It’s hard to keep the tires happy, says Webber
Mark Webber lost his World Championship lead in Canada, but fifth place represented handy points and some damage limitation at a track which was never going to play to the strengths of the Red Bull.
Webber also had to recover from a gearbox penalty that dumped him from second to seventh on the grid, and had he started from his rightful place, he might have come away with more.
The Aussie ran two stints on prime tires and by staying out before his final stop on options, he led the race for a while. However he was caught by Lewis Hamilton even before he visited the pits, and fell back to fifth. His race was compromised by an earlier than planned first stop, after the tires went away.
“We knew it was going to be a bit like that here today, the tires playing a huge role in the race, when we made the pit strategies that we did,” said Webber. “I think in the end we did the best we could do.
“Obviously they split the cars, with Seb on the option in the middle while I stayed on the prime, and was going to finish the race on the option. It’s dangerous waiting for a safety car as well, in terms of when that happens obviously your race is pretty much over when you’re in the front as the race is neutralized.
“So mixed emotions, after the penalty this morning, but then I had a good first few laps and I managed to get into a few people and that took its toll a bit on the first set of tires, so I was in trouble a bit earlier than I would have liked. It wasn’t too bad.”
Webber said he wasn’t surprised to drop from the lead down to fifth when he made his last stop: “I knew everyone was pretty close together, I was obviously monitoring the gaps to Lewis. I was going away a little bit at the start, because I knew he was pacing to get to the end. I was just trying to hold my pace constant, and in the end the tires didn’t want that pace, so in the end they go away.
“It’s virtually impossible to keep them happy, the tires, they keep degrading no matter how slow you drive. So in the end it wasn’t really a surprise, because I knew people were tightly packed up behind Lewis. To come back out fifth… It would have been nice to get a few more places, and I wanted some champagne today, but in the end, it didn’t happen.” Coopers F1 Blog