Mark Webber’s latest column for the BBC is pretty much a must-read. You know, given he won the Monaco Grand Prix for a second time.
Here’s a bit of what he had to say:
When you drive at the limit in Monaco, the margin is so fine. It’s about having the confidence to go to that limit and backing yourself that you are not close to a mistake at any point.
You try to ignore the barriers to a large degree and just treat them like white lines that you can go up to but no further.
Another big skill there is staying on top of the changes in the track – which happen every two or three laps.
Monaco is not always the most spectacular race to watch, but it’s a real test for us guys.
The race is very repetitive, there is no respite and you have to be very careful not to get complacent with that. There’s a lot of concentration required.
The race was about control – pacing yourself to eke out the tyres a lot of the way.
It would have been nice to have a slightly bigger lead and I could have pulled out a bit, but you’re worried about overworking the tyres.
That meant I had Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes and Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari right behind me when it started to rain in the last few laps.
The leader always has to be a bit more cautious in that situation because you’re the one who can look like an idiot. You arrive first and the guys behind can learn off you.
What made the race more difficult was that there was a huge amount of marbles – bits of discarded rubber from the tyres that are incredibly slippery.
That meant the line through Casino Square changed very early in the race – and I wasn’t happy with that because I like to use a slightly different line. That’s the sort of thing you have to cope with.
OK, I said must-read, but I didn’t say it was super illuminating. But if there is a track that we all know all about, it’s Monaco, right? I do think his perspective on being in front is an interesting one, especially because for the past handful or so years, the rain drive I remember most is
Felipe Massa at Silverstone Webber’s team mate, Sebastian Vettel, at Monaco in the Toro Rosso. I think we all agree that being out front in that weather significantly helped Vettel’s cause.
Webber does go on to address the idea that at one point in the race he was holding up the cars behind him to assist Vettel. “That is absolute rubbish,” he writes. “You just cannot be that fancy around Monaco.”
Here’s my favorite part of Webber’s column:
I love driving at Monaco but the rest of it, well, I can absolutely take it or leave it. It’s extremely pretentious and really not my cup of tea.
But as a venue, as an amphitheatre and a setting, it’s incredible and that’s why you get a lot of big names going there.
What’s funny is he goes on to say how great it is to have those big names around. I’m not sure Mark can have his cup of tea and drink it, too, so to speak, in this case.