Tyred out – part II
Tyre wear dominated the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona, with most drivers needing to make four pitstops in order to finish the 66-lap race. Mark was the first driver to make a scheduled pitstop, on lap seven, and he conserved his tyres thereafter to come home in fifth place.
“We lacked a bit of pace and a bit of range during the race,” says Mark. “We didn’t have the speed of the Ferraris or Lotus and my race wasn’t helped by a slow getaway from the grid, dropping me from seventh to 12th. But I steadily pulled myself back into it and felt that I drove well, and given the circumstances it was good to score some points.”
After a couple of tough races in China and Bahrain, Mark had hoped for better luck in Spain, but it wasn’t forthcoming. In qualifying he was baulked by Felipe Massa – an incident that cost the Ferrari driver a three-place grid penalty.
“I’m sure he didn’t do it on purpose,” says Mark, “because Felipe doesn’t normally do things like that. The top guys nearly always look out for each other, so perhaps he wasn’t told I was coming up behind him.”
With that lap ruined and Mark’s final run of Q3 compromised by the performance of his medium-spec tyres falling away in the final sector, Mark lined up seventh on the grid. It was a disappointing start position, but his early pitstop during the race gave him new rubber and clear air, from which he was able to make rapid progress up the order. In the space of six laps he went from 19th to sixth, which set him up for his fifth place finish at the flag.
“Given how far back I was at one stage, it was quite a good comeback,” says Mark. “But neither Seb nor I had the performance of the cars in front, and without that you can’t nail the magic strategy. With the tyres performing as they do, the races can be a bit frustrating, but that’s the way it is at the moment. I hope we can be more competitive next time out.”
The next race is the jewel in F1’s crown, the Monaco Grand Prix. Mark has taken two victories there in Formula One, in 2010 and ’12, and he’ll hope that his RB9 is more competitive through the streets of the Principality than it was around the fast sweeps of the Circuit de Catalunya.
“Monaco is unique,” says Mark. “It’s a race that every driver wants to win and I’ve been lucky enough to have had some great races there in the past. It’s a huge driving challenge and a great event; I’m looking forward to it.”
Travon May 13, 2013 Reply
MW…good luck for Monaco. It sounds as if Horner is bailing on you…maybe making you a scapegoat for his decisions….and your only strong race has been Malaysia.??
I hope you stay in F1next yr.
Marcuson May 13, 2013 Reply
While I don’t doubt tyres played a key role (4 stop average accross the paddock is obscene), a better qualy and start would have helped a lot aswell…
So pole and victory in Monaco, and dinner with Albert after. You know you can do it.
Susanon May 13, 2013 Reply
Not to worry Mark at least you got points and drove as well as you possibly could. I think the tyres are ruining the races. Looking forward to Monaco – would love to see you win a hat track there:)
NATALIA RINCONon May 13, 2013 Reply
good race from 19th to 5, not bad!
enjoyed in Montmelo! Thanks for returning the salute at the launch of pilots, I’m the girl on the shirt “webber forever”
Now for Monaco to the third!!
kisses from barcelona
Ranaon May 14, 2013 Reply
You say “without the performance of the cars in front, you can’t nail the magic strategy”. But it was already magic to get 5th position after starting the 12th!
The lack of performance of Red Bull cars was clearly visible. But even so; if you could protect the position you had at the start, I believe you would easily be on podium due to your perfect drive performance and strategy.
You had good reaction on start but it was looking like somebody was pushing your car to the back direction. This is happening almost each race. It seems there is some thing wrong with your car.
Would you please give some information about that problem of “slow getaway from the grid”. Is it a technical problem and why it can’t be solved?
I wish the best for the coming races. Good luck in Monaco.
Jill and Brianon May 14, 2013 Reply
Don’t let the tyres get you down Mark. We were there in Barca to cheer you on, thank you for the smile and wave when you saw the Aussie Grit flag in main stand when you started the drivers parade lap in the vintage car, it meant a lot to us Mark. Saw Horner on Sat on way into circuit, saw red and told him a few home truths, your better than them Mark and your supporters are behind you all the way. All the best for Monaco mate, good luck.
emilyon May 14, 2013 Reply
I’d like to see the fastest guys in the fastest cars on the limit and flat out… this tyre management stuff is going to destroy mark’s campaign… we all know webber has a some what aggressive driving style and that conservative tyre-saving driving is not his cup o tea…marks best when he can push for the majority of the race with the fitness and the grit and all that. Not for a couple of under-cutting laps before just hanging on for the next pit stop. Its hard to belive that ferrari, with such a brutal power delivery, are getting better purchase (on average) than RBR… I hope the guys in the factory can solve this… the softs and super softs at monaco will be a real treat… burnie.e. is a bit of a joker it seems…. we’re with ya no matter what though marky
TRICKOon May 14, 2013 Reply
good points,i’d also like to know about the slow starts dont see any others like this on the grid there must be more than one way to skin a cat as they say.Alonso is truly a mighty starter! please please can someone explain how when FA crossed the line then KR how was it that rosberg and diresta were next to cross but finished 6and7 th in the race table it didnt say they had been lapped everyone below perez was lapped HELP ME UNDERSTAND and dont tell me tyres!!! Another big please out to Mark dont leave F1 would love love love to see u in next years car!!! good luck for monaco could be carnage if the mercs get front row but cant keep the pace looking forward to it
stuarth44on May 15, 2013 Reply
Red Bull applying pressure on Pirelli, which is hardly fair into the season when Lotus have it under control
MW never complains but his team does. If they cannot put the power on the road without scrubbing the rubber, it is their prob
It would be a shame to see FINANCE win,
I wish Kimi the best if MW does not come through
FA or KR , please not the brat
humpty dumptyon May 16, 2013 Reply
P1 at Monaco ……hopefully the next race is the beginning of a good run Mark. Sad to hear that Red Bull ******* Horner has done nothing to punish Seb for the Malaysia fiasco!!!
I would love to see you do another two yrs in F1 after this yr….i still believe your competitive…but maybe a fresh team would be the go!!
SMALL HELMUT:)on May 16, 2013 Reply
ITS A SHAME THAT RED BULL MANAGEMENT CANNOT SEE HOW ,,,NO MATTER A FANS NATIONALITY….THAT SV IS SEEN AS A SPOILT *****.!!
ITS UNIVERSAL…NO FAN LIKES SOMEONE WHO CARRIES THEMSELVES LIKE SEB…AND SCHUEY WAS THE SAME.
HOW YOU PLAY SPORT STILL CARRIES WAIT WITH THE DECENT FANS, AS IT SHOULD, AND SEB & CO ARE NOT RESPECTED.
MW IS ADMIRED FOR HIS MAKEUP AS A HUMAN, ITS NOT JUST THE RESULTS.
IF RED BULL DONT GET IT MW LEAVE AND DE TWO YRS WITH ANOTHER TEAM.
Wendyon May 19, 2013 Reply
Good result all things considered but felt a podium would have been possible despite 4 stops if you’d got off the grid quicker. Why the poor starts? I thought you’d have that sorted by now Have the team done something to your car? Wouldn’t have thought that was in there best interests. Hope the rest of the season goes better for you. Like the others I was happy for Alonso’s win and positively gleeful that SV did not.Keep on racing Mark.