Webber upbeat after first day
Aussie driver feels comfortable in new Red Bull
Last Updated: February 8, 2012 10:26am
Mark Webber feels optimistic about his chances for the coming season after his first day of running in Red Bull's new car.
Webber took to the track at Jerez behind schedule as travel disruption meant some of the parts for his RB8 arrived late.
The Australian eventually completed 55 laps and set the fourth fastest time of the day, finishing over eight tenths down on pace-setter Kimi Raikkonen.
But pre-season testing times are notoriously misleading and Webber, who has been a part of two straight Red Bull's Constructors' championship-winning seasons, was upbeat at the end of the day.
"We need to see when we get to the next few tests and then we need to get some races under our belts," the 35-year-old said.
"But so far I feel comfortable in the car - it's all going to be (small) margins at the end when we go racing, so I'm very optimistic I can have a good season.
He added of the car: "There are obviously a lot of changes. Aerodynamically, the concept is a bit different because of the regulations, but we're satisfied so far.
Much of the talk during the winter has focused on the stepped nose design that the vast majority of the teams, including Red Bull, have adopted this season.
Webber admits that he does not particularly like the look of the new noses, which have been brought in due to regulation changes, but says the rest of the RB8 makes up for the small eyesore.
"I'm not a big fan of the noses this year but that's the way they are, I think from a regulation point of view a lot of teams have gone that way," he said.
"Formula One cars should look beautiful and generally they do, I think our car still looks very nice - Adrian always does beautiful cars.
"The stepped nose is not really desirable for the modelling of the car but that's how it is and it works OK."