Maiden Monza Podium for Mark
Mark scored his best result at Monza in Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix. He came home third, less than one second behind Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, and got to stand on one of the noisiest podiums on the Formula One calendar.
“It was a great way to end the European season,” says Mark. “The podium at Monza hangs out over the start-finish straight and you have a sea of fans – most of them waving red flags – underneath, extending all the way down to the first chicane. Actually, there was a bit of booing because Seb [Vettel] had won, which I didn’t like, but this race is one of the signature events on the calendar and it was great to experience the podium there.”
As for Mark’s race, he started second on the grid and made a much better start than at Spa-Francorchamps last time out. But he slipped to third place on the opening lap, behind team-mate Vettel and the fast-starting Ferrari of Felipe Massa. He then got embroiled in a thrilling dice with Alonso on lap two.
“I braked pretty deep into the second chicane,” says Mark. “But so did Fernando and he’d already pulled alongside me through Curva Grande and the chess match was over at that point pretty much. We touched and I had a bit of front wing damage for the remainder of the race, but it didn’t seem to affect the performance of the car too much because I was very comfortable on the hard tyre at the end of the race.”
A brilliant piece of teamwork at Mark’s only pitstop of the race, on lap 23, helped him to pass Massa and get that final podium position. Mark drove a brilliant in-lap and despite stopping just after Vettel, he didn’t lose any time. The two pitstops were 2.6s and 2.7s.
“That pitstop sequence was very satisfying for the whole team,” says Mark. “I did my bit in the cockpit and the guys did a fantastic job with the tyres. In the end I got ahead of Felipe quite easily, which was great.”
Mark was quickly onto the gearbox of second-placed Alonso, but it was his own gearbox that prevented him from mounting a serious challenge on the Ferrari driver. He had to short-shift in second gear, which affected his exit from the slow chicanes.
“I had to nurse the car in the closing laps,” says Mark. “That was a bit frustrating because I was happy with my tyres and was in a good rhythm. But it was important to get to the end of the race and I did what was necessary. All in all, it’s been a good weekend for myself and the team. Thank you Monza.”
The next race on the calendar is the night race in Singapore, on 22 September.
christine (tasmania)on September 9, 2013 Reply
Well done Mark. A grand finale for you in Europe to be up there on the podium at Monza alongside John Surtees, a true legend and gentleman like you.
wassaon September 9, 2013 Reply
solid result great stuff, hopefully you can still fight your way back to third in the championship by the end of the year.
Danon September 9, 2013 Reply
The race was great for Mark. I know that he is going to win at least 2 races this year. Thanks Mark
Susan fm Ozon September 9, 2013 Reply
Congrats on podium finish Mark. Watching on TV I was hoping you would return the favour to Alonso in the closing stages and pass him but not to be. Things are looking up for you now onto Singapore and let’s make it to the top of the podium. Cheers:)
Susan fm Ozon September 9, 2013 Reply
Was good to see you on the podium Mark. Let’s hope that’s the start of a series of podiums for the back end of this year:)
Peteron September 9, 2013 Reply
Congrats Mark on a stunning result especially considering the short shifting. The Italian crowd answered for everybody with their cheers for you at the end. Good luck with the rest of the season and keep racing hard and clean with Fernando.
Agnieszkaon September 9, 2013 Reply
Mark, a fantastic race, great you could say goodbye to the European races from the podium! Stay that fast and classy and the rest of the season will bring the success you truly deserve. All the best from Poland 🙂
Jill and Brianon September 9, 2013 Reply
Congrats Mark, fantastic drive. Great to see you on the podium, the cheers for you were second to none, just shows you how you are going to be missed. Hope the corner has been turned, good luck for the rest of the season.
Wendyon September 10, 2013 Reply
Congratulations Mark Delighted for you Nice to see you looking so happy and relaxed afterwards. Still time for a win before you depart though!
Petraon September 10, 2013 Reply
Great to see a happy Mark,on the podium.giving us a big smile ! Nice , clean race. Awesome weekend at Monza for you . Please show us more of this performance! Bye, bye Europe!
Cheers from back in China !
Paul veeon September 10, 2013 Reply
Nice drive.. When will we know how to follow you next year. ???
Robertaon September 10, 2013 Reply
I was there Yesterday!!!!! Fantastic race, great drive. Well done Mark! I’ll miss you very much next year in F1!!
Monikaon September 10, 2013 Reply
so true, what Christine /Tasmania/ said.. congrats!!!
Pattyon September 10, 2013 Reply
Congratulations Mark. So happy to see you on the podium. You made my birthday celebration a very happy one!
Markon September 10, 2013 Reply
Hey Mark, congratulations on your first podium at Monza. It was good to see you happy and where you belong, just 2 steps higher would have made it a bit nicer. But well done mate. I thought your start was very good, I thought finger boy’s start was flawed and he knew it, that;s why he tried to barge you off onto the grass before the first chicane. You could see how desperate he was to keep you behind him by the massive lock up on his front right.
I think that the Italian crowd booing your soon to be ex team mate was poetic justice, he was never punished by anyone at RB for his unforgivable actions in Malaysia. So let the F1 going public do the talking for all the people and your fans who support you around the world. Good on them for doing the right thing.
Vettel is quoted as saying ”it isn’t fair to be booed”, I think he should take a good long hard look at himself to see just how big of a hypocrite he really is. Respect is earned, it can’t be bartered for, bought or forcefully granted. Respect for others is clearly something he is seriously lacking.
Please do have a great time driving these last races in your F1 career and try and win a few if you can, I will support you next year in your new career at Porsche.
Cheers mate, Mark
Walter.(Sydney)on September 10, 2013 Reply
Great race Mark,lucky to get past the finish line with yr car problems,
G8 drive for third,hopefully more podiums b4 seasons end.
It’s a pity your not racing for another team next year,
Would be a great feeling to actually have your team bosses on yr side for once.
wassaon September 11, 2013 Reply
Hey mark go for the red seat mate, go on don’t retire.
Lesleyon September 11, 2013 Reply
A million well dones for Sunday Mark and Congrats for your 1st podium at Monza you were just awesome! You were amazing from start to finish. Good Luck for Singapore and show Golden Boy its not just all about him for once. Its your turn to shine not HIM! Lots of love Lesley xx
emilyon September 12, 2013 Reply
yeah top form mark, but is was suprised by a few things firstly.. I think alonso is taking for granted the amount of respect you have for him, fair enough he had a good enrty on the outside of the chicane, but he sought of said “either move over or we crash”, so you gave him room and he still moved right over to the ripple strip and took off part of your wing…! secondly, im certain seb had a gearbox issue, but I think horner knew that with second gear you would’ve returned the favour on the enrty to turn three and taken second from alonso, then you would have flown down the road and caught a certain someone with a ‘real’ gerabox problem… they had to keep you behind alonso so you wouldn’t pass seb too… not one for conspiricies, but its another ridiculous coincidence that always falls into sebs favour…. great start, good to see the little german squirming into turn one
psycho budgieon September 13, 2013 Reply
Cyrilon September 24, 2013 Reply
I am going to monza on the 6A with australian flag an supporter flag Where is written ” thank you mark webber , cyril and Coralie french peoples”
Good luck for the final of season , and please win or finish better than vettel .