Mark Webber has heaped praise upon teammate Sebastian Vettel after the German driver dominated proceedings during today’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to win the race by over thirty seconds.
The Australian driver had started on pole position but dropped down to third place off the start. However, a good performance enabled him to pass Nico Rosberg for second place and stay there until the checkered flag. Although he was frustrated to not have converted pole into his first win of the season, Webber had nothing but praise for his teammate.
“Sebastian was in another category today,” he said. “So probably this was the maximum result, even if we got away in front. He was quick and very, very strong. It was then obviously a recovery job against Nico who got a better start than both of us.”
The relationship between Webber and Vettel has been tenuous during their five seasons as teammates, but the Australian driver conceded that his Red Bull stablemate is in the form of his life.
“I think he’s in a sweet spot, for sure. Obviously I’ve got a few gray hairs now, I’m doing my best but yeah, he’s driving well.
“In the end I did my best today. It’s my equal personal best around here so would have liked to have got the win but that was Seb’s today.”
Webber has two more chances to claim his tenth career victory before his retirement at the end of the season ahead of his move to Porsche’s LMP1 campaign in 2014.
SAKHIR, Bahrain – Fernando Alonso will take his first step towards a possible entry to the 24 Hours of Le Mans when he tests an LMP1 car for Toyota on Sunday at the Bahrain International Circuit.
McLaren Formula 1 driver and two-time world champion Alonso is hoping to appear at Le Mans next year as part of his bid to become just the second man in history to complete the ‘Triple Crown of Motorsport’.
Alonso has already completed one leg by winning the Monaco Grand Prix twice, and made his debut at the Indianapolis 500 in May with McLaren-Honda-Andretti, retiring late on due to an engine failure.
Momentum is building for Alonso to make his Le Mans debut with Toyota in 2018, starting with a first sports car run-out in the FIA World Endurance Championship’s end-of-season rookie test in Bahrain on Sunday.
Alonso arrived in Bahrain on Saturday to watch the six-hour WEC race as an invited guest of the Bahraini royal family, with his participation in the test being confirmed after the race.
“We are very excited that Fernando will test our car. When he visited us in Cologne everyone who met him could sense his enthusiasm and passion for our sport; he is a true racer,” Toyota Gazoo Racing team president Hisatake Murata said.
“We very much respect his interest in different forms of motorsport and it is a pleasure to offer him this chance to drive a hybrid LMP1 car. It will be interesting to hear his feedback on the TS050 Hybrid.”
Alonso will share running in the Toyota car with 19-year-old Thomas Laurent, who received a test as a prize for his star display during his rookie WEC campaign this year, while regular Toyota racer Mike Conway will also complete laps.