FORMULA ONE / Tyres and new regulations have made the field competitive
Mark Webber, still going strong in his sixth year with Red Bull, is a team man to the core. Part of two title triumphs in 2010 and 2011, Webber believes the next two races will be crucial to his team retaining its crown.
After landing here for the upcoming Indian Grand Prix, Webber said his team would be looking for the best results at the Buddh International Circuit (BIC).
“The next two races are very important. We will keep our foot on their throats and then see how it goes.
“We are not looking at the points table really; if it rains at 3 o’clock on Sunday, we have to deal with it. It’s F1, we have to deal with it on that day,” said the Australian on Wednesday.
With four races remaining, Red Bull (367 points) enjoys a lead of 77 points over its nearest rival Ferrari.
Webber said a win this season would have special significance for his team.
“We have a good lead in the constructors’ championship. Everyone involved in the operations of the team is putting in a massive effort and there is nothing more satisfying than doing three years in a row for the team championship.”
Red Bull improved its performance in the last five races, and according to Webber, it was due to a better understanding of the car.
“We have done a lot of research and development in the last two-three months to ensure what the car needs. This year, it has not been easy for us because we were at a high level last year. We were just hanging in there for the first part of the championship. I won some Grand Prix races earlier in the year and now Sebastian has started to win.”
Comparing Red Bull’s comprehensive victory last season with the competitive field this year, Webber said the tyres and new regulations had made the difference.
“The regulations are quite different from last year. The blown diffuser was quite powerful. Our team pioneered it.
“It was banned, so we had to work out how to make the car happy again around the new regulations.
“So far, in terms of the team we are doing ok. We are still the target and everyone has to beat us. That’s good motivation.”
Vettel too has a chance
Webber, currently fifth in the drivers’ standings, revealed that while his teammate and current leader Sebastisan Vettel had a chance to pocket the title, he aimed at winning a few races to finish within the top three.
The Australian then took some time out to play a game of cricket with India opener Gautam Gambhir, and thoroughly enjoyed himself.
“It is not often that you get the chance to bowl at a world class batter.”
He also spoke about his love for Test cricket. “I like to see the batsman deal with the changing conditions, and it’s much more tactical.”