Red Bull's Mark Webber wants to hear his national anthem on the podium this Sunday
It's difficult to imagine that any one in the Red Bull Racing team will not be relaxed at this point in time, considering they have already seized both the Drivers as well as the Constructors Championship with three races in the Formula One calendar -- India, Abu Dhabi & Brazil -- yet to go.
Sebastian Vettel (349 points) recently became the youngest double world champion even as RBR (558) have the team title in the bag too, with nearest rival McLaren-Mercedes a far second on 418 points. However, RBR's other driver, Mark Webber, cannot afford to take his foot off the pedal for even a moment, considering there's a tough challenge for the No 2 spot in the driver's race.
McLaren Mercedes' Jenson Button (222 pts), Ferrari's Fernando Alonso (212) and Webber (209) are all within striking distance of that second position putting the heat directly on Webber as RBR have been very vocal of their ambition to finish 1-2 in the drivers' standings. The experienced Australian however, who's been around for almost a decade since his F1 debut with Minardi in 2002, is confident he can make it to No 2, but with a little help from his partner. Webber spoke to MiD DAY about partnering a world-class double champion, the success mantra at RBR, and the excitement ahead of the inaugural Indian GP, among other things.
What's it like partnering someone like Sebastian Vettel, a double world champion? Vettel is on top of his game. There's no doubt that he has driven extremely well this season. But at 35, I'm hungrier than ever too.
Does being in the same team as Vettel, put added pressure on you to perform? Not really � in fact, I think the pressure is on him because he has to defend. My challenge is to perform consistently. For me, it's not about trophies but being able to hear the Australian anthem while on the podium.
Honestly, did you expect your team to seal the championship this early in the season? Going into a race as champions, a lot is expected out of the team. We don't have a target to secure the championship within a certain number of races. The season hasn't ended with the title. We still have to go on until Brazil. For two years in a row, the entire team has worked together brilliantly and I hope this continues.
Recently, Vettel said that he's keen to help you secure second place. Have you two been discussing this as part of your team strategy? The entire team is behind me in support for the No 2 position. With the constructor's title in the bag, and Seb having won the drivers title, a Red Bull 1-2 in the drivers' championship will be a great achievement and a fantastic way to end the season.
Finally, what are your expectations from the Indian Grand Prix? I've never been to India before, so I'm looking forward to this race. The team has been practicing on simulators. But there's nothing like the real thing, which we will only know once the cars hit the track during practice. I'd say we have an 85 per cent understanding of what the track is going to be like. From the simulator sessions, it looks like a very rewarding track. The weather will be a challenge for the tyres. For us, it's about finishing races and winning points for the team. We still have a couple of races left, so we are concentrating on getting maximum points on the board.