Webber in upbeat mood at COTA following maiden victory

After scoring his first FIA WEC victory last time out at the Nurburgring in Germany, the ex-F1 ace is full of confidence. He spoke with Christopher DeHarde.

Webber in upbeat mood at COTA following maiden victory
Mark Webber, Porsche Team
#17 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley
#17 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley
#17 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley
#17 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley
#17 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley
Practice action
Mark Webber, Porsche Team
Mark Webber, Porsche Team
#17 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley

Mark Webber has every right to be happy right now.

In the previous FIA World Endurance Championship race at the Nurburgring in Germany, Webber – along with Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley – scored Porsche’s second consecutive WEC victory, this one being sweeter than usual for being on its home soil.

Ex-F1 star Webber in particular was very happy with how the result turned out given how close they’ve been to victory previously.

“It was really good, I mean a lot of history there with Porsche, they’ve won the 1000km at Nurburgring a lot, and for me to get that victory there with Timo and Brendon was a big highlight for car 17,” he told Motorsport.com. “We led Brazil, we led Silverstone, we led Spa, we led Le Mans, but we’ve had seconds and thirds.

“This was the first race where we’ve had no technical issues, so a really smooth day, we need to keep this going, [it was] a beautiful day for the whole team and it worked out well.”

No added pressure

Webber acknowledges that there still is a job to do ahead at Circuit of the Americas but that there isn’t any added pressure after getting his first taste of victory in the WEC.

“I don’t think we feel any extra pressure with the result, I think that we feel that it’s a good thing, it gives the guys confidence so they can deliver well.

"We see the pitstops are exceptional, they’ve done a great job there, all facets of the job we know that we had to put the pressure on Audi in certain areas, and that’s what we’ve done.

“They’re a phenomenal team to try and race and beat, but we know that in other tracks, we need to keep this form up as best we can.” 

Chasing points-leading Audi

The points race has become tighter and tighter since Le Mans, where Webber and his co-drivers finished second while the series points leaders finished third, as they did at the Nurburgring behind both Porsches.

Webber was straightforward when asked about maintaining form to eventually overtake the No.7 Audi of Andre Lotterer, Marcel Fassler and Benoit Treluyer.

“Win this race, that would be nice, and we’ve got to do everything we can control. We can’t control the 7 Audi obviously, they’re a great team with great drivers, as is the 8 Audi – they’re also fast, so we have to concentrate on our own job here at Porsche and the points will take care of themselves.”

It doesn’t help matters that Webber’s car retired from the first race of the season, and he predicts a huge fight with Audi from here on in.

“I think it’ll be a big battle,” he said. “I think it’s going to be tight racing and a big battle between Porsche and Audi. Unfortunately, I don’t want it to be a big battle but I think it’s going to be tricky. They’re going to be strong.”

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