It was his last Formula 1 race on European soil, and Mark Webber signed off in fine style by taking third place in the Italian Grand Prix, making his first visit to the Monza podium. Afterwards, on the poidum and in the press conference, the Red Bull driver spoke about his afternoon of work at the self styled citadel of speed.
You had to fight very hard to be on the podium. From the middle of the race you had… it looked like from outside you had better speed, compared to the beginning. Can you explain how it was at the beginning of the grand prix?
Mark Webber: Yeah, I felt a little bit better on the tyre at the end of the race. The hard tyre was not quite as comfortable for me but I felt very, very good at the end. So it was a good battle with Fernando. Great team result. Thank you to Monza, last time here in Formula 1, so thank you very much. See you next time.
You’ve had your best finishing position here and finally experienced a Monza podium – but at the same time, tell us about the start, tell us why you pulled off at the end.
MW: Yeah, very happy to be on the podium here at Monza. It’s one of the most famous ones in the world, up there with Monte Carlo and a few other signature events but yeah, brilliant to experience that, even though the atmosphere I was not completely a fan of, to be honest. Sebastian won the race and the atmosphere is not completely correct but anyway…that’s their choice. It was good to have a clean weekend from start to finish and then fight for top positions, which was certainly the case today. The start was pretty good but both Sebastian and I, I think, compared to the Ferraris were not as strong off the line. Felipe had a good one so he had to go to the other side. Seb gave me enough room up the inside. I thought he was going to go straight. He was very deep on the brakes but just managed to pull it up, so then we settled into the first part of the race. I was not super-happy on the Hard tyre but anyway that’s the way it was. Fernando was into the rhythm a little bit quicker, we had a good little battle in the second chicane and then after that really just trying to managed the pace on the rear tyres to when we were going to stop to try to pass Felipe – which I was very, very happy with, the in-lap. And also the whole thing went well in terms of for the line, pitstop, exit, out-lap. We executed that as a team effort: driver, pitcrew, and got the job done against Felipe. And then actually it was a good battle with Fernando on the other tyre. Tried everything but yeah, as Seb touched on, we had to nurse the gearbox a little bit but in the end second was the maximum, we got third but we pushed Fernando all the way. It’s always a good battle racing Fernando, you have to be very accurate. We pushed as hard as we could and I’m satisfied with today’s result.
Can you describe your side of when Alonso passed you and how badly did that damaged wing affect your race?
MW: I think that I braked pretty deep into there, so did Fernando. It was early in the race, we were still [yet] to get a feel for where everything is. Obviously as Fernando touched on, it’s very easy to go straight there and not make the entry to the chicane. I was also mindful of the fact that I wanted to make the entry to the chicane as well but when Fernando then got pretty much level on the outside of three, the chess match is over, basically, so you then obviously have to concede and look to take the fight to another part of the race. The wing, I think, wasn’t too bad. I think we’ve had quite a few little snags on the front wings this season but that seemed to be OK. It wouldn’t have helped; I don’t think we had the best balance in the first ten, 15 laps because of that. As the race went on towards the end, it might not have been too bad to help the stint but I couldn’t go anywhere against that with Felipe and at the end of the stop the guys might have tweaked it up a little bit, but in general, not a big difference. I was concerned that the wing might have been more damaged when I saw it go and also on the back straight on the way to the Parabolica I thought I saw Fernando’s left rear [tyre] – just an illusion maybe – but I saw the tyre about to go down but it didn’t, it stayed up and in the end we both survived. (FIA / Apex)
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