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Webber: A lot will depend on the start

Mark Webber has admitted that McLaren poses a bigger threat to his victory ambitions at Spa, despite having claimed another pole for Red Bull Racing.
Despite claiming Red Bull Racing's twelfth pole in 13 races at the Belgian Grand Prix, Mark Webber admitted that the race would not be a foregone conclusion, especially with McLaren's Lewis Hamilton starting alongside him on the grid.

The Australian pulled a quick lap out of the bag when it mattered in the third and final phase of qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps, and was then aided as the rain returned, albeit lightly, in the closing moments, but knows that Hamilton - and those immediately behind the McLaren - will be gunning for him.

"Let's see how the start goes," Webber noted, "We don't know if it's going to be consistent on both sides [of the grid] in terms of grip level - we've seen the right side of the track drying a bit faster than the left side - so, if it's going to be like that, then I should get away okay. But, if it's even across both sides in terms of wet or dry, then I'm probably expecting Lewis to be pretty close.

"But it's nothing unusual. We've been there before and we will try and do our best. I don't think tomorrow's grand prix will be won and lost on the first lap, to be honest."

Asked whether he believed that the McLarens were quicker than Red Bull this weekend, Webber insisted that it was hard to tell given that practice and qualifying had both been affected by changeable conditions.

"We've worked incredibly hard, as we have done all year, [but] we know there are some circuits that certainly suit us better than others," he conceded, "If we were to have 17 races, we probably wouldn't pick this track - and certainly not the next track. That's the way the world championship is, you've got to have lots of different venues and test the technical people, test the drivers. Spa is a track which we always want on the calendar [from a driver's point of view], so it's up to us to have a good car at all venues and capitalise on when we have a good car, which was [the case] in Budapest and a few other venues.

"We've seen it ebb and flow a bit. These guys have been very, very strong on a few circuits and have a few weaknesses as well. That's the pinnacle of F1 at the moment, measured by small margins. You can't be doing purple sectors on every single track in every single condition every single time - it's just too competitive for that.

"China was an interesting grand prix. Obviously, that was a very consistent condition - if you look at the whole grand prix, it was generally pretty wet - so whether we see that here tomorrow, I'm not sure. They were better than us in Shanghai, but many, many things have changed since then, in terms of cars and how their cars have been developed and, of course, we understood a lot from that race in those conditions ourselves. I'll get back to you on that one tomorrow."

Hamilton appeared to be the man to beat through the first two phases of qualifying, but Webber timed his final run to perfection to claim his fifth pole of the campaign.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Qualifying, Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB6
Qualifying, Robert Kubica (POL), Renault F1 Team, R30 3rd position, Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB6 pole position and Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25 2nd position
Saturday Practice, Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB6
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
27.11.2016 - Race,Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H  leads Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 off trach and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 spins
27.11.2016 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12

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cmc1 - Unregistered

August 29, 2010 10:27 AM

Mark Webber seems to have gain a clarity of mind this year. He knows where all the obstacles are lying and has the good measure to avoid them or dispatch with them.



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