Q&A with F1 star Mark Webber
After winning his first race of the season in Monaco, F1 World Championship contender Mark Webber spoke to Orange about that victory and his title chances, his Red Bull future, David Haye v Dereck Chisora, and what he's watching at the Olympics this summer.
Congratulations on Sunday's win. You made it look like a procession but how hard was it with so many drivers trying to get past you for the win?
It's great to win, absolutely incredible. The race was tough, as it is every year at Monaco. Once I was ahead I knew unless I messed up it was my race to win. My bigger concern rather than cars passing me - I was feeling pretty confident - was the rain. Everyone else was praying for rain, I wasn't. Thankfully it stayed away and it's good to get that first win of the season.
You seem in a better place now compared to last year. Would that be fair to say?
Yeah, definitely. I had a great winter, the best ever. I'm feeling the fittest I've ever been, refreshed, recharged for the season. In all, I'm feeling great.
Last year must have been tough though as Sebastian Vettel won race after race in the same car. Was there ever a point where you were feeling down?
Yeah, for sure mate. It was difficult. I wasn't beating him and, when that happens, you start making excuses for it. I hate doing that but it was inevitable and it was difficult to come back from it really.
Was there ever a point where you thought about retiring?
Not for a second, no, not at all. I'm not done with F1, not by a long stretch. I need a break, to escape and recharge, which is what I did. I had a good few barbeques back at home, surrounded myself with my friends and family, and had some pretty frank chats with them.
How important was winning that final race in Brazil [his only win in 2011] to inspire you in winter training?
That did everything. The season before I'd been in the title running at the last race but it all went tits-up so it was tough to end the year like that. So to win in Brazil was an amazing tonic for me. I want more of that and that's all the incentive I needed.
You've had quite a few fourth places this season. Is that the worst place to finish?
Of course, it's the podium where I want to be but those fourth places have done me ok judging by where I am in the championship standings. I've been consistent, I'm still nicely in the title hunt. Sure, I want to be on the top step of the podium every weekend. The championship is so close. It's almost as if it hasn't begun yet, it's nearly a clean slate for Canada. It's been quite bonkers mate with six different winners in the first six races. Thankfully it was me that made it six in Monaco!
You've been linked with a move away to Ferrari. Any truth in that?
In 2008, Kimi Raikkonen was on his way here to replace me. I think a few other drivers have been coming here since then. I reckon that 80% of what you hear's untrue. I'm happy in the team, I think I work well but as usual we won't start talking about next season until later into the summer.
Also this summer, the Olympics is coming to London. Will you be going along and, if so, what are you planning to watch?
I'm sports mad and one of my shame's is that I've never been to an Olympics. I didn't even go to the Sydney Games when they were on. So I'll go to a few things. As an Aussie, I'm supposed to like the swimming and it's ok, while track and field doesn't really do it for me. I like stuff like the rowing - we're pretty good at that - and the cycling. There should be a few good Aussie battles there I reckon.
What other sports do you like?
Most stuff mate. Cricket, boxing, lots really.
So what did you make of the David Haye v Dereck Chisora fight being announced then?
That's a bloody joke isn't it. What are they playing at? But we're the fools aren't we? We've been sucked into it, we're talking about it. Actually I've talked about it to other people so they've achieved what they set out for. But I love my boxing, proper boxing that is.
If you want to race on Mark's car at the British Grand Prix and raise money for Wings for Life, please click here.