This weekend’s German Grand Prix marks the halfway stage in the 2012 World Championship. Mark enters the race lying second in the drivers’ standings, 13 points behind leader Fernando Alonso following his stunning victory at Silverstone two weeks ago.
“The team is performing well at the moment,” says Mark. “The car has been competitive in the last few races and we’re hoping to carry that performance into this weekend. We haven’t won here as a team in the past and we’ll be pushing hard to do that on Sunday.
“We haven’t raced here for two years, so this is the first time we’ve used Pirelli’s tyres at the track. That shouldn’t pose a problem because we’ve worked with these tyres for a while now, but it’s going to be important to get lots of tyre data during practice.”
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the layout changes that altered the character of Hockenheim forever. Prior to the changes, it was a supremely fast track and it’s now like so many other stadium circuits: safer, slower, more spectator friendly and less challenging.
“I’ve driven on both layouts and the new one is a very different sort of challenge,” says Mark. “But it’s our job to perform at every racetrack on the calendar and that’s what I’ll be doing this weekend. This is always a fun grand prix because there’s a great atmosphere, thanks to the number of German drivers on the grid. There’ll be a lot of noise in the grandstands in support of them.”
This weekend is also Mark’s 100th Grand Prix for Red Bull Racing. He joined the team at the start of 2007, since when it has gone through a lot of change. Mark has seen it all from the front line.
“I’m not big on statistics,” says Mark, “but 100 races is a lot. It’s a good number. The team has grown a lot during that time; it’s now much bigger, but a team is only as good as the people in it and we have a lot of good people here. I know them all well, particularly when you consider that many of them were around in my Jaguar days, and it’s one of the reasons why I re-signed for 2013.”
Mark has never finished in the top five at Hockenheim and he’s hoping to change that for the better this weekend.
“This championship is all about consistency,” he says. “There have been a lot of different winners and it’s vital to get the maximum from every weekend.”
Mark Webber is the Team Principal of MW Arden, a three car team in the new GP3 series supporting European Grands Prix.