Webber: I drove a pretty good race but in the end it wasn’t enough
28 October, 2012
Oct.28 (FIA) Mark Webber looked a certainty for second place in the Indian Grand Prix until the old KERS gremlin, that has previously afflicted Red Bull, struck again and put the Australian on the back foot when having to defend from Fernando Alonso late in the race which he could not do, but had enough in his armoury to stave off a concerted attack from Lewis Hamilton in the final lasp of the race at Buddh International Circuit. He spoke afterwards and here are the highlights.
You had to work hard to be up on this podium today...
Mark Webber: Yes. First of all thanks to the crowd, they are fantastic today. I enjoyed the fight today; it was a difficult race, very difficult for me to get into a rhythm, we had a few issues we needed to manage on the car but fair play to the other guys it was a good, tough grand prix. Lewis and Fernando were very strong on the hard tyre and with our KERS it was very difficult. I was happy with how I drove and we’ll come back for Abu Dhabi.
So when he [Alonso] breezed past you down the straight, you were missing your KERS at that time and just helpless? There’s nothing you could do?
MW: Yes, that right. It was very difficult to defend there because you need the KERS to get you on that type of corner.
A good start off the line?
MW: It was good – just a shame it wasn’t a long Barcelona or Malaysia: it would have been a bit nicer but I had the run, obviously, but then the radius into Turn One on the inside… I mean we were together but it’s very, very tricky down in there and also I saw Fernando last year obviously if you brake on the limit it’s very easy to go a bit too far. So, Seb come across, which is fair enough and then I was worried about the other guys obviously having a very good exit on not just me but both of us. Turn Three: was very important to get to there in good shape. So, the start was good, exit at Turn Three wasn’t too bad. Obviously it’s tricky for all of use to get off there on the first lap. I got off there not too bad, got a little bit of a tow off Seb and then settled into the race from there.
And then that first pitstop – you must have been longing to make that first pitstop and knowing you couldn’t – because you were losing time obviously just before the end of the stint...
MW: No, I was pretty happy with where the stop [was]. It’s nice to go a little bit longer. We had to react to Fernando. We would have gone even longer. Obviously it wasn’t due to tyres, it was due to KERS that I started to lose the rhythm and the tempo: obviously when the KERS is coming on and off, we need to also screw around with the brake balance and lots of other things. The guys have got a huge amount of plate-spinning to try to feed that into the cockpit for me. The last thing you want in a one-stop strategy race is starting to have front locking. Because we need to do long, long stints. So obviously this is a pain in the arse and we had to manage it as best we can. The stop was really because of when Fernando pitted, so we had to react to that. Stop was alright and then the prime was a little bit more high-maintenance; a little bit trickier actually, I think for both Seb and I. I managed to break the DRS, managed to get away from Fernando. I then got myself together. KERS was there or there abouts, on and off, and then I caught… I mean the blue flags didn’t do nothing for the backmarkers, that’s the problem: the guys don’t know how much time they kill us in the fast corners. So, when you catch some of those guys in those corners, you lose a second and a half in one sector, or a second. Which happened twice. But, that’s the way it was. And those guys can’t do that when you’ve got guys… when you’re racing with Fernando, the three of us on the limit, Fernando’s going to be all over that stuff. So, it was back on again, and then when I had no KERS, I mean it’s not really a battle on the back straight. I went across to the inside but Fernando come past. They’ve got a very good top gear as well, big top speed. That was it. Then I pushed like… as strong as possible to get to the end of the race. So third, I’m pretty happy with how I drove, I think I drove a pretty good race but in the end it wasn’t enough. We could have got more points today for sure. Well done to Seb on the win.
How much pressure from Lewis at the end?
MW: Certainly needed to keep the focus and y’know, it’s so demoralising, that straight with no KERS. I think I was very lucky that Lewis made a mistake in Turn Three, I think on lap 57. I saw it in the mirrors, it was either 57 or 58. And that was important because I think he was starting to get a bit of momentum and I was very keen to keep him off the DRS as long as possible because once he got that I was toast. I think another two laps and he would have got me.
When you had the problem with KERS, when did you lose it first?
MW: Around about lap 19, 20. Maybe a bit earlier. It was on and off and then completely off and then off. It was a moving target really.
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