Mark Webber is hoping for a “smooth” final five weekends of the season to allow him to end his Formula 1 career with some good results.
The Australian has suffered some misfortune in recent races, with a puncture and then being collected by the spinning Adrian Sutil ruining his Korean GP and a radiator leak striking in the closing stages in Singapore.
He has managed only four podiums so far this season and will leave Formula 1 to join Porsche’s sports car program after November’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
“The pace hasn’t been too bad this year but we know we’ve missed a huge amount of points this year through a lot of misfortune,” said Webber. “I’m looking forward to Brazil in lots of ways in terms of getting more results and having more races to get a nicer finish to the year than we have had in this middle part.
“Just some smooth weekends, that’s all we need to be able to get some nice results.”
Webber will compete at Suzuka this weekend with a car built up around a new chassis as a result of damage from the impact with Sutil in Korea. But he will continue to use the same engine and gearbox as they survived the initial impact and subsequent fire.
While the Australian does not blame his problems in Korea on technical issues, he describes his run of problems as “uncharacteristic” of Red Bull.
“There have been quite a few challenging technical issues which have been difficult to address,” said Webber. “Given that it has been quite stagnant in terms of technical development, there have been a few [problems] that have slipped through the net in the last six months, which have been surprising to a few of us.”
Friend and rival Fernando Alonso is hopeful that Webber’s luck will turn to allow the Australian to sign off with a tenth career win.
“When things go on the wrong side, everything goes wrong,” said Alonso. “For Mark, [he has] lost motivation a little bit, is not enjoying F1 as before, he decides to retire and then bad luck comes at the same time. It is a shame for him and I wish him good luck for the remaining five races.
“It will be great if he can say bye-bye to F1 with one grand prix win at least and celebrate that weekend.”