Mark drove a brilliantly controlled race to win the Monaco Grand Prix for a second time on Sunday. He started from pole position and led from lights-to-flag in what was the closest top four finish in the history of the race.
“I’m absolutely delighted,” says Mark. “It was a tough race and I only knew I had it won when I came out of the final corner on the last lap; prior to that I couldn’t relax for one moment. The start and the pitstop were key, and they both went well – and I did a bit of work in between!
“Only the other day I watched the 1982 Monaco GP on TV, when Alain Prost crashed out of the lead with two laps to go. You can never get ahead of yourself around here because it has the ability to bite you.”
All of the front-runners opted for a one-stop strategy and the top four cars were separated by just 1.3s at the chequered flag. It was a tense and hard-fought victory from Mark, and what made it harder than his previous victory in the Principality in 2010 was the constant threat of rain and the ever-changing track conditions.
“I was happy with how my stint on the super-soft tyre went at the start of the race,” says Mark. “But the prime tyre was much harder work because it was very difficult to warm up. There was no heat in the front tyres, and I was aware that Sebastian [Vettel] had been doing good lap times when he was on the prime at the start of the race.
“After Sebastian made his pitstop, I reverted my attention to Nico [Rosberg] in second place and on the weather. There was a constant threat of rain and it started to spit at various times, so it was difficult to tell how slippery the track was from one corner to the next. There were also a lot of marbles on the track, particularly through Turn 3.”
Mark is the sixth different winner from the opening six races, and he now lies second in the World Championship, three points off leader Fernando Alonso.
“In the end, we got the absolute maximum from the race. I was really pleased with my pole position and the race was harder than my win in 2010 because the car wasn’t as competitive relative to the opposition. It was a great result.
“A win here means twice as much as anywhere else, even if there are still only 25 points available. It was also a timely result on the back of a difficult race at Barcelona two weeks ago. Consistency is going to be key this weekend, then when you have the chance to get a result like this, you have to grab it with both hands.”
There’s now a two-week gap in the calendar, prior to the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal. “Hopefully the championship will now settle down, but with these Pirelli tyres you never know. There could be a seventh different winner at the next race!”
Mark Webber is the Team Principal of MW Arden, a three car team in the new GP3 series supporting European Grands Prix.