Mark Webber insists that he doesn't plan to take on a supporting role for Sebastian Vettel next season, despite seeing the German wrapping up his third straight F1 title in Brazil last weekend.
While Vettel clinched the crown, Webber could only finish sixth in the standings and will hope to challenge himself next year when he returns alongside the champion having agreed an extended deal with Red Bull earlier this season.
Speaking in Tasmania ahead of his annual charity challenge event, Webber admitted that Vettel is on the front foot thanks to his latest championship crown but said that didn't mean he planned to simply support his team-mate in 2013.
"Obviously with Sebastian's form, he's clearly on the front foot,” he was quoted by Reuters
. “Not only from within our team but he's won three world titles on the bounce now so all the drivers have got to try and topple him.
"I don't go there thinking I've got to be playing a team role as such. I'm there for myself, to get the best results possible and to do that I need to be part of the team. So, no, I'm not going there thinking in a supporting role at all."
While Vettel won on five occasions in 2012, Webber himself took just two victories in Monaco and at Silverstone, and the Australian admitted he hadn't been consistent enough to challenge for the crown.
"Ultimately we just weren't consistent enough compared to 2010 and 2011," he said. "Our qualifying pace this year was a very, very good step forward but (not) our Sunday performances.
"It wasn't strong enough towards the end but they're fine margins and before you know it, the odd non-finish here and there, and the points are not in your favour."