Mark Webber's chances of putting an end to a disappointing run of results vanished quickly on Saturday, with KERS problems affecting him again in practice. The Australian failed to make it past Q1 and will endured another difficult day tomorrow.
Q. Can you tell us what went wrong?
Mark Webber: One lap in P3. That doesn't help. We were a little bit on the back foot and just got the car together minutes before qualifying. We threw it together and went out – my first run was probably half a second shy of where it needed to be. Obviously, KERS as well on top of that. We were on the bubble and then decided to go for another run on the prime to have a few laps at it, but we never got out quick enough so we only had one timed lap and added to that we had tires that were not up to temperature. So that second set was a bit more difficult to get the job done.
Q. Whose decision was it to run with the prime tires, and not use the options for that second run?
MW: The team's, mate. I was pretty cool with it, but obviously we all started to panic a bit at the end when we knew we weren't going to get two laps. The tire should have been enough, but on one lap it wasn't enough. And that was where we snookered ourselves really. You pay a big price in qualifying. I don't know the last time a Red Bull guy was out in Q1, but it has been a long time. That was our first time since 2009, for sure – as we didn't do it last year.
Q. So was KERS working in the afternoon?
Q. What is the problem with it? Overheating?
MW: Don't know. If you can tell us, you could have a job.
Q. What are the chances of it working in the race?
MW: We need to find out tonight, basically. We will get the car back and look at it. We had an electrical problem in P3, and also we had some upshift problems in P3. We have had a pretty solid day in terms of the car putting up a fight, but the guys have worked like hell, they have done what they can and that is the way it goes sometimes.
Q. The rear wing problem that you had yesterday, has that been solved?
MW: Yeah, it is OK.
Q. You spoke to Jo Bauer after qualifying. Was that related to you getting weighed at the end of Q1?
MW: No, I was just asking him if I needed to get weighed myself, because generally you do – win, lose or draw. I went to ask him and he said no problems.
Q. Is it dispiriting having all these problems, as it seems to affecting you much more?
MW: At this level you need everything perfect; we know that, to be successful. We have had it in the past and we will work hard to get it in the future. We had a tough grand prix in Malaysia and we had a tough Saturday here. We are just trying to put some Saturdays and Sundays together. There are flashes there, that we can do it, but it is just pulling it all together at the right time.
Q. Do you feel a bit cursed?
MW: There are a lot more people in life a lot worse than me, so I am not beating myself up too much.
Q. It isn't the first time you are struggling with grips in the tires. Could it be down to different settings to your teammate?
MW: No, there isn't much there.
Q. Did you know before Q1 that KERS would not work?
Q. You said you were happy with the decision on the tire, but sitting in the car you are not aware of where the cut-off point is. Were they too ambitious?
MW: When any top team goes out in Q1 we can all put the hindsight goggles on and say we should have done this or should have done that. In the end, for sure, option would have made life easier, and it is completely obvious that we could have made that decision. But we didn't as a team. And we all thought we would get enough laps on the prime to get the two timed laps in, but obviously we were a bit late going out and then it turned out we were on the wrong tire as well, because of the timing.
Q. Is there inconsistency between sets or because you got one lap?
MW: Today is not down to that, but we have all experienced at times there is different pace, but not today.
Q. What can you do from P18 with three sets of three option tires?
MW: Hopefully we can go forward. Obviously...
Q. Is it an advantage at least having three fresh sets of option tires and one fresh set of primes?
MW: But I would rather have none left and be on the first two rows.
Q. Have the team got any explanation for why you have had KERS problems in Malaysia and here, but there is nothing on the other car?
MW: I think it is a bit unfortunate that the two races are very close to each other. We did run it pretty well for most of the weekend in Malaysia, and in qualifying it reared its head. We didn't run in the race. It is a very complicated system and there were three or four days to get it running again. We ran it OK on Friday, but most of Friday afternoon we did not run it, and not at all today. But I don't think Seb has not been without his issues. He has had a smooth run with it, but it is still high maintenance. He has had a different run, but it is not seamless. The team is working hard on addressing it for both of us.
Q. So it's a case of you either having bad luck or having no luck at all?
MW: Today was pretty amazing really. The hurdles that we had – but that is what happens in motor racing. It happens in sport. You come back again tomorrow and give it another crack. I have had a lot of good days, a hell of a lot of good days in the last few years. At the moment I am not getting the rub of the green, but that is also down to preparation and decisions. You cannot just make a shopping list of excuses. We also have to look inside and work harder.
Q. What is KERS effect worth around here - four tenths, five tenths?
MW: I don't know too much – on one lap, somewhere in the middle of that.
Q. Is there anything you can do to turn the situation around?
MW: I can tell the guys to work harder! But they are doing that already. We know that we get such limited running on a grand prix weekend; you need everything lined up and right. And when things are not going your way then the car is misbehaving or not operating as you would desire, then the sessions can really slip away from you really quickly. That is what happens with a modern day F1 car – things can slip fast and all of a sudden you are on the back foot. That was the case today.
Q. Was it is a surprise to you that it was so difficult to get the hard tire working, or warm-up lap disturbed?
MW: I think everyone has struggled with the first lap on the prime. It is not like the option. It takes a few laps to get the best out of it - certainly two, maybe three. The first lap is not ideal time from the prime tire. So, the out lap was not too bad – it is just I needed a bit more time to get the tire ready.
Q. You have all the soft tires tomorrow, but can you start on hard and try and go as long as possible?
MW: I think... we will see. But as the last race and this race, the soft tire lasts longer than the hard anyway so it is the other way around.