Mark Webber has admitted that he may have missed his chance to become F1 champion after failing to secure the championship crown last year.
The Red Bull driver topped the standings heading into the final races of the year, but a retirement in Korea would prove to be his undoing as he eventually dropped to third behind team-mate Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.
So far this season, the Australian has failed to take a victory despite three pole positions, although he has finished inside the top five in every race bar Monza, where he retired after a clash with Felipe Massa.
While team-mate Sebastian Vettel has dominated this season, Webber's own title challenge failed to materialise and the Australian admitted that last year may have been his best chance of joining countryman Alan Jones as an F1 title winner.
“Obviously the results were close and it was disappointing,” he told Yahoo in Singapore
when asked to reflect on 2010. “It took me a while, a few weeks, to get hold of the fact that I was so close to the World Championship, only for it not to happen. Well, in the end I'm still proud of what I achieved.
“I do think that last year was my last chance at being World Champion. But I've pushed very, very hard and done many, many things that other people could not have achieved so I'm very proud of what I did.”
For the remainder of the current season, Webber said his aim was to try and secure second place behind Vettel in the title race before coming back stronger for 2012.
“Sebastian is probably going to win the championship so the goal for me would be to finish second,” he said. “The team has not done that before — to finish 1-2 in the drivers' championship.
“You can expect a stronger me next season and I hope to get a smooth start like we did in 2010. For now, I just want to finish it as strong as I can and get some good results.”