Mark Webber has said that he is not sure that Red Bull’s decision to put him on a three-stop strategy was the right call as the pole-sitter failed to put up a challenge to race winner Sebastian Vettel on Sunday in Japan.
Webber lost the lead at the first corner to Lotus driver Romain Grosjean, staying in second place until his early pit stop in an attempt to exercise the undercut. Although this did work, the early stop put Webber onto a three stop strategy that meant he could not catch two-stopping Vettel in the final few laps.
“We were on the back foot a bit after Romain’s great start,” Webber said. “I wanted to put pressure on him for the win. Sebastian was on a different strategy to me and in the end it worked out pretty similar. It’s hard to know which was right [two or three stops] as we were trying to cover off Romain. I did my best and in the end it was a good result.”
The Australian driver came out of the pits in third place after his final stop, but he managed to pass Grosjean thanks to his fresher set of option tires during the final stint. However, the time spent behind the Lotus driver allowed Vettel to pull away at the front and go on to win the race by seven seconds.
Having missed out on victory in Japan, Webber will be keen on picking up one last win in his final four races ahead of his retirement at the end of the season.