Webber retires from F1 on a high with second place finish

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Mark Webber has retired from Formula One on a high after producing a fine display during today’s Brazilian Grand Prix to finish in second place and set the fastest lap of the race.

Webber had started the race in fourth place, but he made a characteristically-poor start to lose a position off the line. However, he slowly picked off Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso to move back up into second place where he remained for the rest of the race despite the tricky conditions and a mistake in the pits by the team.

“It was a very good finish to my career, a good fight with all the guys I’ve enjoyed fighting with for most of my career,” Webber said on the podium after the race. “Seb, Fernando, Lewis, Nico, all the guys which have been in the window for the last five or six years.”

Webber was quick to thank both his team and his supporters for backing him throughout his eleven year career that has seen him take part in 215 grands prix.

“I want to thank the team, I enjoyed the last few laps, it was a very nice way for me to finish. I want to thank everyone in Australia, I wouldn’t be here where I am without the support I had in the early days, and it’s been a thoroughly enjoyable career.

“A great journey, one which I’m proud of, and there’s been so many people who have played a special role in my career. They know who they all are. Enjoy watching Formula One next year with these guys, but I’m off to Porsche, looking forward to it.”

The Australian driver will move to Porsche’s newly-revived Le Mans programme in 2014, but his final race in Formula One was a memorable one after a fine performance despite the wet conditions. He will be replaced at Red Bull next season by compatriot Daniel Ricciardo.

IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama final practice report

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Will Power posted the fastest lap in the third practice session for the Grand Prix of Alabama with a speed of 122.953 mph.

Rookie Robert Wickens (122.552 mph) was second fast, foretelling a continuation of his incredible rookie season.

Scott Dixon (122.237), Ryan Hunter-Reay (122.231) and Alexander Rossi (122.106) rounded out the top five.

The practice was interrupted several times for incidents. 

Ed Jones spun off track in turn five after locking up his brakes with 30 minutes remaining in practice three. He was able to drive back to the pits under his own power.

With 20 minutes still on the clock, Jordan King took a trip into the fence after posting a fastest lap of 121.753 mph. He sustained substantial left side damage to his car and came back to the pits on the hook.

“I’m annoyed really,” King said afterward on the live stream at IndyCar.com. “I slightly locked the inside front, then just stayed off onto the grass and that was it. But I wasn’t really even pushing that hard.”

With two minutes remaining, Charlie Kimball lost power and pulled off the track, bringing an end to the practice session.

Dixon also had an off-road excursion.