19 November 2012
Webber retires, but shares teams’ title joy
Mark Webber again suffered the brunt of Red Bull's reliability woes, but was able to celebrate the team's constructors' championship hat-trick after the USGP.
Mark Webber may not have been able to contribute to the team's enhanced points total at the USGP, but still found consolation in a third straight constructors' title for Red Bull Racing after the race.
The Australian made the most of starting on the cleaner side of the grip to surge past Lewis Hamilton and slot into second spot behind team-mate Sebastian Vettel on the uphill run to turn one at the Circuit of the Americas, as Red Bull appeared on course to continue the run of 1-2 finishes witnessed by the American public since the race moved to Indianapolis.
Hamilton, however, wasn't in a mood to be denied and, having established himself as one of the fastest cars in the opening laps, came back past Webber once DRS was enabled. From there, while the Briton hunted Vettel down at the front of the field, Webber slipped nearly seconds back, before coasting into retirement as Red Bull's reliability gremlins again picked on his car.
“I had an alternator problem,” he revealed, reporting RBR's third such DNF in 2012, “We had low battery voltage for a few laps before and then I lost gearbox sync and KERS. Something was happening on the battery side.
“It's frustrating, as we had a reasonable start to the race and a good fight with Lewis. We had issues to manage but, even when I knew we had them, we tried to keep going and get something out of it.”
Although Vettel also eventually succumbed to Hamilton's charge, his second place was enough to secure a third successive constructors' crown for Red Bull in just eight years of existence since replacing Jaguar on the grid.
“A third constructors' [title] for the team is an incredible achievement,” Webber admitted, “Three years in a row is something that I think all of us would never have envisaged when we first started to be successful, so the results that we've had over the years is really astonishing.
“This championship was probably the toughest one so far, for lots of different reasons, and it's a cliché, but it's been a real team effort.”
Webber's retirement also saw Hamilton pass him in the individual standings, and the Australian is only two points clear of the second McLaren of Jenson Button with one round remaining, in Brazil, this weekend. His contribution to RBR's total, however, has not gone unnoticed.
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