Mark Webber's final F1 appearance showed just what the sport will be missing next season, as the Australian produced a feisty farewell, but he was just as quick to offer recognition of the two men he joined on the podium.

While neutrals would have been delighted to see the veteran claim victory in his last race, Webber had to settle for second place as Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel continued his unbeaten streak, but his path to the podium was full of passing moves as he recovered from an early fifth place.

Having been passed by Lewis Hamilton into turn one, Webber also had to overcome the Briton's Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg and, on two separate occasions, friend and rival Fernando Alonso before setting off after Vettel.

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"I was happy with today, as it was a tricky grand prix for all of us, straight into dry conditions," he noted, "Both Seb and I had tough starts, and I was happy to lose out only to Lewis actually. I had a good little scrap in the first lap - Fernando and Lewis were having a good battle and then we settled into it. It looked like the Mercedes were struggling to hold the tempo of Fernando, myself and Seb, so we had to clear them as best we could.

"Then I managed to pass Fernando as well - there were some really nice moves and some good racing and I think [it was good] for the team to get a one-two today. Without the cleanest day in the pit-lane, we gave the red guys a sniff, but we managed to respond each time. I'm very proud to have raced with these guys at the end, and I raced pretty much all four or five of them at some stage today - apart from Seb, who was a little bit down the road. It was a good battle for all of us."

Joining Alonso and Vettel on the podium also allowed Webber to acknowledge the two drivers who had provided his stiffest opposition over the years.

"It's been a real pleasure for me to finish today's race like this and to finish on the podium with arguably the two best guys of the generation we're in at the moment," he claimed, "I hold them in very high esteem."

Having completed his final lap in an F1 car waving to the crowds, his helmet off, Webber refused to get emotional in the post-race press conference.

"I'm happy with the finish and I'm happy to go and do something different now," he insisted, "It was a special day for myself, all the people that helped me get here, and Australia. And the team, of course, had a nice car to finish. Renault as well, a 1-2 for them, last time with the V8s. Lots of things which are special, so thank you very much...."