x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

No regrets over career from Mark Webber

A philosophical Mark Webber said he has no regrets over his Formula One career as it prepares to end, despite the fact he will leave the sport without a world championship to his name.

Mark Webber of Australia has three races left in his Formula One career. Roberto Schmidt / AFP
Mark Webber of Australia has three races left in his Formula One career. Roberto Schmidt / AFP

ABU DHABI // A philosophical Mark Webber said he has no regrets over his Formula One career as it prepares to end, despite the fact he will leave the sport without a world championship to his name.

The Australian will retire from F1 after the Brazilian Grand Prix later this month before moving into sportscar racing with Porsche, and he said he was comfortable with winning nine races and claiming 12 pole positions.

“I never thought I would have a grand prix career of 215 races, and banging out 40 podiums and some special victories and lots of good highlights, but you always want more, it is human nature,” the Red Bull Racing driver said at Yas Marina Circuit on Thursday as he prepares to compete in the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for a final time on Sunday.

The 37 year old acknowledged that a drivers’ title is the one thing missing from his trophy cabinet, but said that did not diminish his standing as a driver.

“Obviously you are measured maybe on championships and things like that,” he said. “Do I see myself in the same calibre of some of the single champions? Of course I do. I do see that but I don’t have that. I am still very proud of what I have achieved ... I still believe it has been a very proud and honest career.””

History shows that 2010 was Webber’s best chance of becoming champion. He was one of four drivers in with a shot at the title going into the season finale in Abu Dhabi, but an eighth-place finish wrecked his hopes as teammate Sebastian Vettel won what would be the first of four successive championships.

“We know we didn’t pick the easiest year to win the title,” Webber said. “I had two non-finishes that year, but I had a lot of races where I put myself in very good contention because I drove very well that year so that was that.”

Webber has endured a frustrating final season in F1, sitting fifth in the standings, 174 behind Vettel. His luck was summed up last weekend in India when he was forced to stop due to an alternator failure as he ran second to his teammate.

He has only Sunday’s race and the events in the United States and Brazil to prevent his first winless season since 2008, but he said of the campaign: “I am happy my form has not been the problem and that is something that I can take away [from the year].”

gcaygill@thenational.ae

Follow us on twitter at @SprtNationalUAE