Mark Webber showed he has lost none of his fight by finishing third in his penultimate Formula 1 start in Austin.
Webber had another bad first corner, dropping to fourth from his second starting spot, but after overtaking Lewis Hamilton he chased Romain Grosjean to the flag.
“I was very happy with how I drove today,” said Webber. “I got a very good start. You want to be on the outside for Turn 1 but Romain was already there. I think I made a very good start from the left-hand side, which is not the easiest here, so we did what we could. Lewis also was on the outside for clean braking, so I had to be a little bit careful with Seb on the inside. And then you’ve got to clear people, and you know when you’ve got to clear people you use tires, you use everything up.
“Romain drove a very good race, he was very strong in the last part of the first sector which you need to be to get out of there. It’s super-super difficult to stay close. I did what I could for most of the time but also the tires are screaming at you for lap after lap and you have to drop back, give them a breather, go again. So, I did a pretty clean race. I think the performance and pace were very strong from my side, but yesterday [in qualifying] was when victory was made easier for Seb.”
Webber has no regrets about the approach of his final Formula 1 race in Brazil.
“I’m looking forward to it, driving round in the middle of the race thinking ‘Yes, I’m really looking forward to it because it’s time’, the enjoyment factor is there but it’s not like it was when I was at Jaguar or when I first started at Red Bull. That’s natural, that’s why the decision gets made obviously. The category has changed quite a bit in the last few years, I’ve done what I can, done my best, but when you realize there comes a point where it’s not what it once was, and that’s what happens to all sportsmen and women, there’s a point when it’s a little bit different.
“I’ve got one week to go, I will leave the paddock very satisfied. I’ve been dealt a very good hand, very proud of what I’ve achieved. I never thought I would do that when I left Queanbeyan in Australia, to have had the results I’ve had, to have worked with the amazing people I’ve worked with, to race against amazing drivers on the best tracks in the world. I’ve learned a huge amount about myself, about everything. One week to go and go from there. It’s the next chapter when I step out of the car for the last time I will be fine with it. Back to UK Sunday night, walk the dogs on Tuesday morning.”Circuit of the Americas, Formula 1, Mark Webber, Romain Grosjean, USGP