Mark Webber, Red Bull, Bolte Bridge, Melbourne, 2011

Webber crosses Bolte Bridge in Red Bull

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Fans in Melbourne got an early taste of F1 action today when Mark Webber drove the Red Bull show car in an event at the city’s waterfront.

He crossed the Bolte Bridge in the car and spoke to fans in Docklands Waterfront City.

Webber said: “It’s good to be back in Australia and in Melbourne in the sunshine.

“The city has gone to a lot of effort to make today’s event possible, so I’d like to thank them and Red Bull. It’s good to be able to say thanks for all the support the local people have offered me during the last few seasons.

??The Melbourne Grand Prix is a special event and one we should be very proud of. Of course, I’m a little biased as an Aussie but I know a lot of the drivers and fans love it too. It was a great way to start the Grand Prix week and hopefully we can finish it with a good result on Sunday.??

Webber had to stick to a speed limit during his run across the bridge: “It wasn’t too bad. The boys rigged up a good system for me so I could stay within it, so it was easy.”

Video: Mark Webber on the Bolte Bridge

NB. Portions of this video are without sound

Pictures: Mark Webber on the Bolte Bridge

Video of Webber’s bridge crossing will be added here shortly.

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Images ?? Getty Images/Red Bull

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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84 comments on “Webber crosses Bolte Bridge in Red Bull”

  1. That looks very uneventful for a demonstration. Apparently there was barely anyone there, too. Contrast that to the packed streets with the demonstration runs in Bangkok and Sergio Perez in Mexico and you’ll see how much Australians care about F1. :(

    1. Obviously no one was allowed on the bridge during the run.

      According to Ecclestone the best thing about this non Ferrari is the sound though. So, you didn’t actually have to watch, just listen while going about your day.

    2. It seems to me that if this kind of event is going to work you need to let them drive at speed. They obviously cleared everyone off the bridge, so what’s the harm in letting him go a bit quicker?

      1. DeadManWoking
        19th March 2011, 12:59

        and promote ‘hooligan’ driving?

        1. Why drag Schumacher and Senna into to this? :)

        2. That’s what I was thinking…silly justification though.

        3. DeadManWoking wasn’t bringing Schumacher or Senna into it. I think he was simply saying that here in Australia authorities have this misconception that speed is the only cause of motor vehicle accidents, so it would do no good for them to let a Formula 1 driver in controlled conditions safely go faster than the speed limit, because it would wreck their very blinkered campaign that “speed kills”.

          Maybe DeadManWoking was also making a reference to the fact that Lewis Hamilton got busted last year, or the year before in Melbourne for doing a burnout.

      2. Agree Keith, Considering the size of the event and the amount of publicity it receives world wide, the local police are as daft as ducks. A lot of squawking about nothing.

        He’s arguably the best driver in the whole of bloody Australia.

        Let him go for it!

      3. Yeah I agree, I hate that they enforce the speed limit more than almost anything else.
        It’s ridiculously ridiculous.

        I mean, it’s an event! Next they will say the GP has to be done within the speed limits, it being on a public road as well…

        What is the point in running an F1 car if they won’t show it off.

        This reflects badly on F1 to the Melbourne audience, it makes Melbourne look petty to the rest of the world, and it makes our officials look like fools.

        If they are going to keep the car within the speed limit why not have Webber drive it from Melbourne to Geelong along with the normal traffic or something. That would get peoples attention, and attention is what F1 needs to survive here…
        Of course, an idea like that would require certain people pulling their finger out…

        Some people clearly do not want F1 in Melbourne… I think much the same towards them.

        rant end/

        1. The article says “a speed limit” not “the speed limit”. Do we know what speed limit applied? All of the comments suggest it was pretty low but is that based on fact or an assumption?

          1. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/webber-boltes-away/story-e6frf7jo-1226024540877

            He pushed it to 102 kph, 100 being the actual speed limit of the road. So a whopping 22 kph more than what they do in pit lane. It also means that half of the people who use the road outside peak hour went over it quicker, amongst traffic and possibly at night, than the state let one of the country’s best drivers do it when the road was empty in one of the world’s safest cars.

      4. Fully agree, look at what they do in Rotterdam city racing, that is speed on the bridges. The car is going like in the rush hour.

        Still a good thing they got at least this rung going.

      5. Haha, Nanny state guys

        1. I disagree completely,
          Hamilton got booked just like anyone can.

          In this case, it’s not a Nanny state, but officials who are against the GP being held.

          F1 could be big in Australia, they just need to promote it rather than demote it.

      6. I agree mate, demo runs should have more speed. This bridge is fairly bumpy though with allot off metal strips (tolls) running perpendicular to the lans. BTW the speed limit is 80km over the bridge & not 100km as some suggest below…

        1. The metal strips are expansion joints, to allow the bridge to expand and contract as the temperature changes.

          1. Yeah fair point my mistake.

      7. Looked like a PR exercise for the local police rather than an F1 demo. Just before the car left the garage you can see them putting an e-tab on the front wing to pay the toll as he went over it. It’s a fabulous bridge but i wish they
        done it at night as the lighting is spectaculor. They will have chosen this bridge as the local authorities have often made runmblings about trying to market it to Melbourne’s equivalent of the Harbour Bridge.

        I’m an Englishman living in Australia and i love it here – however, the attitude of the police, particularly in Melbourne, is something than is very frustrating.

      8. Its Australia, home of the “Nanny” state….. $240 ticket & for taking off too fast from a set of traffic lights, not even spinning the wheels, just for creating what a police officer deems as “excessive noise by manner of operation of vehicle”…. oh yeah!

        1. Try living here. Does my head in…

    3. Yes, compare a demonstration run on what is usually a busy main road in Australia to demos that took place in countries that haven’t seen Formula 1 cars in the flesh for almost two decades or even ever! :P

      1. There were plenty of people at the 2005 demonstration that Webber did in the Williams, but he was allowed to do some donuts and the like. ;) But it really is a shame how Melbourne fails to embrace their GP when it’s arguably the best event on the calendar. Too many people are being influenced by the stupid local politicians and protesters.

        1. Are the pics of that on the old CF card too?

          1. Aha! Are you @AlexMcAllister, then? No, I’ve only been to the 2009 race, but that’s going to change in about 5 days. I’ll be posting as many pictures as I can! :)

          2. I am indeed!

    4. Hey man, This was a safety issue NOT an attendance issue.
      FYO the Australians love F1 and the tickets for the event were sold out weeks ago!!

    5. Umm mate i think youll find those events are packed since those countries you mentioned dont have their own grand prix??!!

    6. damonsmedley, as an Aussie, one of the reasons why I didn’t go was because we have a Gran Prix in a week’s time, with all the cars running in one place in less than a week for practice.

      Why bother going to the other side of Melbourne (hour an a bits drive) to see Mark in a suped up RB1 or whatever when I can see all the latest cars in a few days time?

      IN Mexico, that WAS their chance. No GP so if you wanted to see an F1 car then that was it until next demo run or maybe even a GP in a few years time.

      THey should have also just ran it at Flinders ST in the city around Fed Square and allow him to hit whatevr speed he wants.

      I’m guessing the speed was more of a bridge thing rather than limit, but still it’s people imposing a limit… pretty stupid.

      As I said, old F1 car driven slowly VS all new cars maxed out in a week…. hmmm, I wonder why people didn’t go

      1. Actually, Martin Brundle drove an old Jaguar around the streets of London in 2004 (I think) and they have their own Grand Prix, but it didn’t stop over 100 000 people showing up. I’m just saying, an I’m Australian too, that whilst F1 is popular here, it is still yet to win over the masses, and it appears that more and more people are jumping on the “I hate the Grand Prix, it’s a waste of taxpayers money” bandwagon each day.

        1. What Jag? If it was an old jag then that might be why.

          THe thing with F1 in Melbourne currently is that either you want it to be here or you don’t.

          It is either a $50 million loss for about $180 million econ boost or a cause of $50 million to be wasted while polluting the environment.

          Lately in Victoria we have just changed parties and that as created some extra problems for big spending projects.

          The now minority party, the Labor Party (yes it’s Labor although we spell labour as in working with a u… don’t ask why), our centre-left party created some major money wastes including a $1.3 billion dollar ‘Myki’ system, basically a smart card used to pay for your public transport tickets. We could have bought the Hong Kong version for 100 million but we have one that doesn’t really work that well for 13 times that amount.
          THen there is the desalination plant that is the biggest in I believe the whole of the southern hemisphere, and will cost us to run it even if we don’tneeed it. WE have just had the wetest summmer on record in some parts and overall the 2nd wettest in victoria in the history of Australia as a country.
          Then there is the trains that don’t work properly and heaps is spent on that… blah blah

          THe Liberal party (centre-right) have called the $50 dollars on a GP a waste and an amount that has to be lowered.

          THe Liberals are now in power and while small amounts are being cut, some Liberal members want it gone (the Liberals brought the GP to Melbourne before the decade long Labor rule), some Labor members want it gone, the ex Liberal leader who is now the Mayor of Melbourne wants it gone (although the trakc is in Port Melbourne which he isn’t the Mayor of, but he has a big ego).

          So in short
          Public of generally worried about spending
          New State Government is new and still getting settled bloody slowly
          Some of new majority want it
          Some don’t
          Some of new minority want it
          Some don’t
          Minority want to score points by hacking at the Liberal party for keeping it while it spends $1 of of tax payers money despite the fact they renewed the contract with BE
          Majority wants to keep it as it is good for economy despite taking up a bit of money
          New Premier hates Mayor (balleiu and doyle) and Mayor hates Premier
          Mayor hates GP
          Premier likes it and is friends with Ron Walker (Aussie GP guy who is friends with BE)

          A lot of change and a bit of interested in money with political points to be scored and this is what happens.

          Source: I live in Melbourne

    7. Its a bit hard to spectate from beside that Bridge unless you have a helicopter mate, & what about the bottom 4 photos showing a pretty big crowd gathered around Webber & his Red Bull? :-)

  2. It does look like a bit of a bland run doesn’t it? But it would look a little silly for the country that slapped Hamilton with a “Hooning” fine to let a race car scream across the bridge then rip a few sweet doughies wouldn’t it?

    Strange how all the Aussies I know are loose as, but their Gov seems tighter than most.

    1. But it wouldn’t look silly. There was nobody on the road. If they were going to make him stick to a limit then they mnay as well have bolted on some indicators and let him run across it with the normal traffic. If they don’t put a speed limi on the GP (which I believe is run on public roads) then why put a limit on this? Perhaps an attempt by the government to make event so boring that nobody shows up, further spreading the myth that nobody in Melbourne wants F1.

    2. All the Aussies you know are probably bogans, especially if they are using the term “loose as”. Governments in Australia aren’t particularly tight, it’s just that they all adopt any old populist policy, and never really try to anything that is innovative, because it might fail, or loose them votes.

  3. It was a poorly thought out event, as no spectators could really see the car, and it probably caused some traffic delays, which will possibly add to the negative sentiments towards the event from some parts of the community.

  4. Can someone tell me where this was advertised?

    I live in Melbourne, was free today, and had no idea it was on.

    Very annoyed!!

    1. It wasn’t advertised. That’s why there were about 10 people there…

      1. A big congratulations to the F1 circus for making this a non event.

      2. It was on a bridge… not a lot of standing room if you ask me.

        1. It was on a bridge… not a lot of standing room if you ask me.

          Exactly. What was the point of this? They’d have been better off doing a demonstration run in a street like they do in every other city they go to. This all seems a bit silly to me.

          1. Webber did this in Bangkok and there were a 100,000 people there… I missed it, but that’s not my point.

          2. Looks to me that the other side of the bridge was closed too, maybe they could had spectators positioned there.

    2. It was advertised on all commercial TV ad breaks for several days running….

      One big problem for the GP (and events like this run from Webber) is the lack of innovation and pure effort from the GP organiser and their ad agency. For years now, the advertising of the entire race has been limited to a couple of very short and crumby (bland) radio and TV ads. The rest is left up to mainstream news networks with their lame fluff pieces or the perennial protesters, with their lycra bike shorts, speed humps, giant 4WD “cars”, manicured front lawns and fluffy white dogs (on a leash at all times, of course). This is not what I call good advertising….

      On a similar note, every time we hear about the Oz GP costing too much or being cancelled, it has come from these same protesters – the “Save Albert Park” group. It has been seized upon as political ammunition numerous times too, but these are the only causes for the attempted disruption to the race.

      How does a small group of pretend people trying to save a pretend lake get so much political voice? Dunno, but it’s weird.

      Glenn Crompton wrote a very good article on this matter in Pitpass a short while ago. I think he explains the situation perfectly:

      http://pitpass.com/fes_php/pitpass_feature_item.php

      1. *Oops, sorry, that’s Glen.

    3. The drive was advertised/promoted in the Herald Sun, the Australain Grand Prix website and tv commercials.

  5. I’ve got a feeling he might have a good home race this year, he deserves a bit of luck.

  6. The speed limit thing, hardly surprising for the Victorian police. Apparently they fully intended to fine him and slap points on his license if he exceeded the limit. He might encourage younger drivers to speed or some rot.

    They may as well not have bothered. Not sure if it can be called wowserism, but to sum up Webber’s comments about the equally stupid treatment of Hamilton last year, it certainly is nanny state.

    That’s an older red bull though isn’t it? Anybody who’s better at picking up these things know which one it is (or was once)?

    1. He might encourage younger drivers to speed or some rot.

      Or he might encourage them to work hard and study to become F1 Drivers/Engineers/Mechanics.

      Thats what I’ve said to my nephew “if you study real hard you can build one when your older”, when he told me the BMW Sauber was “THE BEST THING EVER!”.

      That’s an older red bull though isn’t it? Anybody who’s better at picking up these things know which one it is (or was once)?

      I’m pretty sure its the RB3 or RB4, I think one of the demo cars got auctioned off, someone here with an Encyclopedic Knowledge of F1 will hopefully correct me with typical internet aggression type serious face.

      1. Disregard that, its the RB5, Red Bull Racings 2009 challenger.

        1. It resembles the RB5 but I don’t think that’s it. I think they took one of their older chassis (an RB1, maybe) and gave it a new body so it would look like one of today’s cars.

          1. It resembles the RB5 but I don’t think that’s it. I think they took one of their older chassis (an RB1, maybe) and gave it a new body so it would look like one of today’s cars.

            I think so too RFS, normally its an older car but it has the latest livery since sponsors have left, take Renault and ING bank for example, you don’t see the 2008 Renault now dressed up in its vomit headache inducing ING livery.

            I feel ill thinking about it, its like they got a 3 year old to plaster stripy wallpaper over it.

          2. Its their showcar. I think that’s a STR1 with Red Bull components or something like that.

          3. I feel ill thinking about it, its like they got a 3 year old to plaster stripy wallpaper over it.

            That same 3 year old slapped some stickers he got for Christmas on the Sauber…

  7. Haha at the Coles “sponsorship.” How lame.

  8. @Travis it was written up in the Sunday herald sun about two weeks ago that’s about all I heard about it. I would say that the bridge drive was more of a tv event as there isn’t really spectator space on the bolte…..I guess any publicity is good publicity for the gp, how’s this I live in ballarat and tomorrow Zolt “the bolt” Baumgartner is driving the minardi two seated in a demo run, if you thought webber being limited to 100km was slow I think they are limiting the minardi to 50km local limit barely worth starting it up. I’m hoping as he doesn’t get a lot of running nowadays he’ll give it a bit and stir up the locals….
    Either way can’t wait to take that first breath of f1 air on Friday at Albert park !!!!

    1. Looks like it was at least a bit more exciting, if only just.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIKMl0hITyY

  9. too bad. An F1 event at Malaysia is much fun. street demo by Sauber Petronas, BMW Sauber Pitlane Park and Mercedes GP. I heard that there will be a Red Bull Racing demo run at Malaysia this year too.

  10. Its the RB1. They use modified BR1’s with the current years aero for all demo runs.

  11. I was under the impression that the FIA imposed a speed limit on all demonstration runs to help prevent teams from using them as additional test days. I mean, an F1 car limited to 200 km/h or so isn’t really testing it to the limits.

    Not entirely sure if it would be the police making those kind of restrictions; that said, it could have simply been a safety thing. Bureaucracy takes all the fun out of things.

    1. That is true, but those cars normally run a lot faster than Webbers stroll up the bridge there.
      I think the Sauber hit at least 150 kmh, possibly 200.

  12. was planning to go, but did the ol’ “outsleep the alarm” trick..
    frustrating that he could only go 100.. plus bolte bridge and docklands was a pretty stupid choice. Firstly, nobody ever goes to docklands.. and secondly, the bolte is basically the only route to melbourne airport. so between 8:00 till 10:00 melbourne was cut off! even as a fanatic i think it was a bit of a stupid choice to put the run there.. couldn’t they have done it on some other road? not a major arterial roadway?

    1. Somebody wanted to shoot some nice pictures of the car going into Melbourne?

      Just about the only reason i can think of.

  13. I remember Coulthard doing something similar in Mumbai (2009). The authorities also apparently told them there was a speed limit, which was ignored. He belts it across!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-AUv7nDl2k

  14. So, he looked to be going at a snails pace and no one could see him drive over the bridge?

    I literally dont get the point, arn’t these promo runs supposed to be engaging the fans and stirring up interest, like in mexico when there was thousands of people lining the street? Give a chance for people to see F1 cars when they might not usually get a chance to?

  15. It’s just amazing how you get used to the look of the cars year by year! 3 things jumped to my eyes of the good old RB5….
    1st. Push rod suspension on the back, wierd looking on the car that pioneered the pull rods in recent years.
    2nd. Those exhaust pipes all the way up!!!
    3rd. The lateral profile of the engine cover looks exactly as the one on RB7. Gone away the shark fin of RB6 they returned to their old path.

  16. The most boring demonstration I have seen in my life.

  17. What was the point exactly? There wasn’t anyone on the bridge….

    Waste of money!

  18. Melbourne is the land of the pussy. The home of the pussy aerial ping pong brand of football. Even their crims all shoot each other in the back. Don’t think Lowndes will be sticking to the speed limit on the Mount Panorama public road at Bathurst.

    1. don’t call either of them football mate, REAL football is played with a round ball, not an egg. The rest should be called “man love on a field” because they all like touching & hugging each other so much…Not to mention the after hours “male bonding” that the players all seem to indulge in. Pack mentality much?

  19. Haha, very very nice touch them putting and e-Tag on the car.

    1. I laughed at that too, bit of shameless cross promotion for Citylink – for those ten people that saw it anyway. And did anyone else get struck by the incogruity of an F1 car going through a set of traffic lights? It was certainly an unusual spectacle, if not a terribly successful one. As others have said, Bolte bridge is not the right choice for such a demo, as it lacks anywhere for spectators to view it, as well as undoubtedly causing traffic chaos for hours to add embers to the already stoking anti-F1 fire. To me, this was a sadly misguided rebuttal to the Sydney Harbour Bridge run last year, played out by our pollies keen to promote the Melbourne v Sydney rivalry.

  20. This ‘promo’ run was just odd. Strange place, strange time, speed limited, and space limited. Living in Melbourne it was poorly publicized and I actually thought it wasn’t going to happen because of the inconvenience of the road closures.

    Today in Ballarat (rural Victoria Australia) a Minardi is going to do laps and be displayed in the local mall. Great idea to go to a rural city with F1 promotion but with a defunct team and a virtual unknown driver?

  21. Wrong, speed limit is 80kph one way and 100kph the other. Nevertheless, despite the insistence that he stay within the speed limit he was still allowed to do a flick spin to turn the car around. In Victoria losing traction like that normally results in your car being impounded for 48hrs. I hate bureacracy!

  22. The more I read about the more the word “incompetence” springs to mind.

  23. Aus_steve was dead right! Allowing better still restricting Webber to this promotional run did nothing but sabotage peoples opinions of the Melbourne Gp. This blocked a major if not only route for a hundreds of vechiles, then making RedBull place an e-tag of the vechile and limiting it 100k’s was a pointless exercise. Here’s a journalist that share my opinion.

    THE Grand Prix circus rolls into town this week with Aussie Mark Webber one of the headline acts.

    Whether you think it is money well spent or not, can we please have a week of enjoying what is there and have the debate over its future another time?

    In other words, can everyone in this wonderful, most liveable city in the world relax?

    Deep breath, ahhh.

    Last year, Webber made the grave mistake of speaking his mind and not from the politically correct handbook. You might remember Webber called Victoria a nanny state after fellow driver Lewis Hamilton ran foul of the law and polite society for doing a burnout on the road outside the Formula One track.

    Webber’s point was that maybe, just maybe, we were being a little heavy-handed in laying down the law and giving him a ticket. That Victoria seemed to be all about trapping people and punishing them and shouldn’t we all just relax?

    I don’t buy his argument about Hamilton so much but having said that, if Hamilton was pulled up by the authorities and given a warning it might have been enough.

    I do believe Webber is right in that we are becoming one of the most stitched-up cities in the world.

    Yesterday Webber drove his Formula One car over the Bolte Bridge for a publicity stunt. He was told, despite the bridge being closed both ways to traffic, that he could not exceed the normal speed limit.

    What’s the point of that? He is a racing car driver. It is a very wide road with no one on it. It might be fun! Relax!

    Robert Doyle, The Melbourne mayor is the guy who is opposing the future of the race and I bet my Gp ticket for next week that he is the person behind ruining this event and stopping it from being spectactular.

  24. Although I was told the car that was used was a Rb6, the car I saw at the Southern Cross station GP promotion (another half-assed event in my opinion) was the Rb5. Here’s some pic I took
    http://s1083.photobucket.com/albums/j388/funkdoctor39/Grand%20Prix/

  25. Pathetic but its not Webster fault. Poorly choreographed as well. Depending on your angle the bolte bridge offers the best city scapes over Melbourne and also some of the worst as there is alot of industrial yards in the area. Should have started from Nth Melbourne. Failed!

  26. The Bolte provides some amazing views of Melbourne. If you’re ever lucky enough to be flying into Melbourne at night and cross this bridge on your way to your hotel, you’re in for a treat! :)

  27. The bridge was closed to traffic AND he had to drive within the speed limit.

    Is the whole flipping world being run by grannies?

  28. Just run the entire GP at the same 100kph speed limit, like in the simpsons when Burns tells the two drag racers to slow down. That’s the only way we’d get competitive, exciting, overtaking-laden racing!

    The entire non-event made me pretty ashamed of Melbourne, to be honest. Thankfully our GP still remains one of the most exciting on the calendar, and hopefully will be again this year.

  29. I built a map of the run so it’s visible to everyone how much would have gone into this to close down the bridge.

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