Failures frustrate at home
Mark knocked up his fourth consecutive points finish in Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix, but sixth place wasn’t the result he was looking for at his home race.
“I felt like I drove well all weekend,” he says, “so it was frustrating to come away so low down in the points. My goal was to finish on the podium, but things went against me from the start: we had no telemetry on the grid, we had no KERS for the opening 20 laps and the car fell off the jacks at the first pitstop, costing me time.”
It was an eventful weekend all told because qualifying was abandoned mid-session on Saturday due to a torrential downpour, forcing Q2 and Q3 to be completed on Sunday morning. Mark lined up second on the grid, but a slow getaway at the start of the race resulted in him dropping to seventh by the end of lap one.
“It wasn’t a good start,” says Mark, “and we’ll look into why that happened. But when you find yourself in the middle of the pack and you don’t have KERS, you’re in a really hard place. You can’t attack and it’s hard to defend through the DRS zones.
“You have to have all your ducks in a row if you want to win at this level and all credit to Lotus because they did exactly that. Kimi [Raikkonen] executed a very clean race and it didn’t matter that he didn’t have a strong qualifying; he had the range in his tyres to do a two-stop strategy and that made life pretty easy for him.”
Tyre wear was more of a concern for Mark that he’d expected prior to the start. He was the first car to pit for new rubber, on lap five, and he had to conduct a three-stop strategy to get to the end of the race.
“I couldn’t hide the fact that I had high tyre deg and I had to pit when I needed,” he says. “The frequency of my pitstops came as a bit of a surprise because you might have expected the cooler track temperatures on race day to make life easier. But that wasn’t the case and we go to Malaysia next week with our eyes completely open.”
Despite the disappointment of not getting on the podium, Mark still loved the Melbourne Grand Prix – the place where he made his F1 debut back in 2002.
“It’s always a top weekend because it’s so well organised,” says Mark. “While I didn’t get the result I wanted, it was still fantastic to be racing at home. The crowd gave me a really warm reception on the slow down lap and that meant a lot. To see all the flags waving and to feel people’s appreciation for the hard work I’d put in was really appreciated. I hope to give them plenty more to shout about in the coming races.”
Mark now heads to Queensland for a couple of days, prior to flying to Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday ahead of next weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix.
Agnieszkaon March 18, 2013 Reply
Fantastic to see you race again, the new season has begun and so much for you to achieve ahead! Be strong and keep pushing, you have so many people supporting you and believing you are the best of the best. Stay strong and keep pushing, never doubt and you will get what you deserve, the championship! All the best for the whole season 🙂
Richardon March 18, 2013 Reply
Great race today Mark, may not be the result we all hoped for but it’s good standing for the season, I recon you’ll smash it this year, at least podium for end of season
Dina A.on March 18, 2013 Reply
Expected to see you on the podium, after your brilliant performance in very, very tricky conditions
and qualy(..at 01.00am)! My thoughts before the race: a decent start and no technical issues…
Then the race started:
NO TELEMETRY, NO KERS (when the other guys pushed the ‘magic-extra 80bhp-button’ yours didn’t work..once again:( how disappointing)and thanks to a SUPER SLOW PIT STOP you were stuck behind Jenson. Oh, by the way those super soft
tyres are a joke!!
Ok Mark, it was the first race of the season, it was your home race, you were
happy to be back in the car and mega excited and it wasn’t the results you wanted, but hey there’s a long way to go!
Even it’s frustrating you did really, really well to get 6th! A great recovery considering the circumstances and a spectacular pass on Di Resta in a typical Mark Webber manner :)…
KEEP IT UP CHAMP!Bring on Malaysia!!
kathyon March 18, 2013 Reply
Great to see your new season start in 2nd place. Shame your car let you down. Better luck next weekend. 🙂
Peteon March 18, 2013 Reply
Considering everything that went wrong you can be proud of finishing 6th. Keep on keeping on.
Tomon March 18, 2013 Reply
Mark, we all want you to succeed, but what is going on with the repeated slow starts? Can you explain why this happens time after time with you and your car and not with Seb? Good luck in Malaysia.
Julzon March 18, 2013 Reply
Great effort Mark, you did the best you could, it doesn’t always come off, good luck in Malaysia I will be watching not matter what the time of night it is
clintonon March 18, 2013 Reply
I think it was a very handy drive in the face of adversity…gutted about the lack of champaign at albert park.. not to mention the launch issues….but Seb struggled to pass sutil early on, and mark flew past both Force Indias in top form…. overtaking diresta on the outside like that is the type of driving that can win you this championship webber… lets go mate, warmer conditions, some half decent luck and for f*#k sake redbull, sort out the gremlins…. we’ll always follow you mark… lets get these starts ironed out quickly and move on….(4th would have been the best posible finish given rbr would unlikely let mark pass vettel anyway)… You’ll turn it around webber and we’ll be watching
Peteron March 18, 2013 Reply
Mark. It is very nerve racking watching your starts! I was at the track, on the first corner expecting you to fly by at least still in the second position, but no 7th or 8th it was! Sebastian’s car does not seem to have too many issues at the start. Maybe you could get his technical crew to look after your car for a change? Good luck for the rest of the season. Work on those starts please.
peteron March 18, 2013 Reply
Aussie Aussie Aussie
Mark you champion,better luck next year dude. Well see live you on the podium.
Jordan Weston-Raperon March 18, 2013 Reply
It’s only the first race – lots more podium finishes ahead for you!! Thanks for signing my car at the Top Gear Festival!! Good Luck for the rest of the season!!
Marcus Son March 18, 2013 Reply
Dissapointing start of the season because of pit and car issues, you drove fantastic though.
Not too worry however, you had a dissapointing AU GP like 2010, now drive a fantastic Malaysia GP like 2010. 😉
Wendyon March 18, 2013 Reply
My heart sank when I saw your slow start I had hoped you’d have sorted that out for this season. That was before I knew about all the problems you faced. You had a really good weekend all things considered and I’m sure it will only get better. Looking forward to this weekend so best wishes I’ll be rooting for you as always
Blake Robertsonon March 18, 2013 Reply
Good job Mark!
You were there all race and took some positions late.
Consistent points matter!
Just look at Alonso last year with something like two wins. Challenging Vettel with five for the title at the last race.
Jill and Brianon March 18, 2013 Reply
You did well Mark after your car’s problems yet again (give RB a kick up the backside they need to sort it and quick – it never happens to a certain German!!). All the very best for Malaysia and the whole season, you’ll turn it around and were behind you all the way – go champ.
Ashleyon March 18, 2013 Reply
Great start, a points finish is better than none!. You have all of Australia behind you. Show the team you can win with or without their support. Best of luck in Malaysia.
Georgeon March 18, 2013 Reply
Mclaren ECUs going cheap. !
Head up Mark, fantastic quali and good catch up racing. Keep doing what you’re doing mate, your team is with you.
Deborah Bolognesion March 19, 2013 Reply
great job considering all the issues you faced. Now looking forward to Malaysia so all the best, I’ll be watching you as always. Keep pushing champ!!:-)
TRICKOon March 19, 2013 Reply
well were back Mark has a new Jack Man HELMUT MARKO!!!! what happened at the start? i feel sick for him every time but points are points and u got em.COME ON THE WEBBER!!!
Stuon March 19, 2013 Reply
Well a bit of dust settled after the GP and what does it show? Horner blames MES, part of Maclaren, for an ECU failure on Mark’s car strangely the only car to experience problems. MES say no issue, it is in the RBR garage! Is it possible to fingerprint the telemetry equipment to check for psycho Marko handy work? This is ridiculous!!!!
sachaon March 19, 2013 Reply
good luck mark, but always the same gremlins like KERS and now ECU and slow starts. Mark you deserve better. Seb’s car seems not to get these problems. Go on mate Good luck and hope to see you rocket off the start next GP.
Bidion March 19, 2013 Reply
So you took the UK weather with you then? Keep plugging away my No. 1 Driver
sachaon March 19, 2013 Reply
Mate those slow starts!! not again and the usual KERS problems !!! When you get a good start you win the race like last year in Monaco and Silverstone. Go on get rocket starts mate you deserve better. Good Luck.
Per Olsenon March 19, 2013 Reply
C’mon mate, I wanna see heaps of wins. I’ve been a loyal fan since the Manardi days. It’s gonna be a awesome season. It’s time to show Marco the helmet and Vettel and all critics that you can win!!!
Brendan Hayeson March 20, 2013 Reply
Try and qualify in 11th place on the grid in malaysiathen, then do two laps at the start on the super soft tyres.That should get you a win! Good Luck
TravDogon March 20, 2013 Reply
MW…hope you kick some ass in Malaysia. It sux that you had the ECU issue in Oz…but if thats one of your not so good ones for 2013 then 6th isnt too bad, and important points hall. You can do it…..win the championship m8…all of Oz wants it for you:)
Paulon March 20, 2013 Reply
Mark, Why is it always your RB that has the KERS Issues and Not Seb’s. It just seems like your car is the one with all the gremlins. Oh well gin up you drove so well in Qualy and we were all cheering you on the for the race. All in all a great job considering your technical difficulties.
Peteron March 21, 2013 Reply
Mark, I just watched rd3 2010 and mate you were a legend to start in 18th and finish 3rd. Let’s hope the team does it right this week. You are red bull racing….
Garyon March 21, 2013 Reply
Dear mark i was lucky enough to be at the 2013 australian gp and i am really proud of you i walked the track and seen all the drivers take the fast corners but the best driver i seen take turn 14 was YOU hands down , so really i know helmut marko going to still treat you like the ugly girl at the dance but i want you to just trusting in yourself that you can win the world title i was really impressed with how great a driver YOU really are !!! so keep fighting its only the first race and through all the sessions i seen i was really impressed by how good you are , you deserve the world title mark so please keep fighting and never lose sight even through adversity we all know you can do it , the senna movie just shows that the politics that were then have become even more in todays era so game on its round 1 keep your fist up mark WE KNOW YOU CAN WIN IT.
Christos Kinatidison March 22, 2013 Reply
Mark, the race in Australia was just a bad start for the season. But you have 18 more rounds to show who is the fastest one! Best wishes for the championship!!!
robon March 22, 2013 Reply
Mark great to see you race in Melbourne everyone in oz is behind you this is your year best of luck for Malaysia
Conon March 22, 2013 Reply
Thanks for the pleasure of cheering an Aussie in Melbourne.The end result is, we all had a great time. Thanks to you.