40th podium after perfect pole
An eventful Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ended with Mark scoring his sixth podium of the 2013 campaign and the 100th podium in the history of Red Bull Racing. He started the race on pole position – the 13th of his Formula One career, equalling the tally of Sir Jack Brabham – but he had to settle for second place after 55 laps of racing.
“I was really pleased with my pole lap,” says Mark. “It was definitely the best lap I’ve done around the Yas Marina circuit and I don’t think I left anything on the table. It was fantastic to equal Sir Jack’s record, and let’s not forget that I wouldn’t have got into racing if it hadn’t been for Jack because he was one of my dad’s heroes.
“Unfortunately, I didn’t get away from the line as well as Sebastian [Vettel] or Nico [Rosberg], who made an unbelievable start, and it was lucky that there was only a short run to Turn 1. If this had been Sepang or Monza, it would have been a lot more painful.”
During the early laps of the race Mark was in third place, but he started to suffer excessive tyre wear after only a handful of laps and was forced to pit for new rubber on lap eight.
“Seb got a very good gap on the soft tyre during the early laps,” says Mark. “I have a reasonable feeling on that tyre compound when it’s fresh, but I have little feeling for it when it’s scrubbed (used) and my rears began to let go pretty early in the race.
“Once I’d made my first pitstop, Seb was already gone and I knew that I had to pass Nico as soon as possible in order to guarantee second place. We had a great fight and I eventually passed him on lap 20. It was good, fair racing, which you’d expect from someone of Nico’s quality.”
After that decisive pass, Mark had to manage his tyres and look after his car until the end of the race. He had a small KERS issue at one point, but it was nothing too serious.
“KERS became a bit warm at one point,” says Mark, “so we had to give it time to recover. But it worked fine after that and I was able to knock off the remaining laps. However, I could never completely relax because Nico wasn’t far away and I crossed the line 2.8s ahead of him.”
After back-to-back races in India and Abu Dhabi, F1 now has a weekend off before the final double-header of the 2013 season. The first of those races is in Austin, Texas.
“There are only a couple of races to go and I’ll be doing my best to go out with a win,” says Mark. “Seb was too strong today, but I’ll keep pushing until the end and see what happens.”
chrison November 4, 2013 Reply
Well done my Aussie Grit 😉 you’re Fantastic as usual Mark… xx
Susan fm Ozon November 4, 2013 Reply
Great driving once again Mark and thankfully no major issues. We look forward to Austin with great anticipation. Let’s hope you can win at least one of your final F1 races – tears of joy for your fans! Enjoy the short break champ:)
Jill and Brianon November 4, 2013 Reply
Fantastic drive Mark, once again you drove your heart out. Sure you can get that top step in one of the remaining races, your fans are with you, keep smiling Mark and we smile with you. All the best our champ – THE PEOPLE’S CHAMP.
Georgeon November 4, 2013 Reply
Great pole position Mark. Making that .7 secs up was brilliant mate. 2nd is a good finish too.
psycho budgieon November 4, 2013 Reply
Great to see u on the podium after an electric qually. 😀
wendyon November 4, 2013 Reply
Congratulations on a great Pole lap and also for your Podium finish Don’t want this season to end! Gonna miss you Fingers are still crossed for a win 🙂
daveon November 5, 2013 Reply
Yeah i had 3 red bulls 2day to celebrate,great drive mate go crazy at austin
christineon November 5, 2013 Reply
Rise Sir Mark. What a fantastic achievement to be up there with such a legend as the great Sir Jack, another true gentleman like you. Well done! It was great to see you up on the podium again and I,m sure you,ll be on the top step before the season,s finished.
Giannaon November 7, 2013 Reply
I congratulate for your 1.014 points of career in F.1. These points count more because you have achieved them despite a not friendly team and an often inefficient car (the famous Red Bull!?!)
Your fans in all the world know you are the true champion and sportsman.
Best wishes for your future.
Pattyon November 7, 2013 Reply
Congratulations Mark on your 40th podium. It would have been more if it wasn’t for Red Bull’s favoritism of Vettel. We all know why you haven’t won as many races as you should have. It have nothing to do with your driving abilities. You are one of the best drivers and you will be missed greatly next year at F1. The Porsche team will be very happy though!