Webber approves of new format Webber approves of new format

Mark Webber doesn't think the change to qualifying will make any big difference to a race weekend but he's glad the Friday session has been scrapped. For 2004, drivers will still have two individual flying laps but they will both be driven on the Saturday while Friday reverts to being a practice day. Webber expects the format to produce some more unusual grid line-ups as seen in 2003.

Mark Webber.
Photo by Brousseau Photo.
"I don't think it will make a huge change to be honest," Webber told the Jaguar website. "I'm a fan of what they've done actually because the Friday session was a bit of a waste of space last year. Saturday and Sunday will now be awesome, as it was this year, but now we have two qualifying runs back to back. I think the regulations that were introduced last year were good for the racing and we'll see more of the same for next year in terms of grids being spiced up."

Another change Webber is interested in is the one engine per race weekend rule. The Australian believes the different engine manufacturers will have different strategies and Cosworth, which supplies Jaguar with engines, will need to work even harder.

"What is going to change things a lot is the one engine scenario," said Webber. "Teams won't complete many laps on Friday so that's where we're probably going to have to compromise with that rule. It's going to be tough for the engine manufacturers as each have different goals."

"What Ferrari and BMW are going to do in terms of power is different potentially to what we're putting our bar in terms of the level we want to achieve. Cosworth have done an amazing job with engines in the last few years and probably need to step up to the plate even more in the future."

One thing Webber will miss is the Friday private testing sessions, which have now been abandoned, as he said there was a lot could be learnt from the Friday mileage. Teams outside the top four in the constructors' standings will be permitted to run a third car in the Friday practices instead.