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Webber seeks smooth weekend in Sao Paulo
22 November 2012
Mark Webber has spoken for the entire Red Bull Racing team when he suggested that a problem-free weekend is needed at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
The Australian has no personal reason to require a smooth passage other than his desire to add to the nine career wins he has racked up, but knows that recent woes in the Red Bull camp could still derail the team's bid for a championship double.
Webber's retirement in the US Grand Prix could not prevent RBR racking up a third straight constructors' crown with one race remaining, but the source of his DNF – an alternator failure – casts a pall over this weekend's action, the same part having already sidelined individual championship leader Sebastian Vettel twice in 2012.
Vettel, who seized control of the title race by going on a winning spree once the schedule hit it's end-of-season 'flyaway' races, heads to Sao Paulo with a 13-point cushion over Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, but the combination of reliability worries and concerns about the Brazilian weather means that the destiny of the championship will remain in doubt for some time yet.
“Brazil is a great way to finish the year,” admitted Webber, who many felt was allowed to win last year's race by a spurious glitch on Vettel's car, “It's one of my most favourite weekends because of the history with the drivers they've had.
“Senna, Piquet and Fittipaldi, these guys did a huge amount for the sport, and Interlagos is a legendary circuit - it's got a great atmosphere, there's always been a bit of drama and there is always a bit of weather floating around.
“It's a grand prix that I have done well at in the past, and it would be good to have a smooth weekend with no issues, a clean start and the car running smoothly for the whole weekend. Then I'm sure we can finish the season very strongly.”
Vettel avoided talking about the championship battle as Red Bull issued its usual bland preview to the event, preferring to discuss the particular challenges of racing at Interlagos.
“At Interlagos, you have a combination of passionate fans, driving anti-clockwise, bad bumps and extreme altitude,” he reflected, “The thin air makes it tough for the engine, because São Paulo is located 1000m above sea level, so it costs us about 40hp. The long left turns put an extreme burden on our neck muscles, because of the centrifugal forces that are created from driving anti-clockwise, so I'm doing special workouts to build up my neck muscles and get them used to it.”
Perhaps aptly for the heights it is hoping to achieve this weekend, RBR will carry the colours of high-definition satellite TV provider SKY for the third year running in Brazil. The partnership has seen great success in the previous two years, with the team achieving a 1-2 finish at both the 2010 and 2011 races. SKY logos will feature on the bargeboards of the RB8, as well as on the drivers' overalls and team race shirts.
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