Webber: Development didn't help Vettel
16 December 2012 – Despite seeing his gap from Sebastian Vettel yawning from eight to 102 points in the last seven races of the season, Mark Webber thinks the improvements brought to their car by Red Bull were not the leading cause of the slump compared to his team-mate.
The first two-thirds of the 2012 season saw the Red Bull drivers evenly matched and, following a double DNF at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza, less than ten points separated the two. However, a package of updates for their RB8 contender saw a turn in fortunes for Vettel, who went on to notch four wins in a row to claim his third consecutive title and finish the season more than 100 points ahead of Webber.
Talking to ESPN, the Australian dismissed speculation that his poor results in the run-in to the title had to do with the new parts developed on the Red Bull car.
“I wasn’t uncompetitive after Singapore,” claimed the 36-year-old, who went on to list the misfortunes occurred to him in the closing rounds of the season. “We had an alternator [failure in the US Grand Prix], we had Grosjean [spinning him at the start of the Japanese GP], we had things which are like dropping your toast and it lands butter-side down or whatever. That’s just the way things were going at some stages.”
Webber, who showed more confidence in 2012 after failing to adapt to the exhaust-blown diffuser car of 2011 which saw Vettel dominate, is keen to highlight the positives in his season and how he very rarely dropped the ball.
“I was strong in Suzuka, I was very strong there and Seb and I were on the front row. I was strong in Korea, I was strong in India. Singapore and Hockenheim were the two venues that were probably my weakest performances of the year.”