It’s been an odd week for the Red Bull Racing family with regulations around the car changing, third driver Daniel Ricciardo taking a sabbatical at HRT and endless wild speculation in the newspapers about Lewis Hamilton’s cup of tea in Canada with Christian Horner.
If any of this unsettled reigning British GP champion Mark Webber after his short drive from home in Buckinghamshire he certainly wasn’t giving that impression as he sat down to talk to the media in the new paddock, grinning and asking: “rightyho, what do you want to know?”
Does having a fellow Australian on the grid change things for you this weekend?
It doesn’t really change anything to do with my job, obviously, and I won’t drive a different race because he’s on the grid, but I know how unique and special it is to compete at your first grand prix. For any driver coming to Formula One for their first race weekend, irrespective of what car they’re driving, it is always a very special time because of the amount of work and effort you put into it. So, here he is, and yeah, he fully deserves to be here. It’s good to see Daniel learning his trade. He’s in a small team to start with and then… well, the work begins now…
The last time two Australians featured in a grand prix, one of them won it.
I’ll have to win on the weekend, then, won’t I?
There is a suggestion that the changes to the diffuser rules might suit your driving style more than they suit Seb’s. What do you think?
Erm… we don’t know mate! We haven’t driven the car yet… and the regulations are still being decided as we speak! We don’t fully understand yet how it’s going to be implemented but once we get clearance on that, we’ll work out how it’s going to affect our car. There will be subtleties of driving style, which could go either way. We know how sensitive the cars are to driver preference. But I’m easy either way. I’m getting pretty quick with what we have, and if we do have a change, I still think I’ll be able to do a good job with that – so I’m pretty relaxed. I’ve done some good preparation in the factory, but as for what’s going to happen… we’re keeping all the plates spinning.
Christian [Horner] said the team had found a new kind of harmony – what’s the reason for that?
‘Cos I’m not beating Seb? I hope we can get both: me winning again and still have good harmony within the team.
Is it tiring to be constantly fighting against Sebastian?
No. I’m not the only guy fighting against him. All of us are. He’s had a great run. But we have a lot of races to go and a lot of good opportunities. What’s gone before is gone. [He’s scored a] lot of good points, but it’s not been too bad for me either. I’d love to start winning – but I’m not the only guy who thinks that. So, no, not tired of that at all. It’s the same for all of us. You want to do well and get the most out of yourself and as long as you’re doing that, you can be satisfied. But we have some more improving to do.
Are you amused by all the too-ing and fro-ing over Lewis in the papers?
I haven’t read too much of it to be honest, but there’s no football going on and Wimbledon’s over, and whenever Lewis talks there’s press, so, yeah, that’s what happens. I’ve got a very good understanding of what’s really going on, so I’m pretty relaxed. There’s a lot of talk but today’s papers are tomorrow’s fish and chip wrappers. They have to keep digging for stories; that’s fair, that’s what happens, and tomorrow they’ll be a new story. That’s always how it’s been in F1. As I say, I’m relaxed and I’ll stay that way whether Fangio’s coming here or whoever.
Have the recent changes given the momentum to McLaren?
They could win here. That’s what their press release says anyway…
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