Mark Webber admits the tyre degradation played a key role in him failing to challenge for a place on the podium during his home round of the F1 season in Australia.
Although he matched he best finish at Albert Park with a run to fifth, the Australian was unable to match the pace of team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who followed up a dominant performance in qualifying with a race-winning start to the defence of his title.
Webber admitted that degradation of the Pirelli tyres hadn't helped his cause over the course of the Melbourne race but insisted there were still plenty of positives to take away from the event, even if the end result wasn't one of them.
“Overall it was a disappointing result for me as we had the car to be on the podium,” he said. “Seb had a great victory but I didn't feel comfortable in the race and had tyre degradation that put me on the back foot in terms of tactics and strategy. I couldn't fight with the guys at the front and this was disappointing.
“On the positive side, the reliability is very good and both cars finished the race so we were able to learn a lot there and the starts were good so there are positives. Ultimately though, I leave empty handed in terms of results and would have liked some trophies and champagne. But I'll come back in Malaysia.”
Webber added that the Red Bull team needed to work hard to resolve his tyre problems, but said he was confident in his team getting the issue sorted.
“The car feels good for a short period but then I lose the performance very quickly, so we need to look at that,” he said in reference to the tyres. “Clearly the RB7 is a good car and the guys have done a good job in designing and building the car so it is positive but we still have work to do.
“Our rivals aren't far away as McLaren had a good race and the Renault is quite good on its tyres. But we are a very strong team and will be fighting hard in the other races.”