Mark Webber has admitted it would be nice to get another win before he quits the sport at the end of this season, although it is not going to make a 'huge' difference either way.
Webber has taken at least one victory every year since his inaugural success in Germany in 2009. However, time is running out for him to maintain that record, and while he was the 'moral' victor in Malaysia, with Red Bull team-mate, Sebastian Vettel 'stealing' the win after ignoring team orders, the fact remains he hasn't got higher than second in 2013.
Indeed while he has taken two pole positions in the last three races, both times he has failed to convert, and once again he was outclassed on Sunday in Abu Dhabi, with Vettel dominating and taking his seventh triumph in succession, more than 30 seconds up on the Aussie at the chequered flag.
Asked if it will make a difference if he doesn't win in his final season, Webber replied: “Well, it would be nice [to get a victory – my tenth in F1]. I've challenged for a few victories here and there this year but was not strong enough when it counted.
“In the end Seb was too strong today for the win. I've got a couple more races to go though, so all I can do is do my best. It's not going to be a huge, huge difference [if I don't do it] but it would be nice to get it as any Grand Prix victory is always special. We'll keep pushing and see how we go in the next two races,” he added.
Meanwhile, looking back on the race at the Yas Marina Circuit, Webber rejected claims that his poor start was critical: “I don't think what happened off the line was decisive. Sebastian was [just] in another category today. So probably this [second] was the maximum result, even if we got away in front. He was quick and very, very strong,” he continued.
“It was then obviously a recovery job against Nico [Rosberg] who got a better start than both of us. We know starts are not exactly my strong point, especially on these little babies - on the little Pirellis. So, anyway, we got away and then got into the race from there.
“The softs, I had a reasonable feeling for them when they were fresh but I had no real feeling for those tyres when they were scrubbed. So, I was very slow in the first stint. Very, very poor feeling with the rear, and then that makes it even worse. You have more and more slip and temperature control problems and all of those type of things. Anyway, it was regrouping at the stops after that and I think my pace wasn't too bad after that but Seb was well and truly gone. Incredibly quick pace from him.”
Pressed on what was wrong with the tyres in the first stint, Webber added: “When we go to this type of range of tyre it is probably a little bit more high maintenance for me to feel whether the tyre is in during the race. It's a little bit frustrating but that's the way it is. If you want to go quick, you've got to go - obviously it's such a fine, delicate balance and then you can feed the tyre a lot if you treat it in a different way but to get into that window is sometimes not obvious.
“I think that we've seen – like Korea, China, a few other races where we are probably a bit more on the front tyre. Of course I'm very fast, I'm quick but when we're on the rears it's a bit harder for me to be as competitive at certain times. That's the way it is. The primes weren't too bad, I didn't think we were going too badly on those in terms of feeling, anyway, but that's the way it's been since 2011. I'm not going to learn now. Old dog, new tricks, it's over,” he concluded.