Another one for the book!
For much of the Indian Grand Prix weekend Mark looked to be in the pound seat. His long run pace on the medium (prime) tyre was impressive during Friday practice and he put in a stunning qualifying lap to be the first of the prime runners on the grid, in fourth place.
“We did a lot right this weekend,” says Mark. “I was very happy with my lap on Saturday afternoon. I got the maximum from the car and I thought it left me in a good position because the prime was a much better race tyre. But it wasn’t clear-cut: the three guys ahead of me were on the option tyre, so it was always going to be an interesting race.”
Sadly, Mark was forced to retire at two-thirds distance following an alternator problem on his RB9 and so was unable to take the fight to the end. Coincidentally, it was the second season in succession that the popular Aussie has been forced to retire from a race with an alternator problem on the same day the team clinched the World Constructors Championship (last year it was at the USGP in Austin).
Mark was lying in second place on this occasion, having climbed up the order after making a poor get away from the dirty side of the grid.
“The start wasn’t great,” says Mark, “But the option runners were always going to be at an advantage there. What I needed to do after that was keep it clean and get as much life out of that first set of primes as I could.”
With the soft tyre only capable of surviving a handful of laps, many of the cars in front of Mark – including pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel – were forced to pit very early in the race. That left Mark in the lead on lap nine and he lost no time putting daylight between him and his pursuers. He made his first pitstop of the race on lap 28, after which he did a four-lap stint on the option rubber before putting on a fresh set of primes – on which he hoped to finish the race.
“Unfortunately, we weren’t able to see how the race would pan out because I was forced to retire with an alternator problem with a third of the race to go. There was already a gearbox issue, which I’d informed the team about, but there was very little warning about the alternator. The team suddenly informed me that I had to stop the car.”
It was a disappointing end to a momentous race for Red Bull Racing, in which the team claimed its fourth consecutive constructors’ world championship and Vettel his fourth drivers’ title.
“It would have been nice to win the constructors’ title with both of us on the podium,” says Mark. “The team has done a phenomenal job this year, proving once again that it is the benchmark in F1. And well done to Sebastian; he’s done a great job this year and deserves to win the world championship.”
Mark doesn’t have to wait long to get back on-track because it’s the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix next weekend – F1’s only twilight race. With better reliability, he’ll be aiming to get back onto the podium.
rikeon October 28, 2013 Reply
I have been a fan of yours since you are on the Red Bull team. And sometimes I am angry because of the mishaps – but congratulations, you are a very good person and fine competitor. Best of luck for the end of the season and future. Thank you for the great moments you made us live so far.
Georgeon October 28, 2013 Reply
Great work again Mark. Our hearts sank with yours when the alternator issue hit. You have the constructors congratulations.
agneson October 28, 2013 Reply
To win the Construction title the team needs TWO drivers – how come they support only one?
Pattyon October 28, 2013 Reply
Hi Mark. So sorry that you did not get to finish the race. You easily had 2nd place maybe 1st. Why is it always, always your car this year. That took a lot of class to say Well Done to Sebastian considering your history. I don’t agree that he deserved to win the championship this year. I hope that your final 3 races are successful for you. Your a great driver and you deserve to win at least another race before you go on to your next adventure.
dianaon October 28, 2013 Reply
oh my God mark you are a great driver but your team does not want you to win simple as that, i am sorry that you are with such a team that plot against you, love you , you are great
hallieon October 28, 2013 Reply
another alternator problem, another heart-broken Sunday night to your fans …… WHY does all this always happen to u? WHY is life so hard? It’s big of u to face these unfairness with a smile. Pround of u.
Redbull donot deserve the champion.
They have ruined the spirit of sports.
alisonon October 28, 2013 Reply
Hopefully a better outcome for you Mark. Only thing is one set of rules for Seb and another for you. Ask to swap cars and see if he has your issues all the time.
NATALIA RINCONon October 28, 2013 Reply
not be so unlucky!
Seb is now champion, sure the car you will be fine!
I am outraged and no way to leave F1
Elizabeth Howarthon October 28, 2013 Reply
Mark, My greatest hope in sport at the moment is for you to be on the podium for the last three races (and wouldn’t the centre be a good place to be!) I haven’t seen the book about Queanbeyan’s great sport personalities yet, but I will very soon. I’ve followed your career very closely, and I’ll miss your humility and great Australian Character. You’ve made us proud! Thank you. Elizabeth from Canberra
Paul Lewison October 28, 2013 Reply
It must be a frustrating year for you mark, you are a true professional to the end of the season, best of luck next year !!
Andrewon October 28, 2013 Reply
We Aussies will miss watching you next year. You’ve done us proud. Good luck in the Porkys!
Harryon October 28, 2013 Reply
Another alternator and gearbox problem and again only on Marks car…makes me wonder why?
laverne richeson October 28, 2013 Reply
so sorry you were unable to finish race lets hope for better fortune next week
Lauren DaFornoon October 28, 2013 Reply
The world of F1 loves you Mark.
Jill and Brianon October 28, 2013 Reply
So sorry Mark, you must be so frustrated know your fans are, surely there has got to be some light at the end of this shit RB tunnel. We’re all with you, good luck Mark. All the best.
BRETon October 28, 2013 Reply
i dont know why he hasnt jumped to another f1 team,,,,,finally he has started to work out the tyres,left way to early….
Ianon October 28, 2013 Reply
a champion can only be great if the people they win from are great – sportsmanship is alive thanks to Mark
daveon October 29, 2013 Reply
Hopefully a clean race this week mate good luck!
DCGirlon October 29, 2013 Reply
Can’t stand Red Bull. They can set up the car from their computers and have used Mark as a scapegoat continuously. Mark is smart to leave. Vettel is a good driver, yes; but this is so staged.
NoAussieon October 29, 2013 Reply
You Aussies need to accept Seb is the better driver! Why should RedBull sabotage Mark as they can’t win the construction title without him? Don’t be such bad loser.
daisyon October 29, 2013 Reply
Sore loser? Why did you leave the track instead of staying to celebrate the team’s success?
* Site Manager * Simples! Maybe because he’s had a gutful of the constant reliability issues on his car!
Jelly Beanon October 29, 2013 Reply
Have my fingers crossed for you to get a win before the end of the season. Just doesn’t seem possible that its always your RB9 that has problems. After a while it just starts to stink! Hang in there Mark! You’ve got a lot of us on your side!
Monica Fournieron October 29, 2013 Reply
Mark, I am very sorry because you could not finish the race, you were driving very well, I do not know what happened with your car!!! I hope that in Abu Dabi you can get a good position. Besos XXXOOO
TRICKOon October 29, 2013 Reply
what a gent u r congratulating s.v.You did a fantastic job on saturday getting to 4 th place on mediums.i do wonder whether ur gear box issue was the same as s.vs after qualifying when they changed no.5 and 7 discs? surely checking the other car would have been the obvious thing to do? and u know i reckon you were getting too close to s.v at the end and as he had a problem, supposedly,you may easily have passed him.get him to stop with an alternetor problem easily done.i tell u what m.w race engineer didnt look upset about the decision he looked bloody pissed off and livid.And m.w was right s.v has one races he shouldnt have this year the last 2 races being part of them,he’ll be remembered as having cheated his way to this championship,sorry but its true he needs to go to another team and win before he’s a great driver the best driver out there in my opinion is Alonso he’s got the whole package!! Looking forward to the last 3 races.Cute smile to the camera in the garage in P1 Webber!* COME ON THE WEBBER!!
Davidon October 29, 2013 Reply
Hey Mate, you did great!!!
Itziaron October 29, 2013 Reply
Otro mal día,porque siempre es tu coche? para mi que gane el mundial Sebastian no me parece justo ,porque siempre es con tu sacrificio y eso no me parece bien. Animarte para la siguiente
jbon October 29, 2013 Reply
Worst luck, mate! Always watch and support you, F1 won’t be the same when you’re gone. Vettel isn’t worthy of a team mate like you! Here’s to hoping that over the final few races you show everyone you’re still at the top of you r game!
emilyon October 29, 2013 Reply
can’t say anything that hasn’t been said… but what bothers me is horner acting like webber hardly exists and newey sayiong that seb has had the same amount of technical issues as mark over the years…! unbelievable…! sure, vet has had a few glitches here and there… but mark is constantly not finishing races due to no fault of his own… I do recognise valencia last year and silverstone this year for seb… but seriuosly, it has become ridiculous how often wheels fall off and shit like that to mark, it would have to be at least three times the reliability problems compared to seb….
Marshallon October 29, 2013 Reply
Looking at the comments I am glad that I am not the only one that thinks something fishy is going on behind the scenes.
Thank you for the wonderful excitment that you bring to F1 lovers in Australia and my family.
To me you have bought back the excitement since Senna died.
Hope to see you in a Porsche F1??
Best of luck you are a true auzzzeee hero and inspriration to many upcoming drivers in Australia that aspire to race in F1.
Alisonon October 29, 2013 Reply
Good On you Mark for keeping up a smile and congratulating Seb. It must be very hard for you, But F1 is a team sport and you show this. I love teaching my child about working as a team with you as a fantastic role model. Bring on next week! And thanks for helping me teach my child some real morals. Alison
psycho budgieon October 29, 2013 Reply
Well raced, looking foward to seeing you race in the next one.
Pamon October 29, 2013 Reply
I don’t understand why there is such a difference between the 2 cars. Why is it always your car that has problems. I don’t believe it is a coincidence. Not possible. Good luck Mark. Your are the best Red Bull driver
Mikeon October 29, 2013 Reply
Big fan of yours, very disappointed to see your car fail Sunday. But unlike many of your fans, I don’t believe you’re such a chump that Red Bull could be constantly undermining you and sabotaging your car without you knowing about it. I am still bitter about Malaysia but hoping somehow you and Seb can part on better terms. Best of luck in last three races. Hope you win them all.
Nathan Hon October 29, 2013 Reply
Mark Webber is a true aussie that never gives up. Mark has been with Red Bull from the start and has always been flying the Australian flag. Thanks Mark i’ve watched every race and enjoyed every moment of your great F1 career. I’ll be following you with Porsche. Hope you get a final F1 victory that you fully deserve. It must be good to be the best liked driver in F1
Richardon October 29, 2013 Reply
Mark, You had driven a great race, until the team told you to stop the car.
Once again RBR let you down with a car with reliability issues. Was this away so you did not challenge Vettel in the race and spoil the two titles.
Reading comments by CH on another site, it appears there was one driver that delivered the result for RBR. Know mention of Mark.
I wish you all the very best for the remaining three races and hope you get a reliable RB9 that gets you to the end and winning another GP before you leave F1.
Have great respect for how you have conducted yourself on and off the track, you are a true champ.
Wendyon October 30, 2013 Reply
Guess if you didn’t smile after that race you might have screamed with frustration! Good one up til you had to retire tho. Well done Mark and Im still hoping you’ll get that win before the season finishes
Madeleine Jon October 30, 2013 Reply
I was gutted for you on Sunday. How magnanimous you were in defeat, especially with that lovely smile of yours!
stuarton October 30, 2013 Reply
it is a great pity we will never see. you as champion
as jackie stewart once said you would have made a great one
vettel is a very very talented driver
but he will never be a great champion because champions need personality they need respect of their peers and they need to be grown up.
Akion October 30, 2013 Reply
I really really wished to see you on the podium on Sunday and it should have been true. But because of the stupid trouble, which always happens only to Mark throughout this season, you had to retire. People of normal mentality must think that why this kind of troubles always happen to you. Red Bull Racing is a top F1 team with ample money and human recourses and how could they just let it go without taking any measures? These were the one of incredibly unprecedented achievements Red Bull Racing accomplished in this season… Mark just needs a car of the same performance as his teammate. Shame on you, Red Bull Racing for not treating their drives equally. I have been in a rage all this season, sadly. It is always Mark who tries new parts and collects the data for the race, and thanks to these data, his teammate can manage the car. How dare you say that Mark does not deserve to win?
I simply want to see you drive in full blast and end the race safely. I was so happy that I could see you driving with your all effort at Suzuka. You were just in front of me and I could not help jumping out of my seat when you overtook Grosjean! And this time, my good memory, positive feeling and eagerness were screwed up by this incident so badly.
Mark, please do not forget that many fans of you are always supporting you no matter what happens. I understand winning the race is not the only goal that you should achieve in your life, but you do deserve to win the race, Mark!! I honestly hope to see you win the race!!
A devoted fan from Japan.
Petraon October 31, 2013 Reply
Hi Mark, Truly admire your mental strength after all this crap going on and on.
Wish you get a perfect set up car and fair support by your team at Abu Dhabi
Will always support MW.
Big hug and
Cheers from China
Sergeyon November 1, 2013 Reply
Dear Mark, many fans from Russia support you! Of course we can see what’s happening in RedBull team last few years, but we absolutely with you, belive in you, and stay with you in any cases in any races! From Russia with love. P.S. If you ever need some rockets or some vodka with caviar – let us know :-)))
Ozy Gavon November 4, 2013 Reply
Mark Webber. True champion. 2nd class/experimental equipment. And with a home team like Red Bull. Who needs enemies. Still carries himself with class and professionalism.
Red Bull & Sebastian. Drop your heads in shame. You have no Honour.
After the ongoing bias and outright lack of integrity shown by Red Bull Racing to this outstanding and humble sportsman over the years. I will no longer buy Red Bull products, or support their events/teams.
Formula 1 has a well earned reputation as the premier class of motor racing. With much history,prestige & culture.
Red Bull should of been penalised/punished for bringing Formula 1 into disrepute with their underhanded & dishonourable actions/policies these last few years.
Please everyone. Boycott Red Bull & show that without race drivers, there is no sport. Treat them with respect or lose your fan/customer base.
Ozy Ozy Ozy! Oi Oi Oi!!!
Joeon November 6, 2013 Reply
Mark, absolutely gutted for you. I really admire your acceptance to such bad things which happen to you.
What ever your decision you make, we will all support you and hope for the best of luck. Keep pushing to the end and hopefully spark up another win!
It’s a shame I’m not 18 or over to enter the competition to meet you. But I guess seeing you win races makes me just as happy.
Nevertheless, we will all miss you. Thank you for everything. We need more drivers with colour in their personalities.
But at least there is another Australian to take over. I’ll just pretend he is the younger Mark Webber. But of course, I will be chanting at the one and only Mark Webber at the endurance races. At least there is still someone that I can still support in Formula One.
It would be great if Daniel Ricciardo can wear your helmet design for his career. I’m sure many fans would love to see that!