Engine performance critical this year - Webber

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Under Formula 1's new rules which will see a substantial increase in downforce and mechanical grip this season thanks to wider tyres, engine performance will be critical reckons Mark Webber.

It's expected that the marked-up performance will cut lap times by up to five seconds, mainly thanks to increased cornering speeds. But Webber insists that greater power output  will be necessary to compensate for the extra drag produced by wider wings and tyres.

"The cars are going to have a lot more downforce, it's going to be more power sensitive than ever," explained Aussie Grit, the winner of nine Grand Prix over the course of his twelve year career in F1.

"You'll need a bigger engine more than you ever have done, because of wider tyres and more drag. The cars are getting quite heavy, with the wider tyres, which is a bit unfortunate because it will slow them down."

The Australian says that given the increased downforce and cornering speeds, the new cars will undoubtedly impose important physical demands on the drivers.

"The sporting side should be a good step forward, the cars are going to be quicker than they've been for a long time," he said.

"The drivers will be earning their money again, and they'll be sweating on the podium again, which will be great.

"They'll be going back to lap times like we used to do 10 years ago. I think that will be a good visual to watch."

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