x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Bullish Webber issues a warning to his team's rivals

Red Bull's Mark Webber said his team are perfectly placed to dethrone Jenson Button and BrawnGP next year after clinching a perfect finish to the season.

Webber finished behind teammate Sebastian Vettel at Yas Marina to set up Red Bull's fourth one-two finish of the year. The victory for Vettel also confirmed second place in the constructors' championship for Red Bull. World champion Jenson Button finished third.

"We have an incredible team back at the factory," said the Australian, who claimed his eighth podium of the season. "Next year there is absolutely no reason whatsoever for us not to be starting at the front. I would prefer to be in our position than other teams. We cannot get complacent as this is F1, but we are confident." Webber praised his German teammate and said the runner-up spot was the best he was ever likely to achieve yesterday after Vettel finished more than 17 seconds ahead after 55 laps.

"Second place was as good as I was going to get. From the start, we had a pretty good launch. I had a look on the outside of Sebastian, but the main aim was to get inside and get a good exit," said Webber, who was involved in a collision with Button's BrawnGP teammate Rubens Barrichello early in the race. "I got hit quite hard and was worried I had a puncture, but the team told me the pressure was okay. Seb was just that bit quicker today.

"He's had the better of me for the best part of the weekend and I presumed it was going to be the same in the race. "We did the best job we could, capitalised on other teams' lack of preparation and achieved a one-two, which is exactly what we came here for." gmeenaghan@thenational.ae