Mark Webber has always been known to speak his mind, and now that his career in Formula 1 is coming to an end there is even less reason for the Australian to indulge in ‘corporate speak’ when things go wrong, as they did in the final stages of qualifying costing him a possible top three starting berth – instead he lines up tenth on the grid due to technical issues on his Red Bull which had him seething with anger.
Webber stormed out of his pit garage, after being unable to take to the track in the all important Q3 segment of qualifying due to a KERS issue and a problem with shifting gears.
Talking to media afterwards Webber pulled no punches, “KERS! gearbox! You name it. Driving the car around so far off the potential it’s unbelievable. It is massively frustrating. We look stupid, it’s embarrassing. This is a brutal circuit to be out of position on, we should be challenging for the front row which is possible and we’re bloody tenth.”
“A pain in the ass and it’s amazing all the effort you go to and then you have two weekends on the bounce when you get that,” fumed the 37 year old who is contesting his final season in F1.
Teams are bracing themselves for a heatwave on race day in Budapest, which coupled to the tight and twisty nature of ther Hungaroring ciruit makes it one of the toughest races for drivers.
“We’ve got to get car operating at the limit the first thing tomorrow. It’s a long race with not everything functioning correctly,” explained Webber. “KERS was [functioning at] 50% of it and there were other things. We managed to tick every box in qualifying and made it hard. So we’ve got to get that sorted for [the race] but as usual it’s going to be hard to get the result we could have potentially gotten.”
His teammate Sebastian Vettel had a hassle free day, and was only narrowly beaten to pole position by Lewis Hamilton. Vettel will start second in the sister car.
Team principal Christian Horner sympathised with Webber’s plight, “Mark’s car had two issues, one with the gear shift and also with KERS, which was probably costing him up to 0.8 of a second per lap. He did a very impressive job to get into Q3, but at that stage, with a car that was not able to run at its full potential, we had to take a strategic approach to tomorrow’s race.”
“We therefore elected not to run in Q3, so he has a freedom of choice and fresh tyres for tomorrow’s race. It’s going to be interesting tomorrow and strategy is going to be crucial,” added the world champion team boss. (AFP)
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