Mark Webber believes forcing results hurt his 2012 F1 title bid
|By Sam Tremayne and Matt Beer||Tuesday, December 11th 2012, 12:41 GMT|
Mark Webber believes his refusal to settle for top-six finishes was a key factor in his 2012 Formula 1 championship defeat.
Red Bull's Australian was in the thick of the title fight early on, and emerged as Fernando Alonso's closest championship rival after winning the British Grand Prix.
But Webber's form tailed off thereafter. A run of six races without a podium contributed to him slumping to sixth in the standings, while his team-mate Sebastian Vettel produced a late surge to deny Alonso the crown in a wild Brazilian finale.
"We need to get some of that 2011 and '10 consistency back," Webber admitted. "We lost some of that this year. Some of it was through no fault of my own, some was.
"I tried to force some issues where I was not being prepared to finish fifth or sixth, which you had to grab this year. That's something that is a pain in the arse sometimes but you have to do it."
Webber is confident he had the pace to stay in the title fight and that it was inconsistency that cost him.
"We were very strong at the start of the year but then we had three races on the bounce with diff issues and penalties," he said.
"You can go through a whole list of things here and there but ultimately it wasn't strong enough, it wasn't a consistent enough campaign to get more out of what we had."
He believes his Monte Carlo and Silverstone wins proved he is a championship-calibre driver when he delivers his full potential.
"The British GP was a sensational result. [It was] local for the team, a second home race for me, and getting Fernando Alonso in the way we did..." Webber said.
"And Monaco as well - we were in the shit big time on Thursday, on Saturday morning we were struggling but we managed to get a couple of laps out of the car I was very proud of. Seb was struggling, only eighth on the grid.
"That was probably the biggest highlight of the year for me. To win Monaco was very, very special.
"I need to keep doing that, keep winning, which is something I'm clearly capable of."