Mark Webber has admitted that Red Bull is not perfect, citing the world champions start procedure as leaving a lot to be desired in competition with certain rivals.
The Australian has become synonymous with poor getaways, having lost several potential wins by struggling off the line when the lights go out. However, when it is put to him that he must have a problem with start-line procedures, Webber is quick to point out that team-mate Sebastian Vettel has not fared that much better, despite obviously racking enough success to warrant four consecutive F1 world titles.
“The initial part has not always been consistent and I think my reaction to this inconsistency is not as good as it could be,” he conceded, “So, when you go for the second lever, when you go for the KERS, when you go for the slip control, especially on the Pirellis, you slip the tyre a little bit and you lose time. I think that, with the Bridgestones, you could slip the tyre a little bit more and get no penalty.
“But we've never seen Sebastian go through the row in front either. We're either holding position or losing, and Seb has got the starts just okay because I think he can manage some of the problems. For me, it has not, particularly in the last few years.
“In the Bridgestone years, we were fine, and 2010 was actually pretty good, but, in the last few years, it has not been our strength - and it has not been a strength of mine.”
Despite the issues, Webber insisted that has no worries when lining up on the grid, despite the current emphasis a good start can place on the rest of the race.
“I enjoy the starts,” he claimed, “I'm relaxed on the grid - I could sing a song to the guys….
“When the lights are on, it's a great part of the grand prix but, of course, it's a part of the weekend that, if you look at Austin, it's a big part of the weekend that needs to... Maybe I should have done 'bike racing because, in 'bike racing, you can overtake but, in F1 now, it's less easy to recover because in traffic with the tyres… blah, blah, blah - it's a big part.”
Despite how it appeared from outside the cockpit as he lost out to Romain Grosjean into turn one, and Lewis Hamilton on exit, Webber insisted that his start in Austin 'was very good'.
“Austin was a great start,” the 37-year old maintained, before inadvertently, following up with. 'Austin was a good start'.
“We are not completely in a position like Ferrari with their clutches,” he reasoned, “We know they have a very, very good start system, so they're stronger than us on the initial [getaway]...”