Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner has no doubts Mark Webber’s time will come this season after praising his recovery in Malaysia on Sunday…
Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner has no doubts Mark Webber’s time will come this season after praising his recovery in Malaysia on Sunday.
Webber started from third on the grid at Sepang, but by the end of the first lap had dropped to a miserable 10th, only for a stunning strategy to propel him up to fourth come the conclusion.
The remarkable fact is that Webber ran the whole race without his KERS power-boost system, the Achilles heel this season in the Red Bull.
On this occasion, KERS failed Webber on the starting grid, and was one of the defining factors behind an opening lap to forget.
Beyond that, Webber drove superbly, as recognised by Horner who said: “He was unlucky at the start. He sort of had the worst of all worlds.
“The KERS went into safe mode, an electrical issue we haven’t seen before.
“So he had the combination of a bad start and no KERS at the second longest run (of all the F1 circuits) to the first corner, and not a great first lap where he lost another place to (Kamui) Kobayashi.
“He was 10th at the end of it, so we decided to go aggressive with him, and went with a four-stop strategy.
“He needed to make it work, and his drive was a great recovery, so a combination of strategy and performance nearly got him back on to the podium.
“Obviously he’ll be disappointed with the start, but I’ve spoken with him and he takes a lot of heart out of his performance.
“To only just miss out on a podium after the first lap he had was a great drive. I was really pleased.”
Given team-mate Sebastian Vettel has so far failed to put a wheel out of place in making it two wins out of two in the defence of his crown, it would be easy for Webber to become disenchanted.
But Horner knows the Australian far better than that as he said: “Mark’s old enough to know how long the season is, and his points are invaluable.
“In difficult weekends he has picked up a fifth (in Australia) and a fourth place, and they will all count at the end of the day.
“I have no doubts his time will come this season, absolutely.”