview with BBC Radio Five Live.
“Look, it is something that has been around since the 1950s, 1960s. It’s always been there, when you have got two drivers driving for a team and you swing results around every now and again to help the team achieve a better result.
“It has been done in the past, done up and down the field. I’ve done it myself at times and been on the receiving end.
“I think people should not get too nervous, they won’t see it every weekend, nothing is going to change.”
A new book being published by Mark Webber has revealed that the Australian drove the final four rounds of the 2010 season with a broken shoulder following another mountainbike incident.
Webber was one of 4 drivers in contention for the world championship last season, racing for Red Bull alongside eventual winner Sebastian Vettel.
An extract from the book, obtained by the BBC revealed:
“On the Sunday morning before (the Japanese Grand Prix weekend at) Suzuka, I got on a mountain bike for the first time since my accident in Tasmania at the end of 2008.
“I was riding with a great friend of mine. Suddenly, he crashed right in front of me and I had nowhere to go but straight through the ears of the horse! I suffered what they call a skier’s fracture to my right shoulder.
“Suzuka is a brutal track so it was a blessing that the Japanese weather gave me an enforced rest day on the Saturday (when qualifying was rained off), and a pre-race injection helped, too. In the end, we got through the weekend all right.”
Here’s a selection of comments and quotes to Sebastian Vettel’s World Championship win today at Abu Dhabi.
Sebastian Vettel: “I am a bit speechless to be honest, I don’t know what you’re supposed to say in this moment. It is unbelievable. I went to bed and kept thinking about the race, about what might happen. I had some good imaginations and a good feeling.”
“We have seen incredible fights and a tight season.” don’t know how many times we have had a different leader. Some people got written off very early and then came back, like Fernando, they came back hard. Lewis [Hamilton] came back and was leading all of us. For some reason it does not feel like it is happening. It’s strange, but it will sink in when I finally go to sleep – but I think we will have daylight before that happens.”
Michael Schumacher (former 7 time world champion): “I’m quite happy for him because we are friends and it has been a tough year for him. He’s had up and downs he has had to go through, probably more on the mechanical side than on the driving side so he really deserves this championship. Well done to him, well done to the team, a great job from them all.
“My time was different time from his time, I just feel very happy for him. I think he deserves all the credit. He is a great driver, he is a fantastic guy, so I am more than happy for him.”
Christian Horner (Red Bull team principal): “It’s unbelievable. It’s been a very emotional week for this team. I’m just so proud of the team. It’s just an amazing feeling to be double world champions, it’s the icing on the cake with the drivers’ [title]. This team is the best team in the world. Sebastian, it’s the first time he’s led the world championship and he’s done it at the last race of the year. Unbelievable. A great job, he drove a perfect race when the pressure was on.
“He has had ups and downs, he’s had bad luck, he’s had some mechanical problems, some engine failures but he never lost his focus and belief – and now he is a champion. A great season.”
Mark Webber (Red Bull team mate): “I fully congratulate Seb on the world championship.”
Nico Rosberg (Mercedes Benz): “Congratulations to Sebastian today and he deserved the title.”
Jenson Button (McLaren): “Sebastian’s had some great races this year. We’ve all had up and down races this year, but for the last few races Sebastian has done a great job, and he deserves to be world champion of course.”
Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber): “I also want to congratulate Sebastian (Vettel) for his great success!”
Rob @TheF1FanaticsBlog: “I was always confident that Vettel would win a title someday, but I really thought Alonso would win today. Well done to him, but as a Ferrari fan I am highly disappointed!”
Sebastian Vettel won the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos, ahead of team mate Mark Webber. The pairs 1-2 means that Red Bull are now the constructors world champions.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was 3rd, picking up more points as he looks to shore up the drivers championship.
We had a new pole sitter at the start of the race inn Nico Hulkenberg. However the glory was short lived for the German, who didn’t have a great start and was immediately over taken by Sebastian Vettel.
On the way down to turn 3, Webber took 2nd from the Williams driver while it took Fernando Alonso another lap to dispatch the former GP2 Champion. Alonso had managed to sneak past Lewis Hamilton for 4th, when the British driver made a mistake at the end of the straight into turn 3.
From then on, the Red Bull’s significantly pulled away and Fernando Alonso attempted to catch them up. Lewis Hamilton got stuck behind Hulkenberg, complaining of a poor amount of grip. He would eventually pit for harder tyres, set a few fastest laps and once again begin complaining of a lack of grip. This years McLaren seems to be struggling with the tyre degradation.
Further back, Michael Schumacher had a good start but got force onto the grass at turn 2, but got moved back to 10th when he rejoined. He slipped passed Jenson Button, but after his pit stop he got stranded behind Adrian Sutil.
Many drivers, including Jenson Button and Felipe Massa pitted for tyres early on to get out of the train that had formed behind Hulkenberg’s Williams. Both Massa and Barrichello had problems at their stops, no luck for the Brazilian’s today. Massa had to make a second stop, he seemingly had an issue with the front right tyre.
There was relatively little action in the middle half of the race, with the action coming from Webber trying to catch Vettel. Massa was making his way through the field, and Jenson Button too had thrown himself into contention.
On lap 51, Vitantonio Liuzzi got it all wrong into turns 1 and 2, had he slammed into the barriers by the pitlane. The safety car had to come out, and both McLaren drivers pitted for tyres as they had been complaining of a lack of grip. It left them with a lot of overtaking to do.
The safety car also threw Nico Rosberg into the pits, and a horrible pit stop where the front tyre changers appeared to have no idea which Bridgestone’s had been taken off the car and which ones were supposed to be going on. Nightmare stuff from the silver arrow mechanics. Rosberg pitted again a lap later changing his mind from harder prime tyres to super soft option tyres.
When the safety car returned to the pits, Vettel pulled away with the fastest lap of the race. Further back, drivers struggled to work their way through the traffic. Alonso was held up for far too long by Alguersuari, meanwhile the two McLaren’s couldn’t free themselves from a brace of fast cars in the midfield with their new tyres.
On lap 60, Massa went around the outside of Buemi at turn 3. The Swiss driver wasn’t happy so rammed Massa off the road. More bad luck for the Brazilian who is having oen of the worst seasons of his Ferrari career. Adrian Sutil also had contact with Buemi, but managed to get passed to secure 12th.
Nick Heidfeld was unlucky to be given a drive through penalty for ignoring blue flags at the restart. In all honesty, everyone in that pack wasn’t concentrating on the flags – either penalise none or all.
From there on it was a relatively easy race, and Sebastian Vettel took the race win ahead of Mark Webber. Red Bull are now the constructors World Champions.
|1||S. Vettel||Red Bull Renault||184.108.40.2063|
|2||M. Webber||Red Bull Renault||+4.243|
|4||L. Hamilton||McLaren Mercedes||+14.634|
|5||J. Button||McLaren Mercedes||+15.593|
|8||N. Hulkenberg||Williams Cosworth||+ 1 lap|
|9||R. Kubica||Renault||+ 1 lap|
|10||K. Kobayashi||Sauber Ferrari||+ 1 lap|
|11||J. Alguersuari||Toro Rosso Ferrari||+ 1 lap|
|12||A Sutil||Force India Mercedes||+ 1 lap|
|13||S. Buemi||Toro Rosso Ferrari||+ 1 lap|
|14||F. Massa||Ferrari||+ 1 lap|
|15||V. Petrov||Renault||+ 1 lap|
|16||R. Barrichello||Williams Cosworth||+ 1 lap|
|17||N. Heidfeld||Sauber Ferrari||+ 1 lap|
|18||H. Kovalainen||Lotus Cosworth||+ 2 laps|
|19||J. Trulli||Lotus Cosworth||+ 2 laps|
|20||T. Glock||Virgin Cosworth||+ 2 laps|
|21||B. Senna||Hispania Cosworth||+ 2 laps|
|22||C. Klien||Hispania Cosworth||+ 6 laps|
|L. Di Grassi||Virgin Cosworth||63||Unknown|
|V. Liuzzi||Force India Mercedes||50||Accident|
Nico Hulkenberg took a surprise pole position for Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix, the German rookie’s first ever pole.
His Williams team were delighted with the performance, which marks their first pole position since 2005. Their last win came at this circuit in 2004, with Colombian driver Juan Pablo Montoya at the wheel.
Hulkenberg used the changing conditions to his advantage, slipping through into Q3 then using the slick bridgestone tyres to set a flawless lap time that was over 1 second faster than the nearest opponent.
Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber will start 2nd and 3rd respectively, while the other two title contenders Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso will start 4th and 5th.
Michael Schumacher will start only 8th, the German driver showed good pace at Interlagos today getting into Q3 unlike his team mate Nico Rosberg who will start only 13th tomorrow.
Rosberg isn’t the only big name to be low on the time screen’s today. Jenson Button, the 2009 World Champion starts only 11th and Adrian Sutil is down in 18th.
With changeable conditions, and a surprise man on pole we are certainly set for an exciting Brazilian Grand Prix tomorrow!
Pos Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 1. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:20.050 1:19.144 1:14.470 2. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:19.160 1:18.691 1:15.519 3. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:19.025 1:18.516 1:15.637 4. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:19.931 1:18.921 1:15.747 5. Alonso Ferrari 1:18.987 1:19.010 1:15.989 6. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:19.799 1:18.925 1:16.203 7. Kubica Renault 1:19.249 1:18.877 1:16.552 8. Schumacher Mercedes 1:19.879 1:18.923 1:16.925 9. Massa Ferrari 1:19.778 1:19.200 1:17.101 10. Petrov Renault 1:20.189 1:19.153 1:17.656 11. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:19.905 1:19.288 12. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:19.741 1:19.385 13. Rosberg Mercedes 1:20.153 1:19.486 14. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:20.158 1:19.581 15. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:20.096 1:19.847 16. Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari 1:20.174 1:19.899 17. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:20.592 1:20.357 18. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:20.830 19. Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:22.130 20. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:22.250 21. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1:22.378 22. di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:22.810 23. Klien HRT-Cosworth 1:23.083 24. Senna HRT-Cosworth 1:23.796
Jack Brabham, the three time F1 world champion says that fellow countryman Mark Webber has blown his career opportunity to win the world championship following his retirement from the Korean Grand Prix last weekend.
Webber crashed out in rainy conditions, after losing traction on the outside of a turn at the Yeongam circuit. He spun out into a concrete wall before cannoning across the circuit and smashing into Mercedes Benz driver Nico Rosberg’s car.
Brabham believes that Webber has now lost the opportunity to win this title, and possibly lost the opportunity to ever win a title as he gets towards the end of his racing career fighting younger drivers like Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.
“It would mean a lot to me and it would mean a lot to Australia, but unfortunately I think his real opportunity has been blown last weekend,” 84-year-old Brabham, explained to the AAP news agency.
“I’m really there behind him in the hope that he gets there, but if he doesn’t do it this year I don’t think he ever will; people like Alonso are young and Mark’s getting a bit too old now, really.
“He can probably go one more year but every year that goes by now he’s getting older and this is a young man’s sport; he’s racing against 21 or 22-year-olds and he’s got the job in front of him.”
The Red Bull duo of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber were once again 1st and 2nd in Free Practice at Suzuka. They looked almost unstoppable.
Ferrari got up to pace, with Fernando Alonso leading the session for most of the way until Red Bull smashed the times set by the Spaniard by around 0.8 seconds.
Lewis Hamilton only managed a handful of laps, his McLaren did not finish being rebuilt until there was just 10 minutes of the session left.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:31.465 31 2. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:31.860 + 0.395 29 3. Kubica Renault 1:32.200 + 0.735 32 4. Alonso Ferrari 1:32.362 + 0.897 34 5. Massa Ferrari 1:32.519 + 1.054 35 6. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:32.533 + 1.068 28 7. Petrov Renault 1:32.703 + 1.238 32 8. Schumacher Mercedes 1:32.831 + 1.366 27 9. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:32.842 + 1.377 26 10. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:32.851 + 1.386 26 11. Rosberg Mercedes 1:32.880 + 1.415 26 12. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:33.471 + 2.006 31 13. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:33.481 + 2.016 8 14. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:33.564 + 2.099 16 15. Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari 1:33.697 + 2.232 33 16. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:34.005 + 2.540 32 17. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:34.055 + 2.590 37 18. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:34.310 + 2.845 33 19. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1:36.095 + 4.630 37 20. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:36.333 + 4.868 33 21. di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:36.630 + 5.165 28 22. Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:36.834 + 5.369 28 23. Senna HRT-Cosworth 1:37.352 + 5.887 33 24. Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1:37.831 + 6.366 34
Red Bull’s slogan gave me that terrific title you read above, okay perhaps its no better than something you might read in a tabliod newspaper like The Sun but this weekend’s controversy surrounding the Red Bull Racing team once again highlights the problems with in-team politics and the effect it can have on the drivers.
Mark Webber was denied the use of the new Red Bull front wing, after his was given to team mate Sebastian Vettel for qualifying whose new wing had been damaged in Saturday morning practice. The Australian was duly annoyed when Vettel took pole position. It was another item of favouritsm toward the young German from this season, Webber is even using one of Sebastian’s old chassis.
Despite all of this, Webber managed to win the Grand Prix – barging Vettel off the road into turn 1 – but no amount of nice press photos with Christian Horner and Adrian Newey could put the lid on the problems within the team. Mark claimed down the radio on victory “not bad for a second driver”, a clear point towards his status within the team – or at least his percieved status. Red Bull had defended themselves by claiming they were giving the championship leader the advantage, but we will see if that is true in Germany as Webber now leads the standings ahead of Red Bull favourite Vettel.
“Whether the gap between us in qualifying was the difference between the two front wings, I don’t know,” said Webber after last weekend’s British Grand Prix. “But it was a far from ideal situation and it definitely made my win taste even sweeter.”
Christian Horner came out in the Monday newspapers claiming he regretted not speaking with Webber before the decision was made, and he categorically denied that it had anything to do with Helmut Marko or Dietrich Mateschitz the owners of the Red Bull Energy Drink brand.
“There has never been any pressure from Red Bull to favour one driver over the other.” Horner told The Daily Telegraph in England
“I didn’t have a conversation with Helmut or anyone from Red Bull regarding the decision to give Sebastian the wing. It was purely a technical decision, which I discussed with Adrian [Newey].
“My one regret is that I didn’t have time to discuss the issue with Mark personally prior to qualifying as I’m sure that would have given him a more balanced understanding.”
We have seen many instances of team bias and favouritsm over the years, most recently with the arguments between Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso at McLaren, a row which has never really been cleared up and forced the Spaniard to leave the team and then earlier between Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello during their time at Ferrari.
Top teams have trouble keeping their drivers together and motivated, especially when they are fighting for the championship – Barrichello even had trouble with Brawn GP last year with their dominance. However this is the first time we have seen the management of a team really getting involved and openly favouring one driver over another, even during the Schumacher days at Ferrari they did not willingly pass equipment or new parts over Barrichello – definitely not during a race weekend in any case.
The path Red Bull now tread with Webber is a difficult one, but they really have the Australian cornered to an extent. He has signed a new contract, and there aren’t really any race seats with top teams on offer for next season. He could potentially leave the team, who are looking likely to win the world championship, and head to Renault alongside Robert Kubica. That would leave the door wide open for Red Bull sponsored rally driver Kimi Raikkonen to come back to F1. Or Webber can just live with the favouritism toward Vettel and get on in trying to win the World Championship.
Nick Fry, the CEO of Mercedes Benz has seen these problems before, having dealt with the Button/Barrichello problems last year and advises Red Bull to sort the issues out quickly otherwise they have the potential of shooting themselves in the foot.
“I do sympathise on the one hand with them,” said Fry
“But one of the main points is to stop shooting yourself in the foot. Just looking at it from the outside, there seems to be a case of Red Bull causing more problems than they need to.
“They have clearly got the fastest car by quite a margin, and they should be way ahead of the rest of us, and they are not. So they do need to look at themselves and try and work out what they are doing wrong.
“They are beating themselves – which is very satisfying for the rest of us but it should not be what they are up to.”
All I know is, I am glad I am not in Christian Horner’s shoes this week!!
Nico Rosberg and Mark Webber, both front running drivers have raised concerns about the new “high-kerbing” used in parts of the refurbished Silverstone Circuit at this weekend’s British Grand Prix
Rosberg believes that the kerbing could well be potentially dangerous, but did admit the new circuit design was very good.
“I think the track overall is good,” said Rosberg. “The first complex is always exciting, which is still the same.
“I like the layout a lot, and there is no particular area, but I think they have done a good job with it. The only concern is those high kerbs, which we need to discuss in the drivers’ meeting.
“From my point of view there are some safety concerns with that. There are some big kerbs on the insides, big lumps – like half sausages.”
Webber was concerned that cars could hit the high kerbing and get thrown into the air, completely out of control.
“I think at Becketts there are a few larger sections behind the main kerbing, if you like, which the drivers are certainly not a fan of,” he said.
“We don’t feel the necessity to have this type of kerbing in high speed corners because the main aim of that kerbing is to keep us inside the circuit, for example, like Monza and Canada.
“So to have them in fifth and sixth gear corners isn’t particularly necessary. We’ve seen here many cars in the past aquaplaning across Maggotts and Becketts out of control.”
Red Bull Racing have confirmed rumours that they have signed Mark Webber onto a one year contract extension which see’s him tied to the current championship leading team until the end of 2011.
Webber had been linked with a move to Ferrari or Renault following his recent good form, and incidents with team mate Sebastian Vettel, who is contracted to the team until 2012 although that may be extended until 2015. Vettel and Webber’s fraught relationship came to a head in Turkey where the pair ran into each other causing Vettel to retire from the race, the team were on for a 1-2 finish.
“It was an easy decision to remain with Red Bull Racing. We began talking very early this year and were in a position to sign by the Barcelona Grand Prix.
“The decision to extend for a further year was a mutual one; it’s widely known that I’m not interested in hanging around in Formula 1 just for the sake of it and at this stage of my career, I’m happy to take one year at a time.” Webber said this morning.
“I continue to feel very comfortable here – I have a fantastic relationship with the whole team and the factory at Milton Keynes feels like home. It’s been incredible to be part of the team as it’s moved forward from a mid-field competitor to one that is challenging for the Championship.
“I hope we experience more success together in the future and achieve our ultimate goal of winning the world championship.”
Team principal Christian Horner added: “The decision to retain Mark was very straightforward. He is an important member of our team and is currently in the best form of his career, as the current leader of the drivers’ championship. The team is extremely happy that the driver pairing of Mark and Sebastian will remain unchanged for a third season in 2011.”
Ferrari now hold the cards to change the driver market, but it looks likely they will retain Felipe Massa and Renault will retain Robert Kubica.
Red Bull Racing look set to make Sebastian Vettel the longest contracted driver in Formula One if insider reports from the team are to be believed.
Vettel, who is rated as one of the best young drivers in Formula One with multiple Grand Prix victories to his name has been sponsored by the Austrian energy drink company for the majority of his career. Following a stand-in race with BMW Sauber, the young German was contracted to Scuderia Toro Rosso for whom he promptly won their first and only Grand Prix in Monza in 2008. Since 2009 he has driven for the Red Bull team with whom he is contracted with until 2012.
However according to Autosport Red Bull executives want to extend his contract until 2015. This would make him the longest under contract driver in F1, with Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton being the other top two with contracts until 2012.
Red Bull also wish to retain the services of design ace Adrian Newey.
Team principal Christian Horner said about the Newey situation: “The relationship is open-ended. He is enjoying what he is doing, he enjoys the environment at Red Bull and he is still relatively young.
“It is not like he is an old timer, so I don’t think he has any plans to retire at the moment. He will certainly be here for the foreseeable future.”
Mark Webber could well be kept on under a single year contract extension for 2011 despite the recent troubles in the Turkish Grand Prix. If the Australian decides to move, his only serious option is seemingly Renault.
Christian Horner has openly dismissed the rumours circulating that his red Bull Racing team was about to hand the 2007 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen a race contract for the 2011 season.
Raikkonen quit Ferrari at the end of last season so the team could take on Fernando Alonso. After failing to agree terms with McLaren, the former champion Raikkonen went off to race in the World Rally Championship for the Citroen Junior Team. At the time there was speculation he had a return to F1 contract signed with Red Bull, following the drink manufacturer becoming the Finn’s title sponsor with Citroen.
When asked about Kimi returning was a possibility Horner said ”No. Kimi has committed himself to rallying, and he seems to be enjoying that environment.
“We have been happy with the job that Mark is doing, so why would you change?”
Mark Webber now looks set to recieve a big contract to stay with the team for another year, as the 2011 silly season’s big movers are set to stay in their current environments. Felipe Massa is set to be offered another contract by Ferrari and Robert Kubica will commit himself to another season with Renault.
“When we sit down and talk about it, it will be very straightforward,” said Horner. “Mark is an important member of the team, he enjoys driving for the team and we have a great balance between our two drivers. So, it is the usual thing – if it is not broken, don’t fix it.
“I think that it is clear where our intent is, it is clear where his intent is. It is just a matter of sorting out the paperwork with his management, but in the coming weeks I am sure that will be sorted.”
Force India and Red Bull Racing have confirmed that they will be running F-Ducts in the practice sessions for the Turkish Grand Prix this weekend as they evaluate whether the air flow control mechanism is a worthy new technical advancement to their cars.
Vitantonio Liuzzi told reporters that the Force India team were very confident of their system, a system which is operated by the drivers wrist.
“We are really optimistic about it,” Liuzzi said. “You can never know. It might change tomorrow, but the team has done a big work in the wind tunnel for the last two weeks to test it and it seemed to work pretty well.
“Tomorrow we’ll get the confirmation because on track you never know, but we are pretty optimistic that it should be spot on.”
“We made a simple system with the wrist so we don’t have to take the hand off the steering wheel,” he added.
Meanwhile Red Bull Racing’s man of the moment Mark Webber told reporters in the pre-race press conference that Red Bull were to evaluate their own F-Duct system as they try and maintain their recent dominance.
“Yes, we will give the F-duct a go tomorrow,” Webber said during a pre-event press conference in Turkey. “We will give it a chance.”
Ferrari, who were one of the first teams to use the system are going to try a variation on the position of the hole that needs to be covered in order to stall the air during practice.
Sir Frank Williams whose team bears his namesake says that he feels not renewing mArk Webber’s contract for the 2007 season was one of the biggest mistakes he has ever made.
Williams, confined to a wheel chair since a horrific road accident near the Paul Ricard Circuit some years ago, employed Webber when he was fresh out of the failed Jaguar team. During that time the Williams team were not particularly competitive, and when Webber asked for more money along with a contract extension at the end of 2007, Sir Frank and assistant Patrick Head decided the best thing would be to let the Australian go.
Webber went to Red Bull, and had a good season in 2009, but this season he has been on fire winning the past 2 races in a row. Indeed things are looking so good, he is being tipped for the World Championship and potentially a race drive with Ferrari.
“Our car was not competitive, and we thought that Mark was part of the problem. To renew the contract for 2007 had requested an increase of engagement. We were reluctant to pay a large wage to him, partly because we lost our sponsor. Today I would say that it was still a mistake. ” Williams told Autosprint
“When he was with us Webber was very quick over one lap in the race but had a tendency to make mistakes.” Williams added
The first year with Red Bull behaved in much the same way, but in the second began to improve. But now he is running very well. “
Meanwhile the Williams team could be set to offer disgraced former Renault technical director Pat Symonds a lifeline job for the 2011 season as a consultant to the FW33 car. Symonds who was involved in the crash-gate scandal had a lifetime ban overturned recently in the high court along with former employer Flavio Briatore. Out of work since, the Williams team are looking for someone with a wealth of experience to help them build a competitive car for next season which could potentially have Renault engine.
Mark Webber’s victory in the Monaco Grand Prix yesterday looks set to deliver him more than just a helping of pride and a hangover, following an interview released with his boss Christian Horner.
Horner, who in team principal for Red Bull Racing Webber’s employer, says that he wants to offer the Australian another contract to stay on with the team and partner popular German Sebastian Vettel.
Webber’s future with the Austrian energy drink backed team had been in doubt with Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, and former World Champion turned rally driver Kimi Raikkonen both being linked with poaching the seat with the current constructors championship leaders.
However despite this, the team say they want continuity as they focus on winning both the drivers and constructors titles and pushing their team to the front of the grid.
“We are very happy with the way that Mark is performing,” Horner told ESPN last night.
“He’s an important member of our team and he has got to a stage where, at 33, we said let’s take one year at a time rather than signing some long-winded agreement. I am very happy with the balance and dynamics in team, and there is nothing that we would change for.
“It’s all down to relationships and how he feels at the end of the day. He is driving fantastically well, he is a very valued member of the team, so when the time comes to sit down and talk about contracts I am sure it will be a very short conversation.”