Mark Webber said his bad start in Abu Dhabi did not cost him victory – because Sebastian Vettel was simply too fast to beat.
Webber got away badly and dropped to third behind Vettel and Nico Rosberg, although he eventually got ahead of the Mercedes driver to claim second place.
“I don’t think the start was decisive,” said Webber. “Sebastian was in another category today. So probably this was the maximum result, even if we got away in front. He was quick and very, very strong. It was then, obviously, a recovery job against Nico, who got a better start than both of us. Obviously, it’s a short run to Turn 1. If it was a longer run, he would probably have got both of us. We know starts is not exactly my strong point, especially on these little babies – on the little Pirellis.”
Webber admitted he struggled to get the best out of the tires during the race.
“The softs, I had a reasonably feeling for them when they were fresh, but I had no real feeling for those tires when they’re scrubbed,” the Australian said. “So, I was very slow in the first stint. Very, very poor feeling with the rear, and then that makes it even worse. You have more and more slip and temperature control problems and all of those type of things. Anyway, it was regrouping at the stops after that, and I think my pace wasn’t too bad after that, but Seb (Vettel) was well and truly gone. Incredibly quick pace from him.”
Webber admitted that he’d like to finish the season with a win.
“Well, it would be nice,” he said. “I’ve challenged for a few victories here and there this year but not strong enough when it counted, but in the end, Seb was too strong today for the win. I’ve got a couple more races to go. All I can do is do my best. It’s not going to be a huge, huge difference, but it would be nice to get it, as any Grand Prix victory is always special to get them. We’ll keep pushing and see how we go in the next two races.”