Mark Webber took a moment to talk with Motorsport.com at COTA.
Mark Webber is the only driver in the FIA World Endurance Championship LMP1 class that has driven a Formula One car in competition at Circuit of the Americas. He drove for Red Bull Racing as a teammate to Sebastian Vettel and compared the differences between the Porsche LMP1 car and his Red Bull car he drove in 2012 and 2013.
Webber compares LMP1 to F1 cars at COTA
“LMP1’s just a bit heavier ... I need to be a little bit more patient with the car, [the] F1 car’s obviously a very light and nimble [car], downforce is the biggest difference.”
The downforce and power differences were opposites each other between the F1 car and the LMP1 car, as Webber elaborates.
There’s no contest there, Michelin is a real racing tire, Pirelli was for show business in Formula one
“Lot more downforce on the F1 car, obviously that makes it probably more precise, a lot more load on the driver, but yeah, it’s just that downforce is a big factor on a track like this but then also power wise, we have probably more power with the Porsche,” Webber said.
Webber talks tires
The other major difference between the cars is the tires. Michelin is the tire supplier of choice in the LMP1 category (and in the vast majority of the WEC) while Formula One has a contract with Pirelli to be the sole tire supplier.
“There’s no contest there, Michelin is a real racing tire, Pirelli was for show business in Formula one," Webber told Motorsport.com "These are real racing tires so it’s a tire which all the drivers can enjoy, which was backed up when Andre Lotterer raced [for Caterham] in Spa and he was very surprised at how the grip level was very very low on Pirelli and the Michelin tire gives a lot of grip for a long time.”
LMP1 vs. F1 - Which is better to drive
However, Webber wasn’t able to give a dedicated answer about which car was the most fun to drive because the car he’d like to drive, he didn’t get a chance to drive.
“They’re just different categories, I think the F1 car as a driver you want to go quick as possible, so that was the ultimate machine. I never got to drive an F1 car here when F1 was at it’s peak, obviously it dropped off in the last few years in terms of pace because of the regulation but when it was at it’s peak in the mid 2000s it would be a really good track,” Webber said.