Posts Tagged ‘Mark Webber’

I first said this four or so years ago, but could the Australian media PLEASE GET OFF MARK WEBBER’S BACK?!!! I am really fed up with these clowns in the media who constantly criticise Mark Webber because he has not lived up to their expectations. Even after a stunning lights to flag victory in the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona the media still has to try to knock down the tall poppy instead of celebrating his dominant performance.

What shines through every time that morons such as Triple M’s Roy & HG or 3AW’s Dwayne Russell or the Herald Sun’s Daryl Timms criticise Webber is just how ignorant they are about Formula 1. I have watched every single Formula 1 race since the 1985 Australian Grand Prix, but it is obvious that these big-mouthed buffoons only ever watch one race, the Australian Grand Prix, a year. For instance all have made comments about Mark not finishing races, yet ever since he joined Red Bull he has only failed to finish a handfull of times. Last year he had just two DNFs. GUYS, 2006 WAS FOUR YEARS AGO!!!

As I said earlier, the big problem is that Mark never lived up to the knockers expectations. They wanted him to be a Schumacher or Prost yet are so ignorant about Formula 1 that they don’t realise there is no level playing field in the sport and that to win you have to be driving for the one of the best teams, which Mark has only done in the last couple of years. They will point to his stint at Williams as a time when he was in a top team but Williams have become a shell of their former self. When Mark was there Williams went through an acrimonious split with BMW, who were replaced as engine supplier by the horribly unreliable and underfunded Cosworth. Juan Pablo Montoya told Mark that he made a huge mistake going to Williams despite the fact that JPM won the last GP of 2004.

This year Mark is the clear second favourite for the World Drivers Championship. Adrian Newey and Red Bull have built the fastest car on the grid and despite the fact that I have tipped Webber’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel to win the championship, I hope that Mark can do it just to shut all the idiots in the media up.

By the way, with three wins so far Mark has won more Grands Prix than…

  • Chris Amon (0)
  • Jean Alesi (1)
  • Nick Heidfeld (0)
  • Martin Brundle (0)
  • Elio de Angelis (2)
  • Stefan Johansson (0)
  • Patrick Depailler (2)
  • Patrick Tambay (2)
  • Eddie Cheever (0)
  • Derek Warwick (0)
  • Olivier Panis (1)
  • Jarno Trulli (1)
  • Mika Salo (0)
  • Alex Wurtz (0)

He has won the same amount of races as…

  • Didier Pironi
  • Thierry Boutsen
  • Johnny Herbert
  • Giancarlo Fisicella
  • Heinz Harald Frentzen

He is in striking distance of…

  • Keke Rosberg (5)
  • John Watson (5)
  • Michele Alboreto (5)
  • Ricardo Patrese (6)
  • Jacques Laffite (6)
  • Eddie Irvine (4)
  • Ralph Schumacher (6)
  • Juan Pablo Montoya (7)

I haven’t really been blogging much in the last couple of weeks. I have been much too busy redecorating this place and am still only a quarter of the way through. We have been moving boxes of junk and other stuff to our storage locker, which was a logistical nightmare to do when you don’t own a car.

 My jury duty begins on Wednesday. I am sort of looking forward to it, although I’m not sure if I really want to do it. I am really nervous about things and feel that I’ll probably have the misfortune to be on a lengthy murder trial. It would be juicy to be part of this, but I really have lots of other things that I’d rather be doing.

 Finally I must give my congratulations to Mark Webber on his first win. I knew that he would eventually break through and unlike all of those knockers I never doubted him. It always made me angry whenever I heard the so-called experts, people who in reality know nothing about Formula 1 yet get paid to talk about sport on the radio, make wise crack after wise crack about Webber. I’m glad that he is finally able to make them eat some humble pie. I’d also like to make special mention of Triple M’s Roy & HG. Anybody who regularly listens to this program (yes all three of you) would know that this duo has taken particular delight in Mark’s constant bad luck. I am particularly glad that in a week when there is speculation about Roy & HG’s show being cancelled like many other failing programs on Triple M that Webber was able to break through for a win.

 I should also make a special mention of Triple M’s falling fortunes. They are currently being hammered in the ratings, with even Vega scoring more listeners. There are many reasons why Triple M is failing which everyone except the management there can see. Perhaps if they did more than play songs from ‘the awesome 80s’ and the comedy they featured on their station actually contained comedy (you know, stuff that is funny) they would be more successful. Maybe if they did not simulcast shows from Sydney and actually produced shows for Melbourne in Melbourne then more Melbournians would be listening. I still remember listening to a show (the Shebang) a few years ago which featured a commercial for North Sydney Alfa Romeo. Obviously some genius forgot to press the button that plays the local ads when they went to a commercial break.

I’ve been trying to feign interest in Formula 1 but it has been very difficult lately. The political games that are getting played behind the scenes are just making me bored of the whole sport. Still, with the news the other day that FOTA are planning a breakaway series my interest picked up. I have maintained for a long time that the sport really needs to get rid of Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone if they are going to prosper in anyway. Bernie’s greed and Max’s crazy decision making has made watching the sport quite tiresome in recent years. Then again with Max and the FIA in charge it was only a matter of time before F1 self destructed because of his constant and confusing interfering and rule changing. Just look at what happened with the Le Mans Sportscar series back in the early 90s when Max (with Bernie’s prompting) made some changes, or even more recently with the World Rally Championship. Sigh!

Back to this weekend’s British Grand Prix. Usually when doing this I would predict an easy victory for Jenson Button and Brawn GP but I don’t think so this time. Qualifying has finished just over an hour ago and it looks like the Brit is struggling at his home circuit. He was not really close to the top in any of the three qualifying sessions and will only start in sixth place tonight.

The Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber dominated qualifying much how they have dominated practice ever since they arrived at Silverstone. Vettel takes his third pole position of the year while Webber will start in third, behind Ruben Barrichello’s Brawn, after he was blocked by traffic on his final run. I expect that the Red Bulls will romp it in, with Vettel beating Webber home, although this may be Webber’s best chance of taking his maiden victory.

Sebastian Vettel proved that he is the new rain master of F1 after a brilliant win at the Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai. In fact it was a Red Bull sweep as Mark Webber took his best ever result with second place. Jenson Button was placed third in the Brawn Mercedes.

I feel/hope that this proves that Red Bull will be the team that challenges Brawn for the 2009 Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles. So far this season they have looked like the only team other than Brawn with consistent front running pace, with Vettel missing a sure fire podium in Melbourne because of his (and Robert Kubica’s) over exuberance, while Webber looked likely to take a podium in Malaysia until the race was red flagged just after his pit stop which put him down the order. Surely this will be the year that Webber finally scores a victory, with Monaco in May looking to be his best chance.

Ferrari’s horror run continued in China. Once again neither Kimi Raikkonen nor Felipe Massa scored a point. Massa once again suffered a mechanical failure, whilst Raikkonen seemed to have no confidence in his cars performance in the wet conditions. Lewis Hamilton also had a horror race with a number of spins which may tarnish his reputation as a wet weather specialist, but at least he scored points with a sixth placed finish.

The biggest loser in China would have to be Nelson Piquet Jr, who again seemed out of his depth in F1. He spun several times even though he did not seem to be going very fast. I know that Piquet’s job description says that he has to play second fiddle to Alonso, but he has to at least keep the car on the road and get the car into a points scoring position. Then again perhaps this says more about Fernando Alonso than Nelson Piquet, as we know that Renault has once again produced an awful car, yet Fernando is driving the wheels off the thing and making it go faster than it really should go.

Chinese Grand Prix – Race results
1. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 56 laps 1hr 57m 43.485s
2. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault +00m 10.9s
3. Jenson Button Britain Brawn-Mercedes +00m 44.9s
4. Rubens Barrichello Brazil Brawn-Mercedes +00m 63.7s
5. Heikki Kovalainen Finland McLaren-Mercedes +00m 65.1s
6. Lewis Hamilton Britain McLaren-Mercedes +00m 71.8s
7. Timo Glock Germany Toyota-Toyota +00m 74.4s
8. Sebastien Buemi Switzerland Toro Rosso-Ferrari +00m 76.4s

Driver Championship Standings
1. Jenson Button – 21 points
2. Rubens Barrichello – 15 points
3. Sebastian Vettel – 10 points
4. Timo Glock – 10 points
5. Mark Webber – 9.5 points
6. Jarno Trulli – 8.5 points
7. Nick Heidfeld – 4 points
8. Fernando Alonso – 4 points
9. Heikki Kovalainen – 4 points
10. Lewis Hamilton – 4 points

Constructors Championship Standings
1. Brawn Mercedes – 36 points
2. Red Bull Renault – 19.5 points
3. Toyota – 18.5 points
4. McLaren Mercedes – 8 points
5. BMW Sauber – 4 points
6. Renault – 4 points
7. Toro Rosso Ferrari – 4 points
8. Williams Toyota – 3.5 points
9. Force India Mercedes – 0 points
10. Ferrari – 0 points

The opening practice session for the first race of the 2009 Formula 1 season is just three days away and I am very excited. There are new aerodynamic and technical rules that will hopefully make this season the most unpredictable ever. Having said that, I am going to do a season preview and try to make some pretty vague predictions.


Lewis Hamilton deservedly won the World Driver’s Championship last year, despite what Ferrari fans tell you, but after looking at their testing form in the pre-season, they have a lot of work to do for Lewis to even be a contender. The new McLaren Mercedes MP4-24 has been one of the slowest cars and has struggled to find rear grip. They have so far been outshone by the other two Mercedes powered teams, Force India and Brawn GP. While I am sure that McLaren will have improved greatly by the time the car hits the Albert Park track, I am not sure that they will have improved enough to challenge for victory.

I expect that by mid-season the McLaren will be amongst the front running teams and Lewis Hamilton will be challenging for wins. He was criticized a lot last year for his unnecessarily aggressive driving and some rookie type mistakes. He should be a more mature driver this year but the team probably will have lost too much ground at the start of 2009 for him to be considering back to back World Driver’s titles.

Heikki Kovalainen was a huge disappointment in 2008. Whilst he did score his maiden victory in Hungary, he was much slower than his team mate. His most disappointing race for me was the Italian Grand Prix where he took second place, but did not even look like challenging the victor Sebastian Vettel in the Toro Rosso.


I predict that Ferrari will take the World Driver’s Championship/Constructors Championship double in 2009. In testing they have consistently been in the top three all pre-season, while they have the resources to keep the team up front for the entire season.


I’d love to see Felipe Massa win the championship in 2009. He was desperately unlucky last year, let down by his team when he most needed them. Massa showed a great maturity and consistency in 2008, with only a couple of really bad races such as the debacle at Silverstone in the wet, where he spun several times.


Kimi Raikkonen had an awful 2008. He looked demotivated for a lot of 2008, making too many uncharacteristic mistakes. 2009 cannot be any worse, but I feel that Massa will outrace the Finn. Last year Kimi took lots of fastest race laps, but often did so when he had no chance of winning the race. He must improve this year.


BMW Sauber had a great 2008, establishing themselves as the third force in F1. I expect them to retain that form this year, and take a few more wins. Robert Kubica was very consistent last year but only took one victory in Canada. Quick Nick Heidfeld did not have the consistency of his Polish team mate, but still had some very good races. Both drivers should take lots of points and a few victories to enable their team to take second place in the Constructors World Championship.  


Renault had a terrible 2007 and were only slightly better in 2008. Fernando Alonso fluked a win in Singapore thanks to his team mate hitting the wall and causing a fortuitous safety car to be deployed. He then won again in Japan, to show that he is still the best driver in F1. His team mate Nelson Piquet endured a horrible season, and showed that he was perhaps not ready for F1. Hopefully for his sake he can do much better this year, otherwise he will be out of a job.


Renault’s testing form has been very up and down. When the R29 was first rolled out it lacked pace but by the end of the preseason they were occasionally topping the time sheets. I think they will struggle again this year.



Red Bull Renault had an OK year last year. They were very quick initially, but as the season wore on other teams soon surpassed their pace. Sebastian Vettel has joined the team and at the moment is the hottest thing in F1. Mark Webber has proved that he is a great qualifier but there are still a lot of doubts about his race pace. If Vettel thrashes him this year I think his F1 career may be over.


Having said all that, I think Red Bull may pinch a win this year. The new car was very fast when it first hit the track, but has struggled to maintain that pace throughout the preseason. I think that they will score a lot of points and podiums.



Toyota is the team who I think will be the most improved for 2009. I feel that they will establish themselves just behind Ferrari and BMW as the third force in F1. I feel that Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock will both take at least one win this year and score lots of points. They have had very good, consistent testing form.



Williams have had good testing form too, and Nico Rosberg is a great driver, but I am not sure where they will finish this year. Perhaps they will steal a win if the stars align, and they should take a few points, but I don’t think that they will do very well. Rosberg will be looking for a more competitive seat by seasons end.


Brawn have dominated testing this preseason, and are favourites for the Australian Grand Prix. This car has been in development ofr over a year, ever since Honda decided that last season’s car was a dog. Ross Brawn is a genius and may have a car that thrashes the pants off everyone this year, but I am not convinced. I still think that they will be very fast, but am not sure if they will be able to develop the car throughout the season as much as Ferrari, McLaren or BMW. Still, I think Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello will shake the grid up a lot, and may take a few wins.


Force India and Toro Rosso will score a few points in what should be the most competitive season of F1 ever. However I still feel that they will be the tailenders this year.


My Predictions


World Driver’s Championship

  1. Felipe Massa
  2. Kimi Raikkonen
  3. Nick Heidfeld
  4. Timo Glock
  5. Robert Kubica
  6. Jenson Button
  7. Lewis Hamilton
  8. Jarno Trulli
  9. Fernando Alonso
  10. Mark Webber



Constructors Championship

  1. Ferrari
  2. BMW Sauber
  3. Toyota
  4. Brawn
  5. McLaren Mercedes
  6. Red Bull
  7. Williams
  8. Renault
  9. Toro Rosso
  10. Force India

Overnight Red Bull launched the RB5 which it hopes will allow it to challenge for podiums and possible victories in the 2009 Formula 1 season.

Mark Webber promised that this would be the best looking of the 2009 Formula 1 cars although to me it looks the least ugly.