Mark Webber talks about his first test with the BMW WilliamsF1 Team and his goals for the future Q: Mark, you have completed your first test for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team. What are your initial impressions? Mark Webber. Photo by Jaguar...
Mark Webber talks about his first test with the BMW WilliamsF1 Team and his goals for the future
Q: Mark, you have completed your first test for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team. What are your initial impressions?
Mark Webber: It was a very important first week for me in terms of settling in with all the WilliamsF1 and BMW personnel who run the test programme. As I expected, the team operates on a very professional level and I'm looking forward to the rest of the winter test programme.
Q: How did it feel to drive the WilliamsF1 BMW FW26?
MW: It became pretty obvious to me that the FW26 was a strong package - the car had very good grip and was quite a lot easier to drive than the Jaguar. BMW, of course, also delivers a very good engine.
Q: Is it difficult to adapt to a new team, with new engineers and mechanics?
MW: It's always a challenge to get to know how people work but I have to say that slotting in with the key players and all the mechanics went pretty smoothly last week. It's an extremely international team with lots of different nationalities working there but we're all used to speaking the same language in Formula One and it doesn't take long to get channels of communication up and running.
Q: You said that driving for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team feels like a 'dream come true' for you. What makes the team so special for you?
MW: WilliamsF1 was always the team I wanted to do well when I was growing up in Australia and had to stay up late into the night to watch the Grands Prix. What Frank and Patrick have achieved over the years is incredible and I hope I can add another chapter to their successes in the years ahead. They -- and the whole team -- are passionate about the sport and winning, and I love the no-nonsense manner they go about everything. I think we are very similar in that respect.
Q: What are your goals for your first year with the team?
MWebber: We have to win races -- there's no question about that. But, how many we can win is difficult to predict as Formula One is very competitive at the front these days.
Q: After a difficult 2004 season, do you think that the team will be able to raise its game in 2005?
MW: I'm sure a lot of lessons will have been learnt from the 2004 season and, therefore, we will be a much stronger team in 2005. Like I said in my previous answer though, the bar is set very high at the pointy end of F1 now, and we have to be there with the best of them.
Q: What contribution can you make as a driver?
MW: A driver's job is very important for the motivation of the team. You need to work incredibly hard to show the team you are serious about winning and I hope I can give the team consistency on all fronts. I certainly believe I can deliver on their demands and expectations.
Q: Due to changed regulations, F1 cars are expected to be considerably slower next year. How do rate this development as a racing driver?
MW: As drivers, we have absolutely no input into the rules. The drivers are never asked or consulted about potential formats and changes to the sport, which frustrates us. So, whatever we face in terms of changes, we simply have to get used to, and that's exactly what I've done in the last couple of years.
Q: The qualifying format has been subject to modifications as well. Do you like the new order of events during a GP weekend?
MW: It's not a matter of liking it, rather a matter of getting used to it. I've been fortunate enough to get some good performances out of the one-lap qualifying format in the past, so maybe that particular format suits me OK.
Q: Are you looking forward to driving a WilliamsF1 BMW car at your home GP at Melbourne in March?
MW: I always love racing in the Australian Grand Prix but, to be doing so in a car which will be challenging for a good result, will be even more satisfying for everybody, especially, of course, the home fans.