Mark Webber has lamented the 'boring' nature of the F1 2010 curtain-raising Bahrain Grand Prix at Sakhir at the weekend and revealed his 'shock' at how difficult it is now to overtake under the new refuelling ban – asking why the sport's powers-that-be feel the need to 'keep dicking with' the rules.
Webber spent his entire race under the heat of the desert sun stuck in a fast-moving train along with Mercedes Grand Prix rival Michael Schumacher and defending F1 World Champion Jenson Button in the McLaren-Mercedes. The only change between the trio came not out on the race track but instead during the sole round of pit-stops when the Australian suffered a brief tyre-change problem that cost him four seconds, and that aside the spectacle was something of a low-key, dreary procession.
Pointing the finger firmly at the ban on refuelling and the onus having now shifted to tyre preservation rather than overtaking zeal or hard-charging aggression – with just one pit visit per race expected to be the most favourable and theoretically speediest tactic around the majority of circuits – the Red Bull Racing star predicted an excitement-free campaign ahead unless something is done to dramatically alter the regulations.
“It got pretty boring,” Webber is quoted as having said by the Australian Associated Press
. “I spent 48 laps staring at the gearboxes of first Schumacher and then Button, and there was nothing I could do to pass them. I tried everything – different lines, pressure, everything – but they're both good drivers and neither of them made a mistake.
“I was quicker than [Button] but I was unable to find a way through. He didn't make a mistake, and if I'd tried to force the issue it would have ended in a crash. I was pretty shocked by how hard it was to overtake, and it doesn't bode well for any of the one-stop races on the calendar, when everyone is going to be following pretty much the same strategy. We can only hope that other circuits will lend themselves to overtaking more than Sakhir.”
The typically forthright New South Wales native was somewhat less politically-correct on his Twitter page, where he complained about having 'followed Mercedes power for the whole race...no chance to overtake – again' and expressed his frustration with the situation by exclaiming: 'Wow! New rules, not sure huh? Why do they keep dicking with it?'
However, on a more positive note Webber professed his assurance that he will be back up at the sharp end of proceedings on home turf at Melbourne in a week-and-a-half's time, following an uncharacteristically off-colour performance in Bahrain that saw him leave with just four points to his name, as RBR team-mate Sebastian Vettel – despite suffering an engine issue that arguably cost the young German victory – came away with twelve.
“The RB6 was competitive in Bahrain, which proves what a phenomenal job the guys in Milton Keynes have done over the winter,” the 33-year-old underlined. “We've now got to put the icing on the cake by getting the results that the car deserves on a Sunday afternoon. We've done it in the past, and I'm absolutely sure we'll do it again.”