Mark Webber heads to Silverstone this weekend for his second home race of the season. The circuit is just 40 minutes from the Red Bull Racing driver’s UK home and he’s looking for a strong result in Sunday’s British Grand Prix.
“I’ve always done well at this track,” says Mark. “It was a sensational feeling to win here last year and I would love to repeat that victory on Sunday. It won’t be easy because there are a lot of drivers wanting to knock Seb [Vettel] off his perch, but I’ll give it my best shot.”
Rule changes concerning the use of off-throttle exhaust gases have given the teams plenty to think about since the last race in Valencia, but Mark doesn’t expect it to have a big effect.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen with regard to the rule changes,” he says. “I don’t expect it to change the pecking order too much, but we’ll have to wait until qualifying to find out for sure. We will need to adapt our driving styles to the changes because the car will feel more unstable under braking, but I’m easy.
“I’ve done a lot of preparation work at the factory in Milton Keynes and I see no reason why I can’t maintain the momentum of the last few races.”
'I would love to repeat last year's victory on Sunday'
This year the teams will be using a new pit and paddock complex on the south side of Silverstone which means the position of the start-finish straight has changed. The cars will start between Club and Abbey, and Turns 1 and 2 are expected to be taken flat-out.
“The British Racing Drivers Club has done a great job with the new building,” says Mark. “It’s not easy to find millions of pounds in the current economic climate and they’ve managed to do that and build a phenomenal building.
“But this place is about much more than its facilities: you can’t buy history and atmosphere, and Silverstone has tons of it.”
Mark will be joined on the grid this weekend by another Australian, Daniel Ricciardo (who joins Hispania Racing on loan). It’ll be the first time that two Aussie drivers have started an F1 race since Vern Schuppan and Alan Jones qualified for the 1977 Austrian Grand Prix.
“I won’t drive a different race because Daniel’s on the grid,” says Mark, “but it’s good to have him in F1. He’s a fast driver and he fully deserves to be here. He’s going to learn a lot this weekend, particularly about how an F1 weekend works. Finishing your first grand prix is a nice feeling and I hope he experiences that on Sunday.”
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