Webber downplays Red Bull’s ‘shadow boxing’ pace

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Mark Webber insists Red Bull cannot be judged on their
pre-season pace as his former Formula 1 team are not interested
in getting involved in “shadow boxing”.

It is the general consensus that the pre-season timesheets are
not a true indicator of what could transpire come the
season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

And that’s good news for Red Bull.

The Milton Keynes squad failed to shine during the two tests,
finishing behind Ferrari and Mercedes.

Webber, though, says he’s not worried.

“When the grandstands are empty Red Bull are never interested
in getting involved in the shadow boxing,” the former Red Bull
driver told ESPN. 

“That’s typical of Red Bull, I wouldn’t read anything into
winter from them. 

“Unfortunately the mileage wasn’t great, that’s the only thing
we can read into that, pace-wise it’s impossible to read
anything.

“They need to do a phenomenal job on aero to claw back the
engine performance of the opposition, Ferrari and
Mercedes. 

“I think all will be revealed as whether they’ve done enough
with the car to challenge for pole and front rows and win the
start and control the race, which is going to be a tall order
but totally possible.”

As for Ferrari, who set the pace in pre-season testing with
Kimi Raikkonen quickest of all, Webber reckons they are looking
good and not just when it comes to pace.

He added: “Ferrari were the surprise, even though there was
shadow boxing to a degree, operationally they look very
good. 

“I know it’s a boring to talk about but it’s a huge component
to getting big points on the board. They look relatively stable
there… 

“It only takes one thing to get screwed up in the first race
but they look pretty good and that’s on a match with Mercedes
in terms of reliability, by the looks of it at the moment, so
that’s a huge feather in their cap.”

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