Mark Webber seemed a bit cagey during the press call at the end of the day, but was cautiously positive overall “The car went alright.  Tyres are a pretty big factor – the amount of degradation that all the teams are seeing is a key focus on the performance.  We learnt quite a lot about the car, although it is very early days.  My race sim didn’t go too badly.”

That said, he pointed out that they get “6 or 7 perfect laps out of 100 in terms of grip.  We have to adjust the programme to learn.  Overall we captured a lot of data and that’s the name of game here.  We had a long lunch break, longer than planned – the floor was changed a bit, but the guys did a great job and we’re happy with the work we’ve got done.”

He said that the RB9 is an evolution of the RB8 and that they never stop learning, but it’s an advantage to come off the back of a good car from last season “RB9 is in its early life, others have new concepts, the most important things is to know where you’ve come from.” – fighting talk?

Looking ahead to Melbourne and the tyres “Yes you can have more interesting results with more pit stops, so there’s more likelihood of things moving around a bit.” and he’s clearly happy with the DRS rule changes “DRS was invented for racing and I think it’s been a great idea for the sunday afternoons. Why we need it for Friday and Saturday qualifying I don’t know. The drivers were virtually unanimous to make the change. We are now in a good position.”

Overall “It’s a step forward from last year’s car. The reg changes are minimal. We are satisfied.”