Webber ripped radio connection out of helmet
28 March 2012 – Mark Webber has revealed that, like Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel, he suffered major radio problems during the Malaysian Grand Prix. In fact, his issues were so off-putting that the Australian ripped the connection cord out of his helmet.
“After the race was stopped, I saw there were a few jokes that the canopies the teams erected on the grid made it look like a village market,” Webber wrote in a column for BBC Sport. “I can see what people mean, but there is a very sensible reason for it. We learnt a lesson last year in Canada, where we all got drenched, that we were very exposed when it's absolutely chucking it down.
“The canopies make it a bit easier for the guys working in the cockpit environment, or with electrical equipment, to escape what is literally like having a shower. Even so, the radios in both our cars did not work properly for the rest of the race and we had to resort to the old-fashioned means of communication with pit-boards.
“The guys had to dress up the boards not only with general race information, like what lap we're on and the gaps to the cars in front and behind, but also with other info about the car's performance. That makes it more difficult to manage the race in circumstances that are already very challenging. The problem became apparent as soon as we re-started the race.
“Eventually, I ended up ripping my radio connection out of my helmet because it was just getting too distracting. That's quite a big call, because you know once you've done that you're never going to get it back again. I had to do it, though. I was getting squawking and static in my ears, which changed depending on which corner I was in. It was really loud, too. It is not what you need when you're going through the sort of demanding corners you have in Malaysia on a wet track.”
As Vettel dropped out of the points following contact with Narain Karthikeyan’s HRT, Webber finished the race fourth, as he had done in Australia a week earlier.