Mark Webber says he is looking forward to this weekend’s race in Abu Dhabi, despite watching his team-mate edging ever closer to his third consecutive world championship,
The Aston Clinton-based Red Bull driver finished last weekend’s race in India in third place.
He was joined on the podium behind the only two men realistically left in the title hunt – Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso in second and Webber’s team mate Sebastian Vettel in first.
Afterwards Webber, who started the race in second, blamed problems with his KERS power-boost system for losing a place.
In the post-race press conference, the 36-year-old Aussie driver surprised journalists by walking out before it had ended.
After a reporter asked a question of Vettel and Alonso, Webber upped and left.
Afterwards an official FIA media delegate reflected that ‘maybe he did that as he didn’t like the questions asked in the room’, before adding that Webber had since apologised and the matter was over.
Webber later explained why the KERS problem had such an impact on his race, saying: “It’s maybe hard for people watching to know what it affects on the car.
“It’s power on the straight obviously, but also managing brake balances and those sort of things.
“In addition, when you have a one-stop race, it’s always a chance you can have a front-right lock up.”
On lap 48 of 60 Alonso dragged past him on the main straight.
The Aussie then had to turn his attention to Lewis Hamilton, who was closing rapidly. At the chequered flag Hamilton was just 0.7 seconds behind.
“I certainly had to stay focused during the closing laps,” said Webber.
“Lewis was in a nice rhythm and closing me down. I was pleased to see him make a mistake on lap 58 because I needed to keep him out of my DRS zone for as long as possible.
“That gave me a bit of breathing space. If there had been another two laps, I think he would have got me.
“Overall, I was pretty happy with how I drove. We should have finished further up the road, but it’s the way it was today.”
Soon after Sunday’s race in India, Webber boarded a plane and flew straight to Dubai to begin preparations for this weekend.
“These back-to-back races are quite intense,” he said.
“But I like the Middle East, even if Yas Marina isn’t my favourite racetrack.
“The car has performed well for the past few races, so I hope we’ll be competitive there.
“I’m looking forward to it.”