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Japanese Grand Prix: Webber 'won't hand over the win to Vettel'

Having claimed his first pole position of 2013, Mark Webber says that he has no intention of pulling over and handing a GP win to Sebastian Vettel simply to help decide the 2013 title.
Mark Webber said that he won't be making it easy for his Red Bull team mate Sebastian Vettel to get past him in tomorrow's Japanese Grand Prix, even if that costs Vettel the chance to clinch the world championship this weekend.

Vettel needs a win at Suzuka - and for closest rival Fernando Alonso to finish ninth or lower - to seal the deal here, but Webber says that he is in no mood to simply let Vettel take the lead whatever the circumstances - and that if Vettel wants it, he'll have to go out and take it.

"Seb's had a phenomenal year. He will do his race tomorrow, I will do my race," said Webber. "We'll be there for ourselves tomorrow."

And Webber said he wasn't expecting the team to intervene in the matter: "I don't think there will be, I think they will let us get on with our race. I'm not expecting many phone calls tomorrow."

Webber had earlier describe the pole position - his first in just over a year, since he topped qualifying for the 2012 Korean Grand Prix - as feeling "a little bit of a hollow pole position, if you like" knowing that it came partly as a result of Vettel experiencing KERS-related issues in his car on Saturday. However, the pole was obviously growing on him by the time of the post-qualifying press conference.

"You've got to take them when you can get them," he agreed when asked about the pole later. "It's not like they hand them out. It was still a big lap. I've had a few laps in qualifying where I've had to attempt to qualify as best as I can without all the weapons as well and today we had the weapons sharp and we did a pretty good job on a phenomenal circuit.

"When you drive here - this is the links golf course of the golf world or the big wave stuff for the surfers or whatever," he continued. "For us, it's a really testing circuit. Unless anyone sees an F1 car here live to see what happens in a sector, it's very hard for them to understand how quickly we go through there.

And whether it's little hollow or not, it doesn't mean Webber isn't about to put that pole to good use on race day.

"Sebastian has a big points lead because of the work that he's put in up to now. He can't qualify on pole for every race," said Webber. "Tomorrow is a new day and let's see how it's looking at the end of the race," he continued, adding: "I think it's such a long year - Seb's had a phenomenal year."

But after a season of often less-than-ideal starts, Webber is keenly aware that the first few seconds of a race are proving to be his Achilles Heel, and pole could easily slip away when the lights go out on Sunday unless he ups his game.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
12.10.2013- Free Practice 3, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9
12.10.2013- Qualifying, 3rd position Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W04 and 2nd position Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9
12.10.2013- Qualifying, Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9 pole position
12.10.2013- Qualifying, Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9 pole position
12.10.2013- Qualifying, Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9 pole position
McLaren - Honda MCL32
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32 F1 launch, [Credit: McLaren]
McLaren MCL32, McLaren-Honda, [Credit: McLaren]
Fernando Alonso - McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren Honda MCL32
(L to R): Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team with team mate Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 and the Sahara Force India F1 VJM10.
(L to R): Andrew Green (GBR) Sahara Force India F1 Team Technical Director; Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1; Dr. Vijay Mallya (IND) Sahara Force India F1 Team Owner; and the Sahara Force India F1 VJM10.
(L to R): Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 with Alfonso Celis Jr (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 Development Driver and Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team.

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October 12, 2013 4:10 PM

Going to be an exciting first few laps without a doubt. Hamilton is going to be going for gaps, Weber will be trying to lead his 'mate, and Grosjean the wildcard is right there. The we have a frustrated Rosberg ahead of Alonso and Raikkonnen well back, both going for spots before T1. I don't suspect Weber will have much choice in "handing" over anything to Vettel, it will be more of an issue of can he keep Vettel from taking it from him. This is sort of a throw away race for Vettel. He has no reason to risk anything, just stay in front of Alonso and all is good, so there is no pressure for him, other than his insatiable desire to win. Could be a last stint war in the making, assuming everything lasts that long, and Weber can get off the lights at the start.

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