Red Bull’s Mark Webber said he needs a perfect weekend to be able to beat his reigning world champion team-mate Sebastian Vettel in Sunday’s Indian Grand Prix.
Vettel has had a phenomenal run of wins, the German claiming victory in all five races since Formula One returned from its summer break in August, and heads to India on the brink of winning his fourth straight title.
The 26-year-old has also utterly dominated the Indian Grand Prix, not just winning the two races the country has hosted but actually leading every lap ever raced around the Buddh International Circuit on the outskirts of the country’s capital New Delhi.
“He’s on a phenomenal run obviously and as you said his stats here in the last few years he’s been pretty strong,” Webber conceded on Thursday.
“It needs a perfect weekend – pole, perfect race, perfect strategy, perfect everything to obviously put him off the top step, so that’s got to be the plan.”
Webber also said he still had reservations about Red Bull’s strategy call at the last race in Japan, when the outfit switched him to a three-stop strategy from a planned two-stopper.
The switch seemed to hand the initiative to Vettel who had until then been running behind Webber even if Red Bull boss Christian Horner insisted after the race that the Australian’s tyre degradation had been too high for the team to be certain that he could make the two-stop window.
“I haven’t gone over any data whatsoever from the last race,” Webber said when asked by Richland F1 whether, in hindsight, after going through the data post-race he felt Red Bull’s strategy call had been the right one.
“I still stand by what I said at the time but obviously a bit surprised that we elected to do that. Having a three stop, you’ve got to pass two cars to win the race instead of maybe sticking to a two where we just focused on trying to beat Romain.”
“What I said at the time is still pretty accurate today.”
Image courtesy Octane Photographic