As he endeavours to reclaim the world championship lead he lost following his costly Korean Grand Prix error just over a week ago, Red Bull Racing star Mark Webber has conceded that his target for the upcoming Brazilian Grand Prix has to be a repeat of his 2009 victory at Interlagos.
From second on the grid in São Paulo twelve months ago, Webber overcame pole-sitter Rubens Barrichello during the opening round of pit-stops and subsequently went on to control proceedings to notch up what was at the time only his second F1 triumph. He might have since tallied four more this year, but the Australian acknowledges that after potentially throwing away 25 points in Korea, there could not be a better time to regain the top step of the rostrum.
“Brazil is one of the best tracks of the year in terms of the atmosphere,” reflected the 34-year-old, now some eleven markers adrift of new world championship leader Fernando Alonso. “The Brazilians are fully into their motorsport and have had lot of world champions in the past.
“I obviously have good memories from there from last year – it was a nice race to win, and we will clearly be trying to get another victory this year. It's now coming to a pivotal stage of the championship, and we need to make the most of every opportunity we can.”
Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel, for his part, agonisingly saw a certain Korean victory slip through his fingers barely ten laps from the chequered flag in Yeongam County, when the Renault engine in the back of his RB6 suddenly went bang, leaving the young German 25 points shy of Alonso heading to Brazil, when it should conversely have been him
sitting atop the table for the first time. Outscoring both the Spaniard and Webber at Interlagos, he well knows, is the very least of his objectives.
“There are a lot of positive things about the upcoming event in Brazil,” the 23-year-old affirmed. “The circuit is fantastic, the spectators are passionate about racing, the atmosphere during the race is great and the city is interesting.
“The Interlagos track is a challenging one for the drivers because it's anti-clockwise which, after a season of racing on clockwise circuits, puts a strain on your neck muscles. Also, the big bumps are demanding. The circuit requires good aero-efficiency – which should suit the RB6 – although the long, uphill start-finish straight will give an advantage to the more powerful engines. It's always a challenging circuit, and the weather often plays a part, too.”