Webber roars into F1 title contention
Mark Webber served serious notice that he is a contender to take the drivers’ world title this year, and should swiftly be rewarded with a new Red Bull contract, by winning a dramatic British Grand Prix.
The 35-year-old Australian posted a near-flawless performance to triumph in an incident-filled race staged in welcome dry conditions ahead of his friend and Ferrari rival Fernando Alonso.
Webber’s Red Bull teammate and defending champion Sebastian Vettel took third.
It was Webber’s second Silverstone win in three years, his second victory this year and the ninth of his career, lifting him to 116 points in second place in the drivers’ championship, 13 behind leader Alonso who has 129.
Vettel lies third on 100.
“It was very interesting for me,” Webber said.
“Fernando had good pace from the start, but we had the better strategy in the end. We never gave up, we kept pushing and it did not work out in the end for Fernando.”
Red Bull team chief Christian Horner was reluctant to discuss his plans for Webber who’s current contract ends this season.
“Mark was quick when we needed him to be and the pass was fantastic,” Horner said.
“Mark this year has been in great form. He is enjoying his driving again and his performance here has been very strong.
“To win just up the road from where he lives is fantastic. Mark is doing great for us, we love having him in the team. We have agreed to sit down in the next couple of weeks (and discuss his future).”
Webber admitted before the race that he had been in touch with other teams – and speculation has suggested he is a strong candidate to partner Alonso at Ferrari next year – but he said it was “not too serious.”
By joining Alonso as one of the only two men to have won two races this year, Webber confirmed his competitive potential.
Alonso conceded: “It was very close today but at the end Mark was much quicker than us and deserved the victory. Now we are fighting for victories in the last three or four Grand Prix.
Vettel said: “Mark deserved to win.”© AAP 2013
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