11 October 2013
Japanese Grand Prix: Webber still seeking pace from back-up chassis
Mark Webber expects Mercedes and Lotus to be challenging Red Bull for pole position at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Mark Webber admitted that he needs to find more speed overnight if he is too keep his Red Bull ahead of the challengers in qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix.
The Australian took second spot on the Friday timesheets, behind team-mate Sebastian Vettel, but revealed that he would be working hard with his engineers to ensure that he could drag more time out of his car which, of course, is a replacement for the one that ended last weekend's Korean Grand Prix covered in extinguisher foam.
“On one lap, it looks pretty tight with the Mercedes and with the Lotus, but I haven't had a close look at the times: it doesn't look too bad,” Webber reported, “We've done a lot of laps today and will now work on tomorrow.
“The track is a special one and, in terms of difficulty, it's right up there. We have to be very accurate and, if you're not, then you get penalised. We have to find performance tonight - it's our job to make improvements each day and we have a job to do tonight to find some more tenths.”
While Webber is running a 'new' chassis at Suzuka, the engine and gearbox are the same as the ones he used on raceday in Korea. Despite charring from the fire that followed his collision with Adrian Sutil at the first restart in Yeongam, neither the engine nor gearbox was too badly damaged for the team to continue using them.
"The engine and gearbox were fine, so it's just a new chassis,” Webber confirmed to ESPN on the eve of practice, “[The chassis] was actually damaged more by the impact that the fire, because the [Force India's] crash structure was quite strong.”
Webber's chassis last saw action at the Hungarian Grand Prix and, without all of the developments introduced by RBR since then, is reportedly a little heavier than the car he used in Korea.
Red Bull was critical of the marshalling in Korea, which initially left Webber to try and combat the blaze using the onboard extinguisher in the RB9, and the Australian views the incident as indicative of his misfortune this season.
"Obviously, we got the puncture [from debris resulting from Sergio Perez's blow-out] and had to pit again, so we were out of position when Sutil creamed me at the hairpin. Singapore was uncharacteristic, in Monza we still managed to get home… then there was the gearbox in Budapest that basically meant a ten-place grid penalty…. There have been quite a few challenging technical issues, which have been difficult to address. Given that we're in quite a stagnant state of technical advancement, and not exactly in the era of pushing the boundaries, there has been quite a few [races] that have slipped through the net. And that's a bit surprising for a few of us."
Click on relevant pic to enlarge
the conversation - Add your comment
Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.