A huge media throng gathered at St Kilda Beach this afternoon to meet with Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber ahead of the 2012 season officially kicking off with the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, and RichardsF1.com was seated front and centre for the entire event!
Looking lean and extremely fit, a bullish Webber believes that he is in a great place, mentally and physically, ahead of his home race.
“I am bloody excited about the whole season and looking forward to doing some fantastic results,” he told us this afternoon.
“We have a sensational season ahead of us. There is no guarantee, but I feel there are going to be some really, really good moments this year. There will be some headwinds, that is normal, and over a long season things can happen to the drivers where we have to deal with adversity here and there.”
Despite having only a one-year contract in his pocket for the moment, Webber remained optimistic that his on-track performances will put him in pole position to remain with Red Bull Racing for the foreseeable future.
“I have achieved some amazing things in the last few years which I am proud of, and if I am sitting here with a two-year contract I wouldn’t feel any different,” he added.
“I still want to perform. I am not going to say, I’ve got a two year contract and I will just cruise around and get serious next year. I don’t even think about the contract to be honest – I think about results and performing. That is the most important thing, as it has been for the last few years.
“Contracts take care of themselves. If you are not good enough, get out. If you are getting the results, you stay on.”
Straight after Webber’s turn to address the media, Sebastian Vettel had his turn in front of a packed out press gallery at the Republica restaurant.
“My target was always to win the world championship, and after winning the first world championship it is a great relief in many ways because you have proven to yourself that you can do it – which is more important than anything else as it is something that no one can take from you,” he told reporters.
“All in all it is a great relief but that doesn’t mean that you don’t care what happens next. It is the opposite – you know it all starts again, everyone starts from zero again and you want to do it again naturally.
“So I have never had to ask myself the question, do I want this again or why am I here? Nothing has changed. I am still hungry, and I am still getting upset when there is someone else beating me – which is a good thing for sure.
“Everyone will get beaten one day, and it is not about that particular day but how you come back. There is nothing wrong with losing, but we have a lot of races and the one who is most consistent and on average the best one deserves to win the world championship.”
Vettel also told us that he had finally decided on a nickname for his RB8 challenger, confirming that he’d opted for the rather conservative ‘Abbey’ – previous years have seen him christen his cars ‘Kate’s Dirty Sister’, ‘Luscious Liz’ and ‘Kinky Kylie’.
Vettel denied that the name was a reference to The Beatles’ famous Abbey Road album, but did admit that it was a second choice name: he’d originally wanted to call the car ‘Everyone’s Wife’!
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