Italian GP: Mark Webber going for victory at Monza
By Berthold Bouman
Red Bull driver Mark Webber is ready for this weekend’s Formula One race, the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Webber is looking forward to race on this iconic track, one of the fastest circuits on this year’s calendar where cars reach speeds of over 320km/h.
Webber describes his feelings for this venue, “It’s an unbelievable weekend. It has amazing heritage and history, and all the Italian fans, known colloquially as the Tifosi, are so passionate about motor racing. Racing through the park near the old banking is also pretty awesome, so it’s a real highlight on the calendar. It’s also the last European race of the season which is special.”
And he made no bones about it, victory is his goal this weekend, “I felt pretty competitive most of the weekend at Spa, so I’ve got a good feeling about the car going to Monza. I’ve tasted some really nice victories this year, therefore I’m looking to get that sort of feeling back.”
The weekend at Spa-Francorchamps was a disappointment for the Australian driver, he had a five-place grid penalty for changing a gearbox, he qualified seventh and thus started from P12, and finished in sixth place, adding another eight points to his tally.
Webber commented, “Off the back of a weekend where you don’t think you’ve got everything out of it, it’s nice to get straight back into another event. I’m feeling a bit disappointed, it would have been good to get a few more points [at Spa] for sure. I’m looking forward to rectifying that missed opportunity.”
But he knows he has a fight on his hands, but this time he is not only expecting competition from his team colleague Sebastian Vettel, both McLaren drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, and championship leader Fernando Alonso, but he is also aware of the fact Williams and Sauber performed very well at Spa.
“No one would ever had put money on who qualified highly in Spa,” he said, adding, “Sauber and Williams looked very competitive and the situation could be similar in Monza. Normally Spa-Francorchamps is a barometer for what to expect in Monza. The aerodynamic kits are similar and sector 1 and 3 always give us an indication of what to expect. The grid could be very mixed up, so it could be a real scrap.”
Webber, still a contender for the 2012 title, knows consistency is the key in 2012, “With eight races remaining, I need to remain consistent and keep picking up the points.” “However,” he continued, “that is not going to be enough. You need very strong performances that lead to race wins.”
Webber won the Monaco and British Grand Prix this year and is currently third in the Drivers’ Championship with 132 points, eight points behind Vettel, and 32 points behind leader Alonso. Red Bull Racing is currently leading the Constructors’ Championship with 272 points.