Mark Webber, Red Bull, Barcelona, 2011

Webber: ‘F1 not a priority for Bahrain’

2011 F1 testingPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Barcelona, 2011
Mark Webber, Red Bull, Barcelona, 2011

Mark Webber says he’s saddened by developments in Bahrain and believes F1 is not a priority for those in the area at the moment.

Speaking to reporters in Barcelona he said: “I’m really sorry to hear about it. It’s always been a good place to visit in that part of the world. I’m shocked and sad to hear the news.

“As always you don’t know the whole story as you’re not there. Let’s see what happens. I’m sure the right decision will be made.

“In terms of priority, we know F1 is not high on the list, they have got things that clearly should come first.

“If we can still go there in a few weeks and hold a sporting event, that would be great, but if we can’t it’s no big deal. We need to let them sort things out and if not we go to Melbourne.”

Asked about today’s test he said: “We are still learning a lot. We saw a few long runs from Seb & Fernando, we did some good mileage today.

“We have just got to learn as we go along, with the tyres, with the car. As usual it would be nice to go racing as soon as possible to see where we are, but it’s evident from today the team have done a good job and we are working hard.”

Webber said he was “very cautious” about Red Bull’s potential this year. He believes Ferrari will provide the toughest opposition to the team, saying: “Because Fernando works for them, he’s pretty handy!

“Ferrari finished last year very strong and they have come out of the gates this year strong as well.

“The car is always running on track, they look organised. They aren’t hanging around out there, they look pretty quick

McLaren can be there too, I’m not sure what’s going on with them at the moment, but if you’re beating Ferrari, you’ll be doing OK.

“They’ll be up there fighting for podiums certainly and I hope we will be too.”

Webber said it’s “too early to say” how well he will fare with the new Pirelli tyres. He said: “It’s completely obvious the tyres are different.

“We’ve had different tyres in the last few years in F1 – not in terms of a manufacturer change but in terms of style. Drivers have to get used to those.

“But let’s go racing on hot tracks and in racing conditions so then drivers can get more of a chance to see what really suits them and what doesn’t.”

He expects “more overtaking” with the new tyres and described how challenging they are to drive on:

“You’re even talking to yourself in the car saying ‘come on Mark, that was messy’. You’re losing time when the tyres go off a little bit.

“You have got that in your mind, if that was a race situation, on a different strategy, then we might have big problems.

“The only thing we have got to keep an eye on, is a big difference in speed when racing others who may be going longer. There will be such an extreme difference in pace.

“So yes there will be more overtaking, but I’m not sure how spectacular it will be.”

Quotes and additional reporting by Leandra Graves

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Image ?? Pirelli