x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Webber does not want any favours from Vettel in India

Mark Webber wants to take second place in the drivers' championship under his own steam.

GREATER NOIDA, INDIA // Mark Webber said he wants neither help nor sympathy from his Red Bull Racing team as he aims to become the first winner of the inaugural Indian Grand Prix this afternoon.

Sebastian Vettel, the Australian's teammate, has won 10 of this season's 16 races, while Webber has not finished on top of the podium since the Hungarian Grand Prix in August 2010.

Christian Horner, the team principal, said earlier this week that the priority was now ensuring the 35 year old wins a race and finishes second in the drivers' championship. He trails McLaren-Mercedes' Jenson Button in the drivers' championship by 13 points with three races left.

Vettel secured his 13th pole of the season yesterday at Buddh International Circuit, with Webber finishing 0.330 seconds behind in third.

Lewis Hamilton, the McLaren driver, split the Red Bull pair, but will start in fifth after being handed a grid penalty by race stewards following Friday's morning practice session. Fernando Alonso of Ferrari will instead now start in third.

"Nothing will be different," said Webber when asked how the team will change strategy to allow him a victory. "There has been a lot of talk from the team, but nothing from me. I don't want any positions off Sebastian for the remainder of the year."

When Vettel was asked what he might do if leading a one-two finish, the 24-year-old German was coy.

"First we have to race, race hard, enjoy and then see where we are," said the two-time world champion. "I think Mark and myself, we obviously target to win the race. Ideally, we want to finish in one-two, so it is going to be interesting."

Hamilton remained positive, despite his penalty setback. "The penalty was a silly mistake for myself, but overtaking should be easier and I'm still optimistic regardless of where I start," he said.

Felipe Massa completes the top six in his Ferrari despite damaging his car on a kerb late in the qualifying sessions.

gmeenaghan@thenational.ae


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