Mark Webber says he will head into this weekend's Korean Grand Prix looking to return to the top step of the podium for the first time since Silverstone in July, despite Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel being involved in a tense championship battle with Fernando Alonso.
A poor run of results in the second half of the season has left Webber fully 60 points off Alonso with five races remaining, while Vettel took full advantage of the Spaniard's early retirement in Japan to close to within four points courtesy of his third win of the year. While the title could be nip-and-tuck between the top two over the remaining rounds, however, Webber shows no sign of intending - or being instructed - to play a supporting role to his team-mate.
"I need to win, that's my goal - I've come here to push," he told journalists on the eve of the third Korean Grand Prix weekend in Yeongam, "It was a good little battle between Seb and I in [qualifying at] Suzuka. He did a very good job in Q3, we did a very good job, and [I'm] looking to finish the season as strongly as possible for myself."
The Korean race has not been entirely friendly to Webber, who saw his shot at the 2010 world title effectively end with a accident while trying to keep up with his team-mate, but also saw the Australian help tie up last year's constructors' title for RBR with a podium finish in 2011.
"I'm really looking forward to this race," he insisted, "In terms of atmosphere, it's not off the charts, we know that, but, in terms of the race track, it's not a bad little circuit to drive on so I think the car will go well here. That's the goal. We've had a few ropey runs of late, [for] lost of different reasons: a few on my side, not driving well enough, a few on some dodgy strategies, and last weekend [in Japan] was out of my hands. All of a sudden, three or four or five races with definitely not the points you want."
"I think that, as a competitor, you want to be more consistent and obviously achieving nice results. I've enjoyed the racing, to be honest - that's been quite good - but ultimately we like to have the taste of success and that's what we strive for each weekend so I prefer that than the enjoyment of the racing, I suppose. That's the balance we try to strike, but obviously we work hard as a team. We would like to make it more boring if we can, but we've got some tough opposition, so let's see how the season finishes off."