Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Motor Racing

Mark Webber aiming for 'perfect weekend' in India


Mark Webber is determined Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel will have to earn his fourth world title the hard way after setting his sights on victory in this weekend's Indian Grand Prix.

Webber has had to watch on in frustration as Vettel has moved to the brink of another championship on the back of nine wins in 15 races this season, which has seen the German establish a 90-point lead over Ferrari's Fernando Alonso with four rounds remaining.

Webber, who will retire from F1 at the end of the season, is yet to take the chequered flag in 2013 and is keen to avoid signing off his career with a first winless campaign since 2008.

The Australian will certainly have his work cut out if he is to deny Vettel the champagne come Sunday. In two previous visits to India, Vettel recorded lights-to-flag wins - leading 120 laps out of 120 across both races - and is in the middle of a five-race winning sequence stretching back to the summer's Belgian Grand Prix.

"He's on a phenomenal run obviously and, as you said, his stats here in the last few years he's been pretty strong," said Webber.

"It needs a perfect weekend - pole, perfect race, perfect strategy, perfect everything to obviously put him off the top step, so that's got to be the plan."

Webber concedes, however, that the failure of any other driver to take the fight to Vettel in the second half of the season has diluted the spectacle.

"Some of the championships [Vettel has won] have been tight, some less tight," he said. "Obviously 2011 and this year have been pretty much a non-event but 2010 and 2012 were up to the last race. I think he's certainly done an incredible job.

"He's just super consistent and that's what's made him strong, and also getting the most out of the package.

"Obviously the car's been quick and he's capitalised on a lot of venues. He's won with a dominant car but also he's won with a car which at some races is probably not [the strongest]. That's also been a quality of his."

Although the clock is now very much ticking on Webber's 12-year F1 career before he joins up with Porsche in sports cars, the 37-year-old insists he is not desperate to win again before the curtain comes down in Brazil on November 24.

"I would never have thought when I left Australia the results and the career that I've had. So another win or so, of course it would be nice but it's not going to change my retirement too much," he said.

"My mentality hasn't really changed [since announcing his retirement] from the start of the year. It would be nice to get a top result before the year's out but...yeah... it'll be four weeks and that's it."