Top 10 of 2012: Number 7

This driver, after the singapore grand prix, arguably had the bast car on the grid. However, he never managed to capitalize on this and never won a race after the British Grand prix.

7. Mark Webber

In Melbourne, Red Bull were on the backfoot a little in terms of coming to grips with the new exhaust regulations. Mark did a decent job to qualify 5th, one spot ahead of his teammate. In the race, he made a bad start and lost a few positions and spent most of the race trying to get them back. The retirements of Schumacher and Grojean helped him out a little, and by the end of the race he was 4th.

In Malaysia, qualifying wasn’t great again. The race was a bit if a lottery in terms of strategy so he did a good job to bring the car home 4th again on the wet but drying track.

In China, which turned out to be one of the closest races in the whole season (apart from the leader), Mark did a good job again to finish 4th. At this point, he was 4th in the championship.

In Bahrain, Mark’s teammate made his breakthrough with his first pole and win of the season. Mark, on the other hand, underperformed again on a weekend where he had arguably the best car in the field. He finished 4th once again, in desperate need to make his mark on the championship.

This mark didn’t come in Spain, as Webber missed Q3 for the first time in the season. The race was unproductive as well, as a near race long battle with Nico Hulkenberg, one in which he lost, meant he ended the day without a single point.

In Monaco, Mark was back in his element, on a track in which he had already won before. He backed this up with a superb qualifying to go 2nd. Michael’s Schumacher’s penalty gave Mark his first dream pole on a track where grid position is paramount. In the race, the Australian resisted tough pressure from his teammate and Nico Rosberg to take his fist win in convincing fashion, as the track became increasingly wet from rain.

In Canada, things returned back to earth a bit, as mark qualified 4th. He went backwards in the race as the charging Grojean and Perez blew away the competition. Mark ended the day a disappointing 7th.

Disaster struck back in Spain for the European Grand Prix. A problem before qualifying meant Mark didn’t have the necessary pace to challenge. He qualified am extremely disappointing 19th. The race didn’t look promising. On Sunday though, Mark avoided the crashes and used the safety car to his advantage to be on the reign tires for the last few laps of the race. He and Michael Schumacher made amazing charges through the field to make up positions on their competition. In the end, Mark just missed out in the podium to finish in his almost customary 4th place. It was a position well deserved, as Mark delivered again on Sunday.

In England, Mark did a great job in the wet qualifying session to get on the front row. The race was a little more straightforward as he made a good start. He stayed with leader Alonso for the whole race and made his move with just a few laps to go. This was a classic example of being on the right tire at the right time. Little did Mark know, however, that this would be the last time he would stand on the top step of the podium for the rest of the season.

Another wet qualifying session in Germany made the going a bit tough, but mark did a good job to go 3rd. A gearbox penalty made his race more difficult but there was reason to be optimistic as the Red Bull was proving to be one of the fastest cars on race pace. This pace was nowhere to be found on Sunday. Mark made mo progress throughout the whole 67 laps and finished 8th. This would mark the start of a stretch of disappointing races for the Australian.

Marks results for the next five races were: 8-6-DNF-11-9. On two of these occasions, he failed to make Q3. This was bad news for his championship hopes, but he was still within a slim chance of the title by the start of the Korean Grand Prix.

He did himself a favor by taking pole for the race in Korea. His teammate, now on a remarkable race winning streak, eventually took the race win, but a second place for mark webber meant Red Bull took the first 1-2 of the season for any team.

India ended in a similar fashion, but a KERS problem throughout the race meant he had no chance of holding back Alonso for 2nd place. He almost lost 3rd place to Hamilton in the end but held on just long enough to take 15 hard fought points. By now, the championship, although mathematically a possibility, was all but realistically gone.

In Abu Dhabi, mark qualified on the front row, but made a terrible start, losing about 3 places. This set the tone for the rest of the evening as he made little progress. His teammate,now ever, managed to get on the podium after starting from the pit lane. Getting involved in the Di Resta-Perez crash was not his fault, and a disappointing end to an already disappointing race.

In Austin, Mark again had a good qualifying, but an alternator failure (a recurring problem for the Red Bull team) ended his day prematurely.

In the chaotic Brazilian Grand Prix, mark stayed out of trouble (apart from giving his title-chasing teammate a hard time in the first corner) to finish 4th.

In a season where his teammate took his 3rd consecutive drivers’ championship, Mark will always be compared to him as a bit of a letdown. While Mark did have some stellar races, he had way too many unnecessary disappointing races that ruined any chance he had at his first world title. Too many average performances are starting to define this clearly, above average driver.


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