Most important session of the year, says Webber

ABU DHABI - Championship contender Red Bull’s Mark Webber reckoned it was a pretty good day at the Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit on Friday.

By James Jose

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Published: Sat 13 Nov 2010, 12:53 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 3:59 PM

The Australian finished fourth in both the practice sessions. He was 1.080 seconds off the pace of teammate and pace-setter Sebastian Vettel in the first free practice, before ending fourth quickest to McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton in the second session. The 34-year-old was 0.427 seconds off the pace to Hamilton.

Webber has a crack at his first title but he has to fend off the challenge from Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and his Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel. Alonso leads the standings going into the title decider. The Spaniard has an eight-point lead over Webber and a 15-point cushion over Vettel.

Webber said that it was the same guys at the top. “It was the usual suspects in the front today. It was not a bad day for me,” Webber said at the end of the practice session at the team garage.

The man from New South Wales said that the car was in good shape. “It has been pretty good. We have a little bit of work to do but it should be ok,” said Webber.

Webber said that the car was especially strong on the straights. The Yas Marina Circuit has the longest straight in Formula One, measured at 1,173 metres.

Webber said that the focus would be to get a good qualifying result on Saturday. “This will be the most important qualifying session of the year and I will do my best,” he said.

Red Bull wrapped up the Constructors’ title in Brazil last weekend and Webber praised team principal Christian Horner. “He has done an amazing job in such a short period of time, running a new team. He has great people around him and we have done a good job. Horner has learnt a lot this year. He is a young guy team principal but has a lot of experience, which is a good thing. He understands the problems very well and makes you feel good. He shares a good rapport with everyone. We won the Constructors’ title. So he is special for the team,” Webber said.

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