Mark Webber column

Winning the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos on Sunday was a great way to the end the season.

From the way the team's preparation had gone, I knew we were going to be competitive and that I'd be able to challenge for victory.

I made a mistake on the second lap - the same error my Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel made later in the race - by driving on to the kerbs at Turn Four and running wide. I lost a second there but the first stint was pretty good after that.

Seb started getting a gearbox problem as we approached the first pit stops. I was closing in on him a bit but I don't know how much time it was costing him at that point. But I do know it was a reasonably minor issue then, getting more serious as the race went on.

He was definitely affected in the middle and towards the back part of the race. In the end, he let me by on lap 30 because the team knew the only way he would last all 71 laps and make the finish was by slowing down.

It was a bit disappointing in a way. I was feeling pretty good and it would have been nice to have a flat-out run to the flag against him.

But that's motorsport. There are lots of guys who win races after someone else has hit problems - ask Heikki Kovalainen about his grand prix win in Hungary in 2008, for example.

Seb has benefited from problems I've had in the past as well. That's the way it goes. You've got to be able to capitalise when other drivers have issues.

I didn't pull that far ahead of Seb for a while and people have asked how he could keep up if he had a gearbox problem. Well, I was pacing myself and knew I had 0.3-0.4secs on him if I needed it.

At the end, I could really push and have a bit of fun - that's what those three consecutive fastest laps at the end were about.


It might not have been so obvious from the outside, but I've been closing in on that win for a while.

Ultimately, I've had a good year. It hasn't been good enough to challenge for the title, but I've spent most of my races fighting with Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton, involved in a lot of really special fights and some good races.

I've had only one non-finish - that was in Italy - so that's not to be sniffed at and I've scored a lot of points.

I would have loved more victories, but Seb's formula was very potent. His aim was to qualify on pole and be far enough ahead after two laps to ensure no-one could use the DRS overtaking aid to pass him.

One grand prix does not change a whole season or change my mindset, but it was nice to finish the way I did.

After leading the championship for a long time in 2010, it would be easy for me to be dissatisfied. But I'm not overly disappointed with the year I've had, considering some of the circumstances and situations I found myself in.

I want to look at the positives and work on the things that do make a difference as I prepare for next year.


Roger Federer won the ATP World Tour Finals in London last weekend, which is not something you would necessarily have predicted going into the event.

Federer has had a bit of a lean spell by his high standards, yet he won a tournament that featured the three players ranked ahead of him in the world - Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray.

Federer was honest enough to admit in some of his post-match interviews that he's healthy at this stage of the season - with the implication that some of his rivals might not be at the absolute top of their game - but you can only play what's on the other side of the net.

It's not like the other guys weren't trying - Nadal was certainly up for it - but Federer played phenomenally well and went all the way.

It is good for tennis to have him still throwing a few right hooks at this stage of his career. He might even have another slam left in him. With Federer, you never know.

I listened to him doing an interview this week and, although I don't have the trophy cabinet he does, there were a lot of things he said that resonated with the way I felt after Brazil.


I have a very busy schedule in the next 10 days. Having been to Brazil and back in the last week, I am flying out to Australia on Thursday to help launch my Tasmania Challenge.

The adventure race, which helps raise money for charity, is being held for the first time since 2008. I might do a little bit on the first day, but the plan is not for me to take part as a competitor.

Mark Webber
Webber's gruelling Tasmania Challenge adventure race started in 2003

I've been involved on every single day of all the previous races, although I only did a half day after I broke my leg in a collision with a car in 2008.

Part of the reason I'm not taking part was that I knew there would be a reasonable chance I'd have to be at the official FIA prize-giving ceremony, which is in Delhi on 9 December. The top three drivers in the F1 world championship have to attend.

So I'm in Australia for four nights before travelling to India - and I'm not even long enough in Delhi to need a bed.

I arrive on Friday morning and fly out in the early hours of Saturday morning so I can be back in England for the Red Bull celebratory show run in Milton Keynes on 10 December.

After that, I get some time off - and I'm probably going to need it!

Mark Webber was talking to BBC Sport's Andrew Benson. Read his exclusive column every Thursday.