It’s hard to keep the tyres happy, says Webber

Mark Webber lost his World Championship lead in Canada, but fifth place represented handy points and some damage limitation at a track which was never going to play to the strengths of the Red Bull.

Webber also had to recover from a gearbox penalty that dumped him from second to seventh on the grid, and had he started from his rightful place, he might have come away with more.

The Aussie ran two stints on prime tyres and by staying out before his final stop on options, he led the race for a while. However he was caught by Lewis Hamilton even before he visited the pits, and fell back to fifth. His race was compromised by an earlier than planned first stop, after the tyres went away.

“We knew it was going to be a bit like that here today, the tyres playing a huge role in the race, when we made the pit strategies that we did,” said Webber. “I think in the end we did the best we could do.

“Obviously they split the cars, with Seb on the option in the middle while I stayed on the prime, and was going to finish the race on the option. It’s dangerous waiting for a safety car as well, in terms of when that happens obviously your race is pretty much over when you’re in the front as the race is neutralised.

“So mixed emotions, after the penalty this morning, but then I had a good first few laps and I managed to get into a few people and that took its toll a bit on the first set of tyres, so I was in trouble a bit earlier than I would have liked. It wasn’t too bad.”

Webber said he wasn’t surprised to drop from the lead down to fifth when he made his last stop: “I knew everyone was pretty close together, I was obviously monitoring the gaps to Lewis. I was going away a little bit at the start, because I knew he was pacing to get to the end. I was just trying to hold my pace constant, and in the end the tyres didn’t want that pace, so in the end they go away.

“It’s virtually impossible to keep them happy, the tyres, they keep degrading no matter how slow you drive. So in the end it wasn’t really a surprise, because I knew people were tightly packed up behind Lewis. To come back out fifth… It would have been nice to get a few more places, and I wanted some champagne today, but in the end, it didn’t happen.”


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2 responses to “It’s hard to keep the tyres happy, says Webber

  1. BreezyRacer

    Has Red Bull just pissed away the WC?

    Well it’s been just two weeks or so since Turkey and the Vettel/Webber crash. It’s clear from Red Bull’s actions that they are indeed promoting baby Schumi over Webber, as witnessed in Canada when they kept Webber behind Vettel to the end despite the tremendous speed differential between the two cars at the end. While all of this does tend to raise Webber’s stature with F1 insiders it also seems to indicate that the only way Red Bull will win the WC is if it’s Vettel leading the team to it.

    After the recent success of McLaren Turkey looks to be a turning point for the season and the beginning of a defensive pose for team Red Bull. McLaren has the momentum now and is poised to make the most of it. They have the depth to use that momentum to maximum effect. No team is perfect and certainly Red Bull’s weaknesses are front and center for all to see. This time around it was tranny problems that cost Red Bull.

    Looking forward we have some really prime races for Red Bull but we also have continuing problems with the strength and depth of the team. Do they really think they have so much speed in pocket as to favor Vettel, behind in points, to Webber? IMO, It’s a gamble that they shouldn’t be taking if they truly want to win the WC.

  2. CTP

    I thought RBR’s hedging of the situation made perfect sense, and arguably they didn’t lose anything in so doing. I think they stood to gain a lot more if Ham/But/Alo/Vet’s tires all gave up in the closing laps, which there was a decent chance they would.
    And, I don’t see any favoring of Vettel over Webber. Let’s move on.

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