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Webber slams retirement rumours
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Webber slams retirement rumours
Posted By: James Allen  |  25 Mar 2010   |  5:25 am GMT  |  114 comments

Mark Webber has hit back at suggestions that he may retire from Formula 1 at the end of this season.


The 33 year old Australian arrived in the Melbourne paddock today with stories swirling around him thanks to an intervention from Lewis Hamilton, who suggested that he might retire at the end of the season, ”I don’t know how long he [Webber] plans to stay in F1, but I get the sense that it’s one of the years if he wants to finish on top and perhaps call it a day,” he said.

But Webber said, “I’m very motivated, enjoying my job and looking forward to a great season. I have no intention of retiring whatever kind of season I have. It’s Lewis’ opinion and he’s free to have that. I’ve not got a big problem with what he said. I’m very happy at the moment. It’s a good situation for me.”

There have been suggestions that Kimi Raikkonen’s relationship with Red Bull in rallying may bring him back to F1 with the company’s F1 team. Team management sources have downplayed this, but it remains an option for both parties. It is a story which will hang in the air all year and will only intensify if Webber doesn’t perform.

Hamilton’s interjection comes on the back of his own assertion after the forst race that Red Bull had a huge advantage over the rest and McLaren boss Ron Dennis’s suggestion last week that the real reason why Sebastian Vettel had to slow down in Bahrain was that the Red Bull team was concerned about running out of fuel, “The lap times dropped so rapidly that one can imagine the electronic control unit switching to a conservative programme to save fuel,” he said. “The problem with the Red Bull could be design. It could be the fuel tank is too small, or the fuel consumption is higher than they expected.”

What is interesting about this comment is the first sentence and the decision to refer to the ECU, which is manufactured by McLaren at Woking. It is hard to imagine that Dennis would have access to information on the Red Bull ECU.

Red Bull is a bit mystified about why McLaren should be talking so much about them at this time.

Meanwhile Webber said that it would be “beautiful” to win his home Grand Prix, “The car is working well and we have the best opportunity to have a crack at it,” he said.

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114 Comments
  1. michael-in-beijing says:

    My money is on MW winning his ‘home’ grand prix.

    1. I love this website I think its absolutely awesome and I love the fact that James is taking the time to share his insights and considerable experience with us all. The internet is an important aspect of this great sport which will drive* its popularity with different audiences for years to come.

      Thank you!
      Mark

      *caution: pun, use at own risk

    2. george cowley ci5 says:

      alas i see two reb bulls in a cloud of smoke and broken engine parts
      1st-hamilton
      2nd-massa
      3rd-button
      but hey could be wroung

  2. Nadeem Zreikat says:

    Gotta love these stories. Can the media actually concentrate on something else than who will retire year in year out espeically this early on. Yes I am Aussie but does anyone actually miss Kimi- yes a good driver but could we actually get him to be a bit more upbeat with the media rather. i give him this at least when he is away from F1 he seems like a likeble guy and could have drink and a laugh with some of the stories going around. Webber speaks his mind and there is little of that these days with the drivers.

    1. Williams4ever says:

      That is what modern F1 is all about, keep stirring the pot on all these things “between” the race weekends

    2. Zami from Melbourne, Australia says:

      The media will get a chance to focus on something else if some people keep their opinion to themselves rather than craving more attention than what they get already

  3. We all want KIMI RAIKKONEN to replace an average WEBBO. Kimi’s still the 3rd most popular driver even without an F1 seat.

    Fans make wonders!

    1. Ed says:

      Kimi doesn’t deserve an F1 seat anymore.

      Anyone without the respect for the sport to even show up at the F1 Champions parade at Bahrain shouldn’t be in it, in my opinion.

      1. Phil C says:

        He was testing for the upcoming Rally.

        Although I don’t miss him that much, he was mediocre as a driver and a personality.

      2. timem1 says:

        Phil, so now winning the WDC qualifies as ‘mediocre?’ Given the fact that Kimi overcame Hamilton’s 17 point advantage with two race to go in 2007 to win that championship, I guess that means LH must be mediocre too? Think b4 you talk mate.

      3. Ed says:

        OK, thanks for that.

        Even so, I saw some reports saying that he hadn’t decided yet only a few days before the race, so i’m not sure how iron clad his commitment was.

      4. george cowley ci5 says:

        the ice man must cometh,webber nice guy average driver

      5. Phil C says:

        Tim

        Winning the WDC is an achievement, but his driving was mediocre. He never really lit up the track in the way Hamilton, Alonso or Schumacher (shudders as i write that) did.

        Plus, He still lucked into the 2007 title as far as I’m concerned. Lewis made a mistake in China, and had gearbox trouble in Brazil. Kimi was there to take advantage.

    2. Roger says:

      No we don’t…

    3. Silverstoned says:

      Great thing is that Kimi is in effect poised to replace any of the top drivers [apart from Ferrari] who may fail to deliver, not just Webber. I’d say Button and Rosberg are also under scrutiny. Boy oh boy this sure will keep them honest!
      Dunno about the contention that the Iceman is “3rd” in the popularity stakes. That FIA poll result is a bit less than reliable I would suggest..

    4. Ahlapski says:

      Kimi is far too expensive for any team these days unless he lower his expectation. Lets face it, not even Alonso can demand that kind of return nowadays.

      Personally I don’t think he will be back in F1.

      I agree with Ed above, he should have the decency to show up in Bahrain…. shame on you Kimi.

      1. timem1 says:

        Kimi is too busy counting his money, driving fast fun cars in Rallying, and being married to a former Miss Finland. Somehow I doubt he cares much about what you all are saying about him here. :)

      2. Ahlapski says:

        This is just it ….!!!! F1 give him everything he has now, he just turn his back on F1.

        There’s a saying in Chinese,”Remembrance of the source when you drink the water!” (Rough translation from a Chinese friend of mine.)

    5. Legend2 says:

      Sorry KKK. Webber has done amazing things in a Minardi (points in his first race), Jaguar (qualifying in 2nd position for Malaysia back when qualifying was on low fuel for all), Williams (leading Melbourne and Monaco GPs and in with a shout of winning them in an uncompetitive car before mechanical breakdowns). Last season was the first season ever where his team-mate was not blitzed, and there were a number of tracks where Webber got the better of wunderkid Vettel. Kimi’s comparative efforts against his team-mates is no where near as good as Webbers. So using your words:
      Kimi = mediocre. Mark = legend.

      1. Really surprised to see so many frivolous posts against Raikkonen, the Iceman. On an ultimate, he’s still the fastest driver on the planet mates.
        1. He didn’t come to the parade because the way he left F1 wasn’t so captivating for him to make a fruitful return to Bahrain just to attend a parade. The other 4 WDCs are there on the grid and the veterans retired so long ago that they don’t have any shyness for showing up.
        2. 2007, Kimi was by far the best driver “both on and off track”
        3. He had a seat up for grabs which is now owned by an unworthy WDC. I have no qualms in accepting that the deal which Kimi wanted didn’t come and that he’s too good a driver to accept “any deal”.

        Iceman cometh 2010

  4. Pinball says:

    Pure propganda from McLaren, regarding Vettel and Webber. Being a realist, I don’t think Raikkonen will be back in F1, even if Webber’s form is poor this year and Red Bull don’t renew his contract. F1 is too boring for Kimi. I’m sure there would be teams that would want him, I just don’t see him wanting to come back. He’s cashed up and wants to have fun. Was he having fun in F1?

  5. Ron says:

    Jeez! Webby..Is this is the last time I am going to see you in Melbourne tomorrow? Looks like it. Unless you show some fire against your team mate, which looks pretty rosy at the moment. Bring back Kimster!!

  6. davidturnedge says:

    As an Aussie heading to Albert Park it’s a terrible thing to admit that Vettel is more likely to win than Webber but that doesn’t stop me wishing for a Webber-Vettel 1-2 in Melbourne on Sunday.

    It’s the first GP I’ve attended in about 4 years (on account of Schumi returning) and boy am I looking forward to it… let’s hope for some on-track excitement.

    1. kowalsky says:

      expect the worst, and hope for the best.

  7. Giles says:

    I don’t see why Red Bull would do anything to upset the team balance if Webber performs this well this season.

    Raikkonen? The only thing Red Bull should want out of him is for him to keep their rally cars on the road instead of upside down, in a ditch, against a tree, etc. etc.

    Bring on the Aussie race – chance of a shower, safety car…

  8. James B says:

    With MS back in the running, I think it shows that even at 33 Webber could have quite a few seasons left in him if he wants. However, If the Red Bull really does stay ahead of the pack this season and he can’t bring home a competitive finish, that could damage morale.

    But its Mark’s choice, and even though I’m a supporter of Lewis’ (among other drivers), I don’t think it was particularly smart to make those comments.

    1. Martin says:

      Some of Lewis’ comments suggest to me that the hype around Vettel might be getting to him. His comments about the Red Bull being the fastest car while he still managed to win a few races, seems a bit like ‘look at me, I’m still the fastest’.

    2. Paul says:

      Maybe not “smart” but probably innocent enough.

      Lewis is in Australia talking to Australian journalists and Australian journalists love nothing more than asking foreigners what they think about something Australian (ie an Australian driver).

    3. Vik says:

      Completely agree. Just by returning to the paddock, Schumacher has, once again, pushed the limits of what’s possible in the sport.

      If Red Bull dispense with his services, I could think of a number of teams that would welcome Webber’s discipline and speed – Williams, Renault, or Force India, perhaps.

  9. Ryan Eckford says:

    It is good by Webber to slam rumours of retirement and put his mind to winning his home grand prix. However, if he decides to retire, I don’t think his replacement will be Raikkonen. I think his replacement, if he decides to move on will be probably Buemi or Alguersuari moving to Red Bull with either Ricciardo or Hartley moving into the vacant seat at Toro Rosso.

    1. Pablo Rossi says:

      Alguesauri – Never ever. Red Bull aren’t a gambling team any more. That seat will only go to a proven driver. Kimi if he decides he wants it, ,otherwise only someone who’s better than Webber.

  10. Colin says:

    This is just hamilton being his real self. The sugar and spice of season 1 and 2 is being replaced by a ruthlessness to win at all costs. If he can’t win on track he’ll try to win the mental battles. He’ll attack all rivals that he see’s as a threat, and webber is definately one. Hamilton is a great driver and mentally very strong but I can’t help preferring webbers honesty and no bull approach.

    1. george cowley ci5 says:

      webber a rival to lewis please,keep taking the pills,

  11. Tony G says:

    Why dump Webber who works his butt off at every race and take Raikkonen who only pulls his finger out when he feels like it.

    1. Zami says:

      Exactly!!! Why pay attention to that kind of comment from another driver anyway!!!

  12. MacGraw says:

    So Ron just flicked the “Make Red Bull Go Slower” switch?

    Surely Lewis’ argument for Mark could be turned around: shouldn’t he have retired at the end of 2008 whilst he was (sort of) on top?

  13. alex m says:

    I think Lewis’ comments are very interesting and funny. What you have not highlighted was the “we are racing Ferrari and Lewis” remark from Webber. For the snide disrespect to Jenson, his buddy Lewis has given the Worlds media a glimpse of the Cat in the Red Bull Bag. If you want to play these games, be man enough to see them through…

    Will all the people who want to bet on Webber winning please make their way to the Betting Exchanges, if there was enough cash out there to back up all the Webber talk I would be a happy man.

  14. Rasczak says:

    With regards to Ron Dennis’ comments on Red Bull’s fuel consumption, could it be related to the spark plug fault, fuel wasn’t burnt in the cylinder, so the ECU initially started enriching the mixture, so then needed to lean it out as it had used too much. This may also explain the bodywork damage, the unburnt fuel got burnt in the exhaust due to the heat and this caused the damage.

    1. Henry says:

      I am very inclined agree with you, but some part of me loves the idea of McLaren having access to the RBR computer chip info!

  15. rpaco says:

    Naughty of Lewis, but gamesmanship, winding up the opposition. It worked because Webber has responded. I wonder if Bernie put him up to it to get a bit more press coverage.

  16. David Jerromes says:

    I think this is pure gamesmanship by Lewis and McLaren, Red Bull has the faster car, so what better than to put pressure on Webber and Vettel by also adding the huge margin of performance advantage the RB6 has….

    My opinion of this story….rhymes with what oars are secured with…..

    Pay it no heed, Webber is a fine racer, just has a bad slice of luck more often than he should.

    As for Kimi returning, forget it, he wants to have fun and excitement, neither of which F1 seemed to provide for him.
    Has given him a fat bank account and many lifestyle choices, can’t see that choice being F1 again.

  17. Erico says:

    Nah, it’s all small talk and lazy attempts at mind games. We shouldn’t take none of it too seriously.

  18. Derek Lorimer says:

    James I am sure Mark is not thinking of retirement.

    I am not sure that we want Mr Zero Personality back in F1

    1. Monkey says:

      Yea. Because personality is what matters in racing? But I would rather have a down to earth honest person like Kimi than some of the other characters presently on the grid. Not to mention Kimi will forever be one of the greats.

      1. Brace says:

        Hahaha, being lazy isn’t really same as being down to earth.
        Webber is down to earth.
        Kimi is spoiled by getting it all too easy.

    2. Ahlapski says:

      That’s a good one… Mr. zero personality… LOL

  19. Jason L says:

    Why would Red Bull want to bring Kimi back into F1 when they have two perfectly capable and exciting talents in there junior program.

    When Webber chooses to retire from F1, it will most likely be Daniel Ricciardo or Brendon Hartley that will be his replacement.

    Kimi coming back into F1 is just wishful thinking by his fan-base.

  20. Freespeech says:

    It’d be great to have Kimi back in a competitive car but only if it’s possible to overtake otherwise what’s the point?

  21. Ben says:

    James – what do you make of the rumours that Lewis is looking as a possible 2011 move to Red Bull? His contract ends this year (albeit with two further years on an option) and he has been making a lot of noise about how good the Red Bull is (to the point MW said ‘it’s’s nice for our guys that their are 3 drivers praising their work’) – now he is suggesting MW may retire, wishful thinking on his behalf?

    I’m not suggesting that the comments mean a deal, or even an approach has been made… However if McLaren give him a midfield car two years in a row it would not surprise me if he started looking elsewhere.

  22. Lee says:

    People complain that drivers don’t speak their mind, then complain when the do say something interesting! It seems to me that is was an offhand comment by Lewis that has been blown out of proportion.

    Anyway, I recall both Webber and Vettel made some pretty sneaky remarks about Button feeling the pressure when last years title race was hotting up. Webber knows very well how to play the media game.

  23. HowardHughes says:

    I remember Villeneuve saying once that suddenly someone had decided that Webber was ‘great’, and that was it – it became official! And I had to agree – I genuinely think he’s the most overrated driver in F1, and I don’t mean that in the nasty sense that overrated means crap; I mean he’s literally rated too highly for his skills. A true superstar would by now, in some of the cars he’s had, have racked up loads of wins, but somehow a combination of the 2nd place in the Minardi and being lauded by Frank Williams as a gritty type of driver have elevated his status from superior journeyman to something higher… and I’m sorry, I just don’t see it…

    I’d rather have Kimi back next year, refreshed and hungry again, making a complement of 5 WDCs on the grid!

    P.s – “Webber ‘slams’ retirement rumours’? Um, every time I see the word ‘slams’ in a headline I think for a second I’m reading The Sun!

    1. Patrickl says:

      How is Webber overrated? Do people keep calling him a future world champion? When do people rate him so highly to say that he is overrated?

      Webber pretty evenly matched with Vettel. Vettel has more outright pace, but Webber makes less mistakes.

      Webber was actually ahead of Vettel in the championship with only 5 races to go in the 2009 season.

      Webber got knocked out of the Italian race by Kubica, suffered a brake failure in Singapore and multiple mechanical failures in Japan. When his car finally worked again he took a win and a second place (scoring more points than Vettel in those two races).

      The camera will favour Vettel, but result wise there isn’t much difference.

      How does that make him overrated?

      1. HowardHughes says:

        You’re focusing a lot on 2009, by which time Vettel’s rising star was eclipsing Webber’s increasingly tarnished one. But for the tenure of his F1 career he’s been lauded, I feel, way above where his true place in the F1 pecking order should place him…

      2. Patrickl says:

        Vettel eclipsing Webber?

        Again, they were pretty much evenly matched on points throughout the season. Maybe Vettel is faster, but that’s because he drives more on the edge and therefore he crashes out more often.

        2 wins plus a DNF is worth less points than 3 scond places. It might look cooler on TV and fans might think you are faster and thus better, but it won’t win you a championship.

    2. Silverstoned says:

      Can’t see Webber staying in RBR after this season, even if by some fluke or other he actually wins the championship. You just have to look at Button and Brawn …

    3. Phil C says:

      You mean 5th in a Minardi? his first podium wasn’t until his Williams days

      1. HowardHughes says:

        Sorry, you’re right – I meant 2 points, not 2nd place of course.

      2. Phil C says:

        Thought that’s what you meant :)

        I have to agree, at the moment I think he is over rated for his results. Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s great, he talks how he sees things, and is a true racer. He is a good driver, but he’s also one of the unluckiest men on the grid.

        However now he’s got the monkey off his back in terms of his fist (and second) win, he’s got the chance to prove that he is one of the superstars of F1.

        By the way, Mark is my 2nd favourite driver on the grid, so i’m not saying any of this to criticise!

    4. Drez says:

      “some of the cars he’s had” ROFL… Lets see

      2002 Minardi, winning car, nope but he scored the only points in it.
      2003/4 Jaguar, never close to ‘best of the rest’ and Fords methods left much to be desired.
      2005/6 Williams, BMW/Frank politics, followed by money woes. Williams havn’t produced a decent car for years.
      2007/8 Red Bull, Newey brought the ideas and the manufacturing/race team procedures caught up… hence best of the rest by 08 but still no race winning car regulary but maybe a lucky one.
      2009 Red Bull, extra money, rule changes and all comes good. GUESS WHAT HE WON TWO RACES.

      2010 Red Bull, another potentially great car from Newey and team so I’m guessing much the same as last year. A few wins but no championship for Webber.

      So which of the cars pre ’09 did I get wrong that should have been capable of winning races in somebodyelse’s hand??

  24. Racegoer Graham says:

    Clever tactic by McLaren – stoke up internal politics at Red Bull so pushing Webber into taking (or being allowed to take) points off Vettel early in the season. That will help McLaren long term, as they’re a little behind for the moment. Rock on Lewis.

  25. Kedar says:

    You are right James, there is too much talk of Redbull and their drivers at Mclaren. I also read somewhere Ron Denis talking about Adrian Newey and his desire to push the limits of what is under the regulation. Its kinda hypocritical when you think Mclaren have this duct and rear wing system!
    Are they trying to send signals to have Newey back?

    1. Patrickl says:

      Dennis was referring to Newey pushing things to the edge. Not so much to cheat, but in a way that his cars become too flimsy and unreliable. Wings just enough to stand wind, but the slightes touch breaks them off. Engine cooling just barely enough to keep the engine from overheating, until the ambient temperature goes up or the car needs to follow another car.

      McLaren had it’s fair share of that and it does seem like Red Bull is suffering the same faith with their engine failures during practice when Renault wasn’t suffering them at all. Or maybe they were simply using them beyond their mileage.

  26. Nicollers says:

    Webber downplayed Hamilton’s statement very diplomatically. I wonder if that’s his real view or if he’s speaking as the director of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association?

    Webber showed signs of high level racing last year and it was proposed that he would be fitter, stronger and faster this year. I think he needs a few more races, before we all make judgement.

    My head is telling me however that a Raikkonen and Vettel line-up, would have Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes somewhat concerned.

    Re McLaren’s interest in Red Bull, especially this week, they seem to be applauding the sheer speed of the car, a lot! I’m confused why….

  27. parafone says:

    “Slams”, James? “Slams”? Really?

    His quote doesn’t sound particularly ‘slamming’ to me..

    This is a non story.

    1. Natalie says:

      This.

  28. Frenchie says:

    Nice psychological battle started by Lewis. If the Red Bull is indeed that fast and the Ferrari faster than Macca’s then it only makes sense to make such comments. Getting Webber rattles means they only need to focus on Vettel. Its almost Mourinho- or Ferguson-like type of remarks.

    Webber is the kind of guy that lacks consistency. Performed poorly in Bahrain, yet, could win his (our) home GP.

    The experience he suffered last year will have made him stronger – ‘for sure’. I think he’ll be very strong in Melbourne if last year’s RB5 pace is anything to go by.

    Worth noting both Vettel and Webber tend to underperform (crash out) in Melbourne. I see Alonso or Hamilton winning on Sunday.

  29. shadowzzz says:

    Regarding the ECU, he got you to talk about that, didn’t he? Additionally, maybe all McLaren praise for RB is to play mind game with Ferrari boys. Dennis is good at these things.

  30. P Byrne says:

    Me thinks McLaren think they can catch or match Ferrari but are nervous about Red Bull’s pace.

    1. russ says:

      Agree agree

  31. rpaco says:

    Naughty of Lewis, winding up the opposition, but part of gamesmanship. I wonder if Bernie put him up to it.

  32. CoolGav says:

    On the BBC site there’s a clip With Ted Kravitz from the post race forum show that shows Vettel’s Red Bull has clear exhaust/bodywork damage. So it might be something to do with excessive fuel being burned and raising the temperature of the exhaust. Influenced by or causing the failure of the spark plug… To compensate Red Bull had to lower the fuel consumption to make sure Vettel got to the finish. Just a thought

    You have to wonder if Vettel uses more fuel than Webber… Senna used to use more than the others (full throttle for more of evey lap), so if Red Bull have slightly miscalculated the fuel tank size then Vettel might have to slow down a bit.

  33. Calum says:

    Will this be another year where a fast but fragile Newey car fails to win the WDC/CC because of reliability?

  34. jonas says:

    I think its Lewis dipping his toe in the Red Bull for next year ……

  35. Jon says:

    It’s just mind games.

    The Ron Dennis thing is particulary wrong. All is takes is for one person to say something and then it spreads. People speculate and all for nothing.

    Remember how everyone all winter has said that Redbull have a problem with tyre wear? They get to the first race, and Vettel is the last of the front runners to pit on the used soft tyres in extreme heat conditions.

  36. Daffid says:

    Absurd to think Kimi would want to come back. An overrated driver who ‘won’ a championship using an illegal car in the first race while the opposition imploded. Ferrari’s positive reaction to Alonso, and his easy instant dominance of Massa suggest the Kimi ‘legend’ was just a legend all along. Quick, but no consistency, and no bottle when the chips were down or his team mate is quick. There’s no way he’d dare take on Vettel at Red Bull, he’d lose 16-4 and be humiliated – he’ll stay out to preserve the mystique.

    1. Paul says:

      I think you need to see the entire season through before you start basing your judgement based on just 1 race if I remember well Kimi had the measure of massa in his first season and P.s remember the mass damper system Alonso won the WDC in that season as well.

      1. Daffid says:

        Yes, I mostly agree, I was being polemical because I get tired of fan obsession, but my words were over-strong. I’m a big believer in Massa, and hope he gets some good results this year, I think it’ll take time for him to get even with Alonso, but we’ll see. I felt he was always Kimi’s equal, just had to contend with being considered the B driver at first when Kimi arrived, then a couple of rash mistakes and he was an unfairly forgotten man that season, not least by his team. But I’m certainly not writing him off yet, his spirit is wonderful.
        Mass dampers is a bit different because I don’t think they should ever have been banned! That seemed to me a ‘red-rule’ to help old Michael, but I take your point.

      2. Andy says:

        “I felt he was always Kimi’s equal, just had to contend with being considered the B driver at first when Kimi arrived, then a couple of rash mistakes and he was an unfairly forgotten man that season, not least by his team.”

        It’s unfortunate that F1 (or sports in general) works this way. Massa certainly had a bad start to the 2007 season and that affected his whole season. At the same time one should also remember that the 2008 season wasn’t really that bad for Kimi as people like to remember. He was contending for the WDC late into the season and was ahead of Massa in points, until a streak of very bad luck (including Hamilton slamming into him during the pits + sliding out in Spa when fighting for the win), causing him not to finish on points in 4 consecutive races. After that, his races improved again, but now he just had to support Massa.

      3. Patrickl says:

        Kimi pretty much had the measure of massa for the first part of 2008 too. Until Hamilton punted him out of Canada and they messed up the car for him.

  37. Jon says:

    Another example is Redbull starting 10kg lighter at the start of the race. I saw an interview with Alonso and they asked him about it and said it was 6kg lighter. Refer to Alonso’s answer because it says it better then I can (he has more credability).

    McLaren’s rear wing thing, some say it increases straight line speed by 10mph, others say 5km/h.

    The only thing journalists get right is the quotations, but even then they get a little creative with them. But that’s more due to inaudible answers and translations on the audio recorders (you would think/hope).

  38. Rich C says:

    McLaren mindgames is all.

  39. smellyden says:

    Its amazing how much more we are hearing from Hamilton, now he is his own man, and not under his fathers shadow

  40. D. says:

    Webber has done next to nothing in F1, and that won’t change this year, even if the RB6 remains a step ahead throughout the season. He is simply not that good, and that’s why none of the top teams ever offered him a seat. If, as expected, he under-performs again this year, RBR will surely attempt to convince Kimi to come back to F1. Webber is a mediocre driver, no more, no less.

    1. Jon says:

      Mediocre drivers don’t win F1 races. If Webber is mediocre was does it say for the people he beat that day? What does it say for F1 as a whole? Mediocre people don’t get wins unless it’s lucky wins like Fisicellas in Brazil 2003, where red flags and fuel can decide a victory. I suspect you don’t know about that race though and that you started watching only when Lewis Hamilton appeared.

    2. P. says:

      Williams and Renault come to mind? When Webber decided to take the Williams offer over the Renault offer Williams was a top 3 team then. Montoya had just won the last race of the season in Brazil so I don’t see how ‘none of the top teams ever offered him a seat’. Unfortunately, from then on in Williams went on a downhill slide after losing BMW. As SFW said himself, they are stronger with a manufacturer than without.

    3. MarkA says:

      I would counter that Red Bull is now one of the Top Teams and they have him in one of their seats.

  41. Robert McKay says:

    “Red Bull is a bit mystified about why McLaren should be talking so much about them at this time.”

    Welcome to the front of Formula 1, Red Bull…

  42. Thalasa says:

    It seems as if F1 is so boring that part of the entertainment is about what is going to happen next year or in two years time (remember we are in the second race!). Now that Alonso-going-to-Ferrari speculation is finished, we have to find something else because overtaking is not likely to happen, at least for this season.

    1. kowalsky says:

      i agree. And be carefull, because one day they must stop the racing,”too expensive”, and just go from gossip to gossip.

    2. D. says:

      I think you will be surprised over the course of the season. Things tend to get interesting more often than not as the season unfolds. There will be some overtaking at least on certain tracks, there will be safety cars, there will be weather-dictated races. I would really be surprised if most races are as boring as Bahrein, even if there is not any serious overtaking happening on the track. They will find ways to keep up the interest.

  43. Neil Jenney says:

    I agree with the majority here. This is mind games, pure and simple. Well done Lewis for getting inside the head of one of the Red Bull drivers.

    Next question is how do you get inside Vettel’s head? I suggest labelling him an “unlucky” driver as that always seems to put a driver in a position where they have to field endless annoying questions whenever they have a bad race for the rest of their career. There’s certainly been enough incidents in his career to date to get some traction with this one.

    As for the current best of the rest (Alonso of course, who did you think I meant?), that’s a whole different ball game. Good luck finding a weak spot. Although he does seem a little too fond of Flavio…

    1. Neil Jenney says:

      If Vettel wasn’t prime for the “unlucky” tag before Melbourne, how about now?

  44. Alexx says:

    Wasn’t Lewis the one talking a while ago about how he nearly retired after lie-gate?

    Lewis is a little soapie-drama queen!

  45. Brace says:

    Hamilton should keep his big mouth shut.
    Unlike Webber who is completely straight when giving his opinion, Hamilton is either churning out P.R. friendly empty sentences or is sticking his nose into someone else’s business.

  46. eamon says:

    I hope Webber does retire and Kimi comes back.

    I still think a hungry and motivated Kimi Raikkonen is the best driver in the world, and with is year in WRC he might come back refreshed and ready to fight again.

    Just think of his great performances, Spa 04, 08, 09, Suzuka 05, Monza 05 and Fuji 07. Webber is just a journeyman f1 driver Kimi can be electric when he wants to be.

    Kimi is definitely the coolest driver in the sport, he isn’t a boyband member like Hamilton or Button, nor a politician like Alonso. He is an enigma who has a huge fanbase probably the biggest considering the other top drivers come from countries with huge populations whilst he comes from Finland. F1 would be a better place with Kimi back

  47. Nathan says:

    Aside from the comments made by Ron Dennis about the ECU and the possibility that Red Bull may have a smaller fuel tank. I have read elsewhere that Renault have been granted dispensation to ‘develop’ their engine for ‘reliability’ and ‘cost’ reasons. Or could this be reason to address the potential fuel consumption issues?

    We’ll have to wait and see whether the ‘conservative programme’ kicks in for anyone else during the season.

  48. onyx says:

    Webber vastly overrated and will go down in history as a good ‘journeyman’…also isnt it true he has lied about his age…i mean come on, does he look 33 to you..!!!???

  49. F1 Kitteh says:

    Wonder why other real champions don’t need to resort to this type of mind games…

    1. Patrickl says:

      I can’t think of any other champion who wasn’t involved in mind games. Maybe Raikkonen.

      Did you miss the mind games between Alonso and (runner up) Massa even before the season?

      In fact even a non champion like Webber does these things.

      Remember how he said that Schumacher was in for a hard time? How he had never seen anyone make a good comeback (implying that Schumacher is not going to amount to anything)?

      Or how he was bad mouthing the “kids” in F1? (although in his defense, in the first instance Vettel had just rammed him out of the race)

      1. F1 Kitteh says:

        You just succumbed to my mind games ;)

  50. paddy says:

    I think Mark Webber is better for F1 than Kimi. Kimi is a spoiled brat who always had one of the best cars in the field and only just one a world championship. Mark has had to drive every crap box out there and well he is still here that counts for a lot in F1. Kimi had it all the best car the best team and he couldn’t even be bothered. Now Webbo has the best car after 10 years of hard work i say go webber go. Hard work not spoiled rich kids is what F1 needs and so does the world for that matter. Kimi = Paris Hilton

    1. Bruce says:

      True. Kimi = Paris Hilton, Mark = Bruce Willis.

  51. Fausto Cunha says:

    Webber´s contract ends by the end of the year and if he underperforms red bull might look to replace him at the end of the year and Kimi will be a possibility.

    Maybe Kimi will find the possibility of driving a Adrian Newey car again challenging.

  52. InnocentBystander says:

    Pretty weak attempt at mind games from Lewis I suspect.

    Say what you will about Webber’s abilities as a driver (I rate him) but his mental toughness is unquestionable. If a broken leg and shoulder, coupled with next to no winter testing and his new wunderkind teammate didn’t get to him last year somehow I doubt Lewis has managed to get under his skin with his retirement comments. He’s going to have to try harder than that.

    I think “slams” is a bit OTT isn’t it James?

    As for Webber being replaced by Kimi…do any of you Kimi fanboy’s really think he would’ve done better than Webber in the Red Bull last season? Remember Webber was beating Seb with 5 races to go and tied him over the season for fastest laps. As for this season, it’s only been one race and people are calling for Webber’s head. Ridiculous.

    Sometimes I think people watch the races with their eyes closed. Webber put on an overtaking clinic last season. So did Button and I suspect many of you thought he was “average” before last season. A driver can only get the results the car is capable of…Webber’s had one season and one race in a car capable of winning and he’s performed admirably.

    As for the suggestions Webber is overrated….pull the other one. There is zero hype over Webber.

  53. Erico says:

    That isn’t slamming.
    It’s more like dismissing.

  54. Race9089 says:

    Wouldn’t Red Bull go for the cheaper, younger and superbly talented Daniel Riccardio?! Rather than some has been Kimi?? He’s only good for Citroen because Red Bull have made him a pay-rally driver. The reason Red Bull did that?? Because they are a promotionally driven company and obviously, Kimi fanboys would be stating their under dying love for rallying and Red Bull wanted to capitalise on that publicity. Masteschitz has already denied getting Kimi back.

    Besides Mark Webber kept Vettel honest last year, despite still recovering from a broken leg and shoulder, which every has conveniently forgotten. I suspect that Webber and Vettel will remain with Red Bull at least until the end of 2011.

  55. Rob says:

    “Red Bull is a bit mystified about why McLaren should be talking so much about them at this time.”

    Pretty obvious I would have thought – McLaren don’t want the performance of the Renault engine being tinkered with. Ferrari have similarly been talking up Red Bull and putting themselves alongside McLaren and Mercedes in the chasing pack. It’s all the usual F1 politicking.

    1. James Allen says:

      There is no danger of the Renault being allowed to raise the performance of the engine.

  56. Qiang says:

    James,
    Do you believe Ron Dennis’s theory of Vettel running out of gas? I personally think it’s not an outrageous speculation if you look at Vettel’s qualifying pace and stopping on the track after crossing the line. Vettel was also pretty comfortable to keep Rosberg behind him in the last few laps.
    One more thing, do you think it is a little arrogant for younter like Vettel saying things like “nobody is asking opinion from Ron Dennis” etc.

  57. piotr says:

    Didn’t David Coulthard just recently voiced his opinion about Robert Kubica’s driving for Red Bull Racing in near future instead of wasting his time at Renault? I wouldn’t think Coulthard would be talking up his beloved Red Bull team, wouldn’t he?

    Besides, saying “I have no intention of retiring whatever kind of season I have” doesn’t mean Webber will stay at Red Bull next season.

  58. knoxploration says:

    Nobody seems to have picked up on the absolutely priceless reply to Dennis’ ECU speculation from Christian Horner in the second Friday press conference:

    —–
    (Ralf Bach – R & B) Christian, I was very surprised last week by learning from Ron Dennis about your real problems in the race in Bahrain with Sebastian. He said your tank is simply too small.
    Christian Horner: I guess the problem with age is that your hearing tends to fail you a little bit and perhaps Ron didn’t hear the misfire that was there and probably didn’t see the fact that the other car also finished the race without any issues at all. It wasn’t anything to do with the size of the fuel tank. As I say it was a spark plug issue and that was it.
    —–

  59. ejaz14357 says:

    I have no intention of retiring whatever kind of season I have” doesn’t mean Webber will stay at Red Bull next season.

    1. James Allen says:

      He’s doing one more year then he’ll quit at the top

  60. tariq14639 says:

    hi love this very nice webside then There have been suggestions that Kimi Raikkonen’s relationship with Red Bull in rallying may bring him back to F1 with the company’s F1 team. Team management sources have downplayed this, but it remains an option for both parties. It is a story which will hang in the air all year and will only intensify if Webber doesn’t perform.

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