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Webber: Always sunny when we drive the simulator!

Mark Webber during day two of winter testing at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit on February 2, 2011 in Valencia, Spain.
Mark Webber back in UK after sunshine holiday

Jan.26 (Red Bull) Mark Webber was at Red Bull’s Milton Keynes factory on Wednesday to catch up with everyone after New Year and spend some time with the night-shift workers who often miss out when our drivers attend the daytime race debriefs.

Red Bull simulator
Red Bull simulator

We quickly caught up with him to ask about Christmas dinner, the odd gift-voucher and the eternal sunshine of the simulator.

So you’re fresh from your winter break, tell us, do F1 drivers tuck into hearty Christmas dinners with all the trimmings like the rest of us?
Mark Webber: Absolutely yes. I had a good feed around Christmas time, it was good to relax and unwind with family and friends as we all like to do at that time of year – no shortage of alcohol, put your feet up for a while and recharge. It’s a great way for the body to have a bit of a break and then you can start building your preparations shortly into the new year.

What did you get for Christmas?
Webber: That’s a very good question actually. Nothing super special, I’m pretty hard to buy for so I get a lot of basic stuff off my family and friends which is fine because I do need some navigational equipment with some of my training, it’s mainly always sports related. They’ll always go for the easy option and buy me gift voucher which is easy for me then to go out and get what I want. I’m pretty hard to buy for and I don’t expect too much, I just like everyone to be there together.

Relaxing Mark Webber style
Relaxing Mark Webber style

We gather you were in Australia for New Year – who does it better – the Aussies or the Brits?!
Webber: New Years Eve didn’t work out quite as planned. I think we had so much fun in the build up before Christmas, after Christmas, all that sort of stuff so New Year was a bit of a non-event. It’s what you make of it for sure – you need the company, you need a bit of alcohol to chill out. We welcomed it in but it was pretty tame compared to previous years so I’d say London’s got the nod at the moment.

Either way, you’re back with us in the UK now and you’ve been in the simulator here at the factory – was it strange starting out in there again after such a long holiday?
Webber: A little bit yeah but you soon get into it pretty quick, dealing with the guys on a technical aspect, it all comes back to us pretty quickly. It was certainly good to be back in and starting work and improving and working out what we need to do to make the car as quick as possible.

Will it be hard to adapt to driving your regular road car when you go home this evening?
Webber: You’ve just got to recalcitrate the eyes really. Obviously the simulator is not like driving your everyday road car. It’s always sunny when we drive the simulator! It’s always sunny! It’s never raining, so it’s different to driving on the roads in England. When I leave the simulator on a beautiful sunny day in Barcelona and I get in the car and it’s always raining – you’re eyes have got to adjust to that – that’s the trick.

Note: Our eyes are still adjusting to his Melbourne glow of a tan. Jealous? Us? No way!