Mark Webber insists that he has not forgotten how sweet winning an F1 race can taste, despite it being almost a year since he last stood at the top of a grand prix podium.

Remarkably, given Red Bull Racing's dominance and his prolonged championship challenge in 2010, the Australian has not won a grand prix since Hungary last August, when he took advantage of a mental slip by team-mate Sebastian Vettel to claim a fourth win of the year and consolidate his points advantage.

"The last victory was where? Hungary?" he reminisced, "The last victory was nice - they're all beautiful. We all know that. All the drivers love to have them so, irrespective of venue, it would be nice to feel that again very, very soon."

Now, it is Vettel in the ascendancy, having won last year's title at the last round and dominating in 2011 and, because of that, it would no doubt have given Webber greater satisfaction to take pole for the German's home race, just as he claimed his first win at the Nurburgring two seasons ago with Vettel as his team-mate at RBR. The 34-year old admitted that there was something about the German circuit that seemed to suit his style, but also insisted that he felt he was coming back into form after a feisty drive at Silverstone two weeks ago.

"Probably a little bit of both," he agreed, "The performance has been getting a little bit better in the last few races, but also this track seems to be not too bad for me in the past. [We had a] good quali today and I hope I lead one lap tomorrow - the last lap. That is the most important thing, so I will be in there pushing very hard.

"It was a good session, tight between all of us. We had a red car, couple of Red Bulls, a silver car, all of us pushing to the limit, so we had to be incredibly accurate and spot on. In the end, I could not really complain about my last two laps. It needed to be good, as Lewis [Hamilton] was right with us and very nearly took pole off us."

Webber was also confident that Red Bull could hold its own on race day, despite both Ferrari and Hamilton's McLaren appearing to have a measure of the Milton Keynes team in qualifying. The Australian will be particularly keen to make a good start, having failed to lead a lap so far this season and not having converted any of his previous four poles into victory, but accepts that unseasonably cold conditions will add an extra factor into the team's planning.

"We should be cool," he insisted, "Yesterday worked out okay for us, but we always know on Sunday night. You have a better indication because, as we saw with the McLarens, sometimes they are a bit up and down with race pace compared to where normally they are strong. We saw, in Valencia and a few races here and there, that they weren't so strong, so let's see who has the smoothest race tomorrow. We might have a few decisions to make from the cockpit as well with the mountains being a bit wet....

"We all did our work yesterday, when conditions were good - it was a dry day and we could get good information. Generally, we have an idea, within reason [of how the tyres will perform]. We know seven out of ten how the race will unfold for us in terms of tyre wear and pit-stops, and it's certainly not Turkey or Barcelona. The tyres look a little bit happier here, but we will definitely do two [stops]. You can one-stop if you want - the tyres are a bit different here, but it's the same for everybody.

"As always, it takes some attention and detail to work on it. When you're at the front with these guys, obviously everyone's looking at that. We worked on it and it's slightly different from other venues this weekend. In the end, I think you saw most people do one timed lap, so the tyre was ready for one lap. But it's something we always look at, you know that. Other teams are looking at it, and it's a very important factor to get right."

Webber was quick to play down suggestions that Vettel was again being favoured over him, following the instruction to hold station behind the German at Silverstone, and insisted that he would be going for victory on Sunday.

"We've had a few incidents, obviously, which have been played in public, which is never ideal for us as a team," he conceded, "We're here to race, we're here to win, the team's come a long way. Sometimes we learn in not a good way, sometimes we learn in a good way, which is behind closed doors. I feel okay in the team. Dietrich [Mateschitz] is very good, and all the guys on the floor, Christian [Horner] and Adrian [Newey], are doing their stuff. I do my job, turn up and try to concentrate on purple sectors. That's all I can do.

"Today was still pretty tight between Seb and I, and it is hardly a disaster for him as he is on the second row. Today, I did a better lap time, but often it is the other way around. It worked out for me today and that was it."


Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment