Top 10 F1 Drivers of the Year 2012:
7: Mark Webber
August 27, 1976
Red Bull Racing
Red Bull-Renault RB8
Crash.net F1 Driver of 2011 position:
Mark Webber once again found himself in the shadow of Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel by season's end, but the points table fails to tell the story of a better year for the Australian.
After a 2011 campaign that saw him take a lone win at the final round – and that with the hint of collusion from apparent gearbox gremlins on the sister car – Webber produced a far more competitive showing in 2012, aided by Pirelli tyres that he felt more at home with.
Four straight fourth place finishes to open the season proved a little frustrating, but Webber eventually broke through with victory in Monaco, and added a second win at Silverstone for good measure, all the while swapping championship positions with Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and the two McLarens. Silverstone was to be something of a watershed, however, and Webber struggled through the rest of the European campaign, effectively dropping himself out of title contention.
An upgrade to the RB8 for Singapore saw the entire Red Bull package improve, to the point where Vettel launched his assault on top spot with four straight wins. Although unable to match his team-mate, Webber produced back-to-back podiums in Korea and India to help consolidate RBR's position at the top of the constructors'' table, but his run-in was still disappointing as his side of the garage again seemed to attract most of the bad luck that was going around.
DNFs in Abu Dhabi and the USA dropped Webber back into the clutches of the McLaren drivers, but he continued to fight to the end, refusing to make life easy for Vettel at Interlagos, despite the German's title ambitions being on the line.
The pair will continue to do battle in 2013, as Webber, who eventually ended the year sixth overall, pocketed yet another one-year contract extension in order to try and fulfil his own championship desire.
Top 10 F1 Driver of the Year 2012 results so far:
8. Sergio Perez
9. Felipe Massa
10. Kamui Kobayashi