Mark Webber has admitted that winning the Spanish Grand Prix could be vital to his Formula One championship ambitions after a series of low-scoring results in the 'flyaway' races that opened the 2010 season.
Despite Red Bull Racing's clear pace advantage, the Australian has just one top three result to show for his efforts in the first four rounds, with a mix of bad luck and poor judgement restricting him to a single podium appearance, behind RBR team-mate Sebastian Vettel in Malaysia, and only eighth overall in the standings as F1 returns to Europe.
However, with the revised scoring system employed in the top flight this year, Webber reasons that a couple of good results in the coming races would go a long way to closing the 32-point gap to championship leader Jenson Button, and intends to convert his second pole position of the campaign into victory at the Circuit de Catalunya.
"Every race is definitely important, but we have seen that the 25 points is a nice thing to get on Sunday afternoons, as it is a bit of a buffer over the other two podium spots in terms of points ratio," he commented, "It is certainly no secret that the first four races have not gone amazing for me, especially in terms of the two wet races that we had in Melbourne and Shanghai, [although] Malaysia was pretty solid.
"It is very important [to get a good result here]. I left home the other day and said to my dogs 'hopefully boys, I will bring home quite a big chunk of points for you' so, hopefully, we can start tomorrow. Then we have got Monaco and we are at the track again Thursday. Bang. It is around again quickly and you can gain and lose a lot in the next eight days."
Webber has added incentive to convert pole into victory in Barcelona having seen his previous top spot this season evaporate in the first turn at Sepang, after he left the door too far ajar and allowed Vettel to snatch a lead he would not lose. While no polewinner has won a race in 2010, the Circuit de Catalunya has a record that looks set to buck the trend, with the last nine races there all going the way of the fastest man in qualifying. Despite that, however, he is not taking anything for granted.
"As you know, here in Barcelona, conditions can change quite a bit here and there," he pointed out, "It's a venue all the teams know extremely well, so you don't want to get too complacent with your knowledge of the venue. In the end, driver and team on car number six obviously pulled everything together and today worked well for us.
"It's a sensational result for the team to again lock out the front row. Personally I'm rapt, obviously ecstatic that I've got the pole. It puts me in a nice position for tomorrow, but it's still a long GP. It's one that I'm looking forward to, of course, and it's always nice to get a pole. Sebastian, as I said before, has a good record against me in qualifying - it's always very close, but it's not like he's six or seven tenths down the road - so it was nice today to get it back my way.
"Today was my day, but we have a good long race tomorrow. I'm happy with the car in a race situation, and it's a good position to be in, but there are no points today."