Mark Webber says improved consistency, not retirement thoughts, top of his agenda
Red Bull driver pinpoints approach he needs to take in 2013
Last Updated: December 15, 2012 12:20pm
Mark Webber insists thoughts of retirement continue to be far from his mind and he aims to "put together a campaign" in 2013 in a renewed push for the world title.
Heading into 2012 the Australian veteran's future had been at the centre of attention with renewed speculation that the season might prove his last at Red Bull, or even F1 completely, given he turned 36 mid-way through the campaign.
However, on the back of impressive victories in Monaco and Silverstone which briefly saw him head team-mate Sebastian Vettel in the standings, Webber committed to a further season alongside the World Champion at Red Bull.
And with Michael Schumacher retiring, and Pedro de la Rosa appearing unlikely to stay on the grid in wake of HRT's demise, Webber will assume the mantle of the oldest driver on the grid in 2013.
However, while acknowledging the phase of his career at which he is currently at, the nine-times grand prix winner thinks he still has plenty of miles left on his racing clock.
"I'm not at the start of the career, I know that. I'm more towards the back end of my career," he was quoted as saying by Autosport.
"My goal is to put together a campaign. I have fought for championships and I've had some good and very special memories over the past few years.
"Your peak is all relative. You've got to piece it all together. And you've got to be honest with yourself and say 'look mate, it's the right time now' - and I don't think it is the right time now."
Despite being 16 points ahead of eventual 2012 title winner Vettel nine rounds into the season, Webber ultimately finished a massive 102 points adrift of his team-mate, and down in sixth place in the standings - his lowest placing since 2008.
An inconsistent run of race results following his Silverstone win put paid to any title aspirations and Webber admits he needs to rediscover his previous levels of consistency in 2013.
"We need to get some of that 2011 and '10 consistency back," Webber added.
"We lost some of that this year. Some of it was through no fault of my own, some was.
"I tried to force some issues where I was not being prepared to finish fifth or sixth, which you had to grab this year."