The Reuters global sports blog
Mark Webber provided a different insight on Wednesday as he sat in the Red Bull hospitality unit — the usual description of motorhome hardly applies to a floating palace moored to the Monaco harbourside — and described how his evening had panned out after winning the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona last weekend.
The Aussie hero had just taken the third win of his career, dominating the race from pole and beating the rest of the field into submission. So how did he celebrate? A night on the town perhaps? Not a bit of it.
After 66 laps, and 307km, of pounding around the Circuit de Catalunya, he got back in his loan car — a Renault, nothing fancy — and drove another 600km to Monaco.
“I drove here on Sunday night,” he said. “I’m not the most patient guy in the world when it comes to moving around. So I got in the car at seven o’clock. It was a bit of a late night on Sunday night.
While the Formula One world champion faces the difficult decision of whether to go to McLaren on six million pounds a year or stay with Brawn/Mercedes for what still amounts to a salary of lottery proportions, other drivers are not so fortunate.
With the departure of leading manufacturers and the effects of the global credit crunch, next year’s starting grid will see the return in numbers of a once familiar species that has been almost extinct in recent years — the paying driver.
The Toro Rosso driver, whose new car will be unveiled in Barcelona on Monday, looks like being the only new face on the starting grid this season as well as the youngest kid on the track.
The question is not merely rhetorical but one faced by anyone writing about the team formerly known as Honda (how about TFKAH?) who are expected to carry out a shakedown of their new Mercedes-powered car at Silverstone this week.
They could then go testing in Barcelona, with no news yet on when a long-awaited management buyout will be confirmed.