Mark Webber did not disguise the antipathy between him and team mate Sebastian Vettel when he appeared on BBC’s Top Gear yesterday.
Asked if he will miss Vettel when he leaves Formula One to join the World Endurance Championship next year, Webber said: “Probably not a huge amount, no.”
“I think in a competitive environment obviously there’s always going to be a bit of needle,” he added. “There’s a lot of history between us obviously that’s gone before.”
The pair had the latest in a series of rows in Malaysia this year when Vettel was ordered to hold position behind Webber at the end of the race but refused, and passed his team mate to take the win.
Webber has since announced he will leave F1 at the end of the season. “The time is right for me,” he said. “A bit of a break from what I’ve been doing for the last 14 years. I’m going to race with Porsche.”
He admitted Formula One today has become focused on tire preservation and, from next year, fuel conservation will be play a major role: “It is very different from how it used to be. But that’s the way it is, we’ve got to learn and get on with it and we’re supposed to be at the top of our game.”
“But you’ve got to be able to push. In Formula One it’s about us boys absolutely on the limit all the time. There’s a big regulation change next year, we’re going to have to save fuel.”
Webber also had another go at the series’ popular Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car challenge. Although he wasn’t able to beat Lewis Hamilton’s record lap of 1’42.9, he did beat Vettel with a time of 1’43.1.
MotorSportsTalk continues its review of the Verizon IndyCar Series field, driver-by-driver, with a look at Ryan Briscoe. Despite not having a ride to start the year, Briscoe ended strongly courtesy of a series of strong runs at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
Ryan Briscoe, No. 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
- 2014: 11th Place, Best Finish 4th, Best Start 4th, 1 Top-5, 11 Top-10, 5 Laps Led, 12.8 Avg. Start, 10.6 Avg. Finish
- 2015: 18th Place (8 starts), Best Finish 5th, Best Start 2nd, 1 Top-5, 4 Top-10, 10 Laps Led, 17.8 Avg. Start, 12.0 Avg. Finish
For those who slag on Briscoe as being undeserving of top level equipment, his 2015 second half provided a friendly reminder of his overall ability level in what might be less than the best machinery.
Briscoe was thrust into the No. 5 car under trying circumstances to begin with, getting all of an hour’s worth practice replacing the injured James Hinchcliffe ahead of the Indianapolis 500. But subsequent drives on the ovals there, Texas, Fontana, Milwaukee and Iowa – even if the results were less than ideal – showcased a driver determined to show to the paddock he still had it, and then some. His defense against Juan Pablo Montoya in Sonoma was nothing short of brilliant, and courtesy of double points he actually finished ahead of full-season driver Stefano Coletti.
The Australian immediately gelled with the SPM team, engineer Allen McDonald and race strategist Robert Gue. He continues to prove he’s an asset, as he has enjoyed multiple opportunities to extend his career in various arenas of motorsport in both open-wheel and sports cars, the latter of which he won at both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with Corvette Racing this year.
Following an early retirement for Mercedes AMG Petronas teammate Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton has closed even more on his third Formula 1 World Championship.
View it above in the race recap from the 2015 Russian Grand Prix.