Having initially suspected Mark Webber’s struggles at his home race might be due to a chassis problem, Red Bull Racing has vowed to conduct a proper investigation into the Australian’s dramatic drop-off in pace over the Grand Prix weekend.
While the sister RB7 of Sebastian Vettel blitzed the rest of the field with pole and a win by 22 seconds, Webber floundered in his #2 car, finishing a distant fifth after qualifying third on the Saturday.
The disparity prompted former Ferrari test driver Marc Gené to write that the two “were in different worlds” in his regular column for Spain’s El Mundo newspaper.
“We need to go through things with a fine tooth comb,” surmised Red Bull team principal Christian Horner. “That was the biggest gap we’ve seen between the two of them that I can certainly think of.
“We found some front wing damage that might have had an effect, but to what extent is difficult to quantify,” he added. “We need to get the car back, look at the data, understand if there is anything that was damaged, how it affected the car, and make sure they’re both back to business as usual in Malaysia.”
Alan Webber, Mark’s father, remarked that his son’s mood was “flat” after the race, while Webber was frustrated by his lack of competitiveness.
“I won’t be lining myself up for races like the one I’ve just had every weekend,” he fumed after the 58-lap race, but he was prepared to acknowledge that the issue might lay entirely at his feet.
“Of course you have got to look at everything, including yourself,” he added.
[Original image via LAT]