Webber: Race engineer Pilbeam “will be missed”

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Mark Webber says he will miss long-standing race engineer Ciaron Pilbeam who has moved to work with Kimi Raikkonen at Lotus in 2013.

“A lot of the results I’ve had have been with Ciaron,” says Webber in the video below. “All of the wins he’s had in Formula One have been with me as well so we’ve had some really good times together.”

“He chose to move to a different team so he’ll be missed, obviously, at Red Bull, but we have a great engineer in Simon Rennie who’s coming from Lotus, Enstone.”

“This is part of Formula One,” he added. “Unfortunately there is sometimes some changes but it moves in a way where everyone is still positive to work with, a fresh start and a new environment. Ciaron is happy to have a change of scenery as well, so he’s happy there because you don’t want him not to be happy where he is.”

Webber and Pilbeam – highs and lows

Highs:

  • Monaco 2010 and 2012 – Two wins in F1’s most prestigious race
  • Silverstone 2010 – Webber shrugs off pre-race wing controversy to win. “Not bad for a number two driver” he says on the radio afterwards
  • China 2011 – A disastrous qualifying leaves Webber 18th on the grid, but he races through the field to finish third

Lows:

  • Japan 2007 – An unwell Webber bravely races on despite throwing up in his helmet while talking to Pilbeam. But he is taken out by future team mate Sebastian Vettel while running second
  • Korea 2010 – Webber’s title hopes are wrecked when he crashes out in foul weather
  • Britain 2011 – Team principal Christian Horner takes over from Pilbeam on Webber’s radio, ordering him to “maintain the gap” to Vettel. Webber does not comply, but finishes the race behind his team mate

Al Unser Jr. back in IndyCar after a decade away: ‘Life is very good’

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There’s been somewhat of a hole in Al Unser Jr.’s heart ever since he retired from racing in 2007.

It was a void, something was missing.

But now, after a decade away from racing, Unser has found the right medicine to fill that hole in his heart: he’s back in the racing game again.

No, he’s not driving again (although he does participate occasionally in vintage races), but the two-time Indianapolis 500 (1992 and 1994) winner is definitely back in the IndyCar world.

And he couldn’t be happier.

“For me, it’s a dream come true,” Unser told IndyCar.com. “Since I stepped out of the race car and retired from racing, there’s been something missing from my life, and it’s racing.”

Unser has hooked up with Harding Racing. The team competed in three races last season as a ramp-up for a full 17-race effort this season. While Unser’s official title with the team is “consultant,” he’s involved in so much more.

His main role is as a driving coach to 2015 IndyCar Rookie of the Year Gabby Chaves. But he’s also involved in so many other areas, including helping the team obtain sponsorships and much more.

He then added, “I’m involved in every sense of the word except actually driving the car. And I’m happy about that because I’m too old to drive the car.”

Unser, who won CART championships in 1990 and 1994, is now 55. He’s so involved with his new job that he even moved from his native New Mexico and has relocated to suburban Indianapolis.

Not only is it a new start for Unser, it also is for Chaves. After running all 16 races in 2015 for Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian, he competed in just seven races for Dale Coyne Racing in 2016 and only three races for Harding Racing last season.

But he definitely impressed the team, with a fifth- (Texas) and ninth-place (Indianapolis 500) finish in the first two races and 15th (Pocono) in the team’s final run of the season.

That’s why when Harding Racing decided to go fulltime in 2018, Chaves was their pick for behind the wheel. And Unser was their pick to help guide him to potential stardom in the series.

“(Team owner) Mike Harding is definitely a person that when he decides to do something, he does it right,” Unser told IndyCar.com. “The potential for this organization is through the sky. We’re all working really hard here and we see the potential.”

And as for Unser?

“Life is good, life is very good,” he told IndyCar.com. “We’re back full force, eager and better than ever.”

Click here for the full story about Unser from IndyCar.com.