Monday, May 17, 2010

Mark Webber cools talk of championship glory

Mark Webber says it is too early to talk about winning the world title despite going top of the standings after victory at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Webber made it two wins out of two on Sunday to lead the title race on count-back, with Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel joining him on 78 points.

"We're in a good position and we have a good foundation," he said.
"But no-one knows who is going to be in the hunt with a few races to go. I don't think it's between two guys."

The Red Bull team have been dominant this season, claiming pole position in all of the six races so far, with Webber winning in Monaco and last week in Spain while Vettel emerged victorious in Malaysia.

Vettel could also have had victories in Bahrain and Australia but was hampered by reliability problems.

Red Bull also lead the constructors' world championship by 22 points from Ferrari but when asked whether the championship will be between the team's two drivers, a cautious Webber added: "Two races ago everyone was saying someone else.

"In two races' time they might be saying someone else again.

"Obviously, Seb and I are equal on points. We've got some different venues coming up, keep in mind that engines are going to come into play in the back part of the championship.

"I'm optimistic and realistic enough to know that of course you are not going to win every race but we are looking to get as many top results as we can.

"It is a long way home. We have so many different conditions and different tracks - Montreal, Monza and Budapest - there are many exciting times ahead so I'm looking forward to it.

"There's lots of things to roll into this situation yet."

Webber hailed the victory in Monaco as an important landmark for his Red Bull team, calling it an "incredible day".

"Red Bull have not been around for long," he added. "People forget - three or four years ago they were saying we were the laughing stock.

"It's a great sports story to come in and take on great operations like McLaren and Ferrari.

"That gives us a good feeling but they will be back. They're still fighting right now, it's a good championship."

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner echoed Webber's comments, describing the success as a "brilliant team result".

"This is even sweeter than Spain," said Horner. "Mark Webber has had the week of his life. To dominate the race like that here in Monaco is incredible.
"He has found a rhythm gelled and with the car and the upgrades.
"He is in a very good place at the moment. It's all about confidence round here and you wont find a more confident man than Webber in Monaco.

"Sebastian Vettel drove a great race as well to hold off Robert Kubica.

"The team comes before everything and its testimony to everybody's effort that we got this result.

"We had brake issues coming out of Barcelona the guys have worked relentlessly and this result is a reward for all of that hard work."

Webber was untouchable in Monaco, claiming his second straight pole on Saturday before cruising to victory in the race - despite the disruption of four safety cars - to become only the second Australian to win in the principality.

"It was not a nice situation to be honest with all the safety cars," added the 33-year-old after his fourth career win.
"You do all the hard work, you get away and then you have a safety car which neutralises that and you have some fast guys back on your wheel again.
"It was very difficult when it is like that but that's part of a driver's job, to stay composed and do the job."

The first Australian to triumph in Monaco was Jack Brabham in 1959 and Webber says the three-time world champion was the reason he got into the sport.

"I would not be here without Jack Brabham," said Webber. "My father started following single-seater racing when he was very young.
"He was a huge F1 fan and when Jack was doing the winning back then it started a fire in my dad to keep me interested.
"That translated in to me as a youngster and to win here on the same streets as Jack did is an amazing thing."

Afterwards, Vettel said that he was "very happy" despite not being able to match his team-mate.
"Especially in the beginning and the re-starts I wasn't able to keep up with him," he said. "There was a big difference.
"Later on, when I finally felt the grip I wasn't too far off but by then he was already 10 seconds down the road and winning the race by five, six, seven seconds, so there was no real point to make the effort trying to catch him.

"In the end I think it was our optimum. I am very, very happy - we couldn't have gone better.
"It's a long season and it is not about what you do in one or two races."

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