Mark Webber has voiced his displeasure at the introduction of the new post-race podium procedure, saying “The electronic flags look rubbish.”
The new format was first introduced after Webber won the British Grand Prix. As well as his dislike of the tacky quiz show-like rotating flags, Webber was unhappy with other aspects too.
“I certainly wasn’t impressed in Silverstone with 1000 dignitaries up there. I think the podium should be for the drivers, no one else,” he said.
“A clear shot of celebration of the drivers and what they have achieved. Not having everyone stand in front and having their five minutes. That pissed me off.”
As for the controversial interviews conducted on the podium, which have included the likes of Placido Domingo asking the questions, Webber revealed he is undecided, “Drivers [interviewing] on the podium…? I am 50/50 on that.”
Webber’s comments followed criticism directed to Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, who both swore during the live interviews, forcing host David Coulthard to apologise to viewers at home. But Mark accepts that’s the risk of live television. “For swearing, that will never go away. It will always never be far away,” he said.
“You are full of adrenaline. You are excited. You have just had an incredible grand prix in general in those cases, so I think sometimes you might not use the right language, but now we have to be mindful of that.
“It is another part of the weekend where you have to keep an eye on things.”
We understand the benefit of the podium interview to the thousands in the crowd who deserve to hear from the drivers post-race. However, the old format worked best when the interviewer remained consistent.
Maybe that can’t always work in this new world order, but to our minds the two best podium interviewers to date have been Martin Brundle and David Coulthard. Both former racers and both currently involved in the media covering F1 for a living.
There’s probably something in that.
[Source: Autosport | Pic: Red Bull/Getty Images]