Red Bull boss Christian Horner was delighted to see Mark Webber go out on a high in Brazil with a charging drive to second place in Brazil.
In the course of it Webber passed Fernando Alonso twice, and also got by Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
“It’s fantastic for Mark to sign off his F1 career with a really strong drive,” said Horner. “I said to him before the podium are you sure you want to retire? Your move on Lewis, around the outside into Turn 5 or wherever it was, was massively impressive. It’s great for him to sign off while he’s still at the top of his game.
“Mark had to pass [Alonso] twice, once after the start, and then obviously after he has a slowish pit stop. We had a problem with the left rear gun, which dropped him just behind Fernando, and he had to pass him again. Thereafter it was a matter of managing the tires we were on and the gap. Mark always had enough in hand.”
Horner said that Webber has made a big contribution to the team over the years.
“In the seven years that Mark has been with the team it’s been an incredible journey for him and the team. He’d got one podium to his name and a great reputation. I’d tried to sign him a few years earlier than that to drive for the team I had in F3000 at the time. And so his pace was never in doubt. He’s grown since he’s been here. It’s tremendous to see the success he’s achieved, and of course he’s played such a big part in four constructors’ World Championships, the development of the car.
“Adrian and all the technical guys have all enjoyed working with him, and found his feedback invaluable, his pace, the speed that he’s had, has been extremely impressive. It’s been unlucky for him that he’s had a team mate called Sebastian Vettel. So many sportsmen go out with a bit of a whimper, he’s still at the top of his game, and he’s signed off in absolutely style.”
He also agreed that it could not have been easy to be up against a team mate who was at the top of his game.
“You’ve got to be a bit of a tough character. People underestimate, I think, how good Sebastian is. He’s a very, very fine racing driver. Of course it’s hugely difficult for any sportsman. He’s brushed himself down, he’s got himself motivated, sometimes in a manner that might be uncomfortable for the team to deal with. That’s worked for him, and he’s got the absolutely best out of himself.”