Mark Webber, the Red Bull-Renault driver, admits feeling the nerves but not being sick before any of the races.
Mark Webber, the Red Bull-Renault driver, admits feeling the nerves but not being sick before any of the races.

Webber is calm before the storm on Sunday

ABU DHABI // Mark Webber has surprised even himself with how calm he feels as he prepares for the biggest race of his career.

The Red Bull-Renault driver would become the first Australian to win the Formula One title since Alan Jones in 1980 if he scores at least eight points more than Ferrari's Fernando Alonso in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday.

Webber, 34, is contesting a title for the first time in his nine years in the sport.

But the chance to win the biggest prize in motorsport has not rattled him.

Speaking in the Red Bull motorhome yesterday, he suggested that he felt serene about the enormity of what he could achieve. "In a bizarre sort of way I feel like I have been here before, which is pretty ridiculous," he said.

"I don't know if it is because of my odds at the start of the year, [when] no one gave me a chance. I am not taking that for granted, saying that if I don't get it, it is OK, as I do have a sensational chance of winning it, the second-best chance."

Nerves have affected him in the past, he conceded, but he believes those were not caused by the pressure of the situation but, rather, by the fear of not doing well.

"I remember reading about Sir Steve Redgrave vomiting before the Olympic Games," he said.

"I can sympathise with that. That's not pressure; that is a fear of failure in there, a cocktail of so many things - adrenalin, expectations of yourself.

"That's all these things that come into it, and there is an element of pressure, not that you're not going to perform.

"I've not been sick before a race but I've certainly been nervous at hundreds of races. It's always a similar feeling."

Webber does not have a big circle of family in Abu Dhabi, just his parents. He said he does not think The Stag, the pub in Mentmore, in Buckinghamshire, England, that he owns, is doing anything special to mark the occasion. "I don't think so. The main chef didn't even let the race (in Brazil last weekend) be put on TV," he said in jest.

There are all sorts of permutations possible in Sunday's race that could see Webber, his teammate Sebastian Vettel, Alonso or Lewis Hamilton become champion.

Webber said he has tried to put the matter out of his mind.

He said: "What have I got to worry about? I could lose the championship by winning the race and Fernando finishing second, but I could win the championship by finishing fifth. It is not worth really thinking about too much at this stage."

Tank warfare

Lt Gen Erik Petersen, deputy chief of programs, US Army, has argued it took a+“three decade holiday” on modernising tanks. 

“There clearly remains a significant armoured heavy ground manoeuvre threat in this world and maintaining a world class armoured force is absolutely vital,” the general said in London last week.

“We are developing next generation capabilities to compete with and deter adversaries to prevent opportunism or miscalculation, and, if necessary, defeat any foe decisively.”

Packages which the US Secret Service said contained possible explosive devices were sent to:

  • Former first lady Hillary Clinton
  • Former US president Barack Obama
  • Philanthropist and businessman George Soros
  • Former CIA director John Brennan at CNN's New York bureau
  • Former Attorney General Eric Holder (delivered to former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz)
  • California Congresswoman Maxine Waters (two devices)
The years Ramadan fell in May






Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

Three ways to limit your social media use

Clinical psychologist, Dr Saliha Afridi at The Lighthouse Arabia suggests three easy things you can do every day to cut back on the time you spend online.

1. Put the social media app in a folder on the second or third screen of your phone so it has to remain a conscious decision to open, rather than something your fingers gravitate towards without consideration.

2. Schedule a time to use social media instead of consistently throughout the day. I recommend setting aside certain times of the day or week when you upload pictures or share information. 

3. Take a mental snapshot rather than a photo on your phone. Instead of sharing it with your social world, try to absorb the moment, connect with your feeling, experience the moment with all five of your senses. You will have a memory of that moment more vividly and for far longer than if you take a picture of it.


Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates