The Inside Track – Oliver Webb on testing, Spanish snow and the Harlem Shake

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It was a real learning curve and there is still a lot of work to be done”

The World Series by Renault has returned! As twenty-six drivers flocked to the iconic Aragon Motorland circuit in Spain for Formula Renault 3.5 testing, the snow fell bringing a halt to proceedings. Oli Webb took time out of his busy schedule to share his thoughts on the test, how it differs from his time racing in Indy Lights, and how a mechanic encouraged him to Harlem Shake! 

A RETURN TO WSR

It feels great to be back although it doesn’t feel like being ‘back’ as the car is so different; it’s a much quicker car with more power, DRS and less weight. It was a pleasure to drive and such a great feeling. It’s also great to be back with Fortec as well; I have had some of my most successful years of racing with them.

The Indy lights car is very quick and great around ovals, however the WSR car is much closer to an F1 car (and now faster than GP2) making it a beast to drive, great fun and very physical! We only drove Indy Lights on ovals and street courses with only one road course (being all WSR does other than Monaco) so it’s hard to make a direct comparison. WSR is paddle shift and very advanced where as the Indy Lights is a bit of a beast, stick shift sequential and lift shift, but great fun to drive.

 Did I learn much from Indy Lights? Very much so. I learnt some new skills, oval racing being the big one; it was an amazing thing to have under my belt especially if I go back there. It was very different. I was really shocked how much there was to it!

 TESTING 

 Testing was halted due to snow which has been a pain! Two out of three available days cancelled and the snow seems to be following me round everywhere I go – even when I landed back in Luton airport from the Aragon test it was snowing!

 It was a brand new car for me so everything was new and it was a real learning curve and there is still a lot to learn and work to be done. This year’s car is very technical and advanced.

WORK AND PLAY HARD

Stoffel is a great guy and we get along well, he is very fast which helps as I have someone quick to compete against to push us both to the top of the grid.

 The Harlem Shake was quite spontaneous. I think it was a mix of everyone wanting to do it! Dom, one of our mechanics, gave us the final push but Stoffel and I had been discussing it since Monza! The snow gave us the opportunity to take five minutes off, do it in one take and have it online before we got to the airport! Technology! 

Oliver Webb is currently racing for Fortec Motorsports in the Formula Renault 3.5 series. 2013 marks his return to the series after two years competing in the Indy Lights in America. Now back racing in Europe, Oli will be giving us an insight into his season throughout 2013 here on ‘stoodonthepodium’. He was talking to editor Katie Grimmett.
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