• Australian Grand Prix

Webber expects Red Bull and McLaren battle

ESPNF1 Staff
March 18, 2012 « Hamilton unable to explain performance gap to Button | Alonso relieved to finish fifth »
Mark Webber and Sebasian Vettel were fourth and second, with Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton first and third © Getty Images

Mark Webber admits that the early signs are for a season fought between Red Bull and McLaren after he finished fourth in the Australian Grand Prix.

McLaren locked out the front row in qualifying while Webber and his team-mate Sebastian Vettel could only line up fifth and sixth respectively. In the race, however, it was clear that Red Bull was the biggest threat to McLaren, and although Jenson Button took the lead in to turn one and led throughout, the top four were covered by just 4.5s come the chequered flag following a safety car with 16 laps to go.

Webber said the experience within the teams had led to them both performing well and point to a good battle between the two constructors.

"Well we've done one race but it looks like we're pretty well organised - both teams - and we've executed pretty clean races from both sides," Webber said. "Obviously the drivers are very experienced as well with getting the cars home. In the end McLaren had track position from qualy so we had a bit of catching up to do and in the end we all bunched up after the safety car and pretty much followed each other home. So let's see how next week goes, it's very early days but the impression is that we seem to look like we're going to be in a battle."

After ending the first lap in tenth place, Webber said he would need to analyse his race start but was pleased with the rest of his performance.

"Very happy after the first lap. I think I need to see if I did anything wrong on the start, you never know; sometimes it can be completely your fault and sometimes it can't, I need to check the software side of things. I mean Rosberg was beside me ... he got an unbelievable start, I think he passed Seb as well. A few guys made some good starts and we then had to regroup from there, so my driving from there I was very satisfied with."