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Webber pledges Red Bull future



31 MAR - 03 APR 2016

Mark Webber has pledged his future to Red Bull for next season and was philosophical after missing out on the Formula One World Championship to teammate Sebastian Vettel.

Webber, 33, led the drivers' standings for much of the season, but saw his lead whittled away in the closing weeks by both Vettel and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

Failing to finish the Korean Grand Prix in October ultimately cost the Australian, as Vettel claimed the final two races of the season, including Sunday's Abu Dhabi GP, to beat his more experienced rivals to the title and become the youngest world champion in F1 history in the process.

The inter-team rivalry at Red Bull was a key talking point of the season, with Vettel seemingly benefitting from preferential treatment at Webber's expense on several occasions.

Despite the previous hostilities, the former Jaguar and Williams man was gracious enough to offer his congratulations to the victor during the Red Bull celebrations at the Yas Marina circuit.

"I fully congratulate Seb on the world championship," Webber said.

"There were a lot of positives this year. This weekend didn't turn out and it's a shame. There's good time to reflect in the next few weeks and look at the highs and the lows, but that's the way sport is sometimes."

"There are quite a few emotions of course when you come so close to the top and you just miss out. I tried my absolute hardest. I have great guys around me and we did what we could, but at the end it wasn't enough and that's where it's at. Two championships for the team is not a bad year for us."

Fifth on the gird and facing an uphill battle from the start, Webber came in for a tyre change with just 11 laps gone, but the gamble failed to pay off.

"Early in the race obviously we had to make a few calls to get out of that position we were in," he said.

"It wasn't too bad until then. Going for the harder tyre pretty early obviously hurt Fernando (Alonso) because he had to cover me off, so in a way it was a bit of a team effort I suppose, but obviously I didn't get the result I wanted."

Speculation has mounted that Webber's dissatisfaction with the hierarchy at Red Bull may lead to a move elsewhere next season, but when asked if he would be with the Austrian team and challenging for the championship in 2011, the answer was 'yes'.

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