The Spanish Grand Prix may have come under fire in recent years for failing to produce some classic racing, but Mark Webber is looking forward to returning to the site of his 2010 win in Barcelona next weekend.
“I qualified on pole and it was a race which I controlled from the front,” Webber explained in a team statement. “I pulled a gap from Sebastian then Lewis was behind me and put a little bit of pressure on me in the middle of the race, but he had a mechanical failure towards the end.
“It’s rewarding because we do some much testing there, so it’s good to go there and get a nice result.
“I threw my race helmet into the crowd as a present for the fans.”
Quite whether Webber’s gesture won him any friends in Spain is unknown, but the Red Bull driver is pleased to be returning to Europe after four races in Australasia.
“It’s a nice time to be racing in Europe with the weather generally and it’s a good atmosphere.”
Webber has endured a run of bad luck in recent races, and he has slipped 35 points behind his teammate Sebastian Vettel in the drivers’ championship. However, if the Australian could repeat his wins in Spain and Monaco from 2010, he may be back in the hunt for the title.
Daniel Ricciardo believes Red Bull stands a “decent chance” of signing off from the 2017 Formula 1 season with a victory in next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
After a slow start to the year, Red Bull made massive gains across the course of the season by developing its RB13 to end the season as front-runners, rivaling Mercedes and Ferrari for pace.
The Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi has a number of slow-speed sections that should suit the RB13 car, with Ricciardo optimistic about his chances of not only ending his podium drought at the track, but even winning the race.
“Yas Marina has actually been one of my favorite tracks over the years,” Ricciardo said in Red Bull’s pre-race preview.
“It’s been a bit like Suzuka for me though, a track that I’ve always enjoyed and gone well on but not quite reached the podium at. I broke that trend in Suzuka this year so hopefully I can do the same in Abu Dhabi.
“When you have so much time away from the car in the off season it helps to sign off with a strong result as it makes you feel like you really deserve a break.
“I think we should have a strong car in Abu Dhabi. I said I want another win before the season is out and I think we have a decent chance of achieving that.”
Red Bull has claimed three race wins through 2017, with Ricciardo’s victory in Azerbaijan being followed up by successes for teammate Max Verstappen in Malaysia and Mexico.