After 12 years in Formula 1, and nine Grand Prix victories, Australian Mark Webber races this weekend at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
A race he had seen twice before in 1998 and 1999, but was not able to complete a lap in the race. For his return and that of his new employer Porsche, Webber has a modest ambition.
For 15 years you have not competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. What are your first impressions here?
Mark Webber (Porsche): ”I forgot how the public was so enthusiastic at scrutineering. It was incredible! This puts you directly into the atmosphere of the race”.
And the circuit, has it changed a lot since 1999?
“It is me who has changed (laughs). The last time I came, I was young and I had a lot of pressure. I had to prove my worth. Today I'm here to bring my "value added" to the team. This completely changes my perception of things ...”
In speaking with the team, is it not difficult to learn to work in a group?
“I love sharing with other drivers (Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard). That said, I always want to feel powerful and show my top speed!”
Does this mean that you will go for pole position?
(Pause) ” I don't know yet ...”
And victory for you?
“For the return of Porsche at Le Mans, finishing the race would be OK. For me, Audi remains the team to beat”.
What is your schedule for today?
“I always have a disciplined approach to a race. I try to stay calm, eat well and sleep well to enable me to compete as well as would be physically possible.”