Crash.Net F1 News
Webber: Hard work paying off
14 October 2012
Mark Webber paid tribute to the unstinting efforts of the Red Bull Racing team that helped him to claim pole position for the Korean Grand Prix on the back of successive wins for team-mate Sebastian Vettel in Singapore and Japan.
While the German moved firmly into contention for a third world championship title, Webber took satisfaction from getting greater pace from the RB8 when it mattered in qualifying, particularly having had to sit out much of the final free practice session with a software glitch.
"We didn't get to run anywhere near as much as we would have liked to in P3, so our information on the option [tyre] was limited," he confirmed, "There was a bit of catch-up going on, for sure. After my first run on the option in Q2, I had not the best sector two and three for balance issues, and also some other things that [engineer] Ciaron [Pilbeam] was working on to get the car to finish the lap better. That's what we focused on in Q3 - and we got the job done.
"The lap was pretty good. We had a few plates spinning, to be honest, with some little background issues that we were managing as best we could on the lap, but the lap was very good, apart from turn 15. I made a mistake there [as] the exit wasn't great but, apart from that, it worked well. I think I got [turns] eleven and twelve as good as I could get so, yeah, take the rough with the smooth. I think it was a tight session for all of us: up and down, scrubbed tyres, new tyres."
Having had to watch as Ferrari and McLaren claimed the race wins through the middle of the season, Red Bull has bounced back since the summer break, with Vettel gaining the greatest number of points of anyone as he mounts a late championship challenge to Fernando Alonso.
"We have been making small developments at each grand prix, that's the way it is," Webber explained, "If you look at where the car is from Spa, obviously it's a different aero package for Spa and Monza, but to where it is now, the base of the car for sure is probably a decent step. At every grand prix, we try to just put little bits on the car to help. At some grands prix, we don't put anything on, we miss and, at the next one, we catch up a bit more. Also, you have to bear in mind that it's circuit-specific as well. You have to understand what each track needs and those type of things, so the last two venues have probably been pretty good for us in terms of layout, especially the last one [at Suzuka].
"Happy drivers are drivers at the front so, when you're towards the front, it makes you satisfied. But we can still improve the car, there are always areas to improve. That's what we've got to keep working on.
"I think, off the back of Suzuka, we felt that we'd improved the car a bit, but you never, ever get ahead of yourself these days. We had a good car in Valencia and then, after that, it was not that easy for us. We were a bit open to that after Suzuka, coming here knowing that it's not going to be a given, but we have a pretty handy car around here for sure. I think that the guys have been working very, very hard and there's no question, the hard work's paying off, but we focus on ourselves and just keep pushing the lap times down as much as we can."