Italian GP: A frustrating weekend for Webber at Monza
By Berthold Bouman
It was a frustrating weekend at Monza for Red Bull driver Mark Webber. On Friday he could not impress as he was ninth and 11th during practice, on Saturday morning he was again 11th during the third free practice session, and 11th once again during qualifying.
“It’s been a frustrating weekend. It was our first double retirement for 34 races [since the Korean GP 2010], so clearly there’s work to be done,” said the Australian.
At the start of the race he lost three positions and was then 14th. “Our starts have been quite good this year, but it didn’t work out today. This was probably my worst start since Melbourne, so we need to look into why that was. I spent most of the first stint trying to get myself back into the race, and to make matters worse I lost radio contact at several points in the race. It was difficult to talk to the team.”
Webber managed to climb up to eighth place, but then had Michael Schumacher’s Mercedes in his mirrors. “I didn’t want to lose too much time with Michael, so I let him go,” says Mark. “The rear tyres were already finished by this point, but I had to keep pushing hard because Nico [Rosberg] was gaining quickly on a fresh set of boots.”
And then there was the spin, that ended the race for him. “In the end I dropped it coming out of Ascari, which is quite a quick place to have a spin. But I managed to keep it out of the wall at the expense of the tyres. They were very heavily flat-spotted as a result, so I retired the car. They were square as a result of the flat-spots and I couldn’t see the track due to the vibrations. It’s also very easy to break the car like that at 320kph, which is why I retired,” Webber explained.
But Webber is confident his team will bounce back at the next race, the Singapore Grand Prix, “We’re a very strong team and we’ve got some great people in it, and we’ll fight back. The company philosophy is win or nothing; we’ve had a few good wins this year and we need to get back to winning ways as soon as possible.”
Webber has now dropped down to fifth place in the Drivers’ Championship, 47 points behind leader Fernando Alonso, and eight points behind his team colleague Sebastian Vettel who is currently fourth.