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EVENT COUNTDOWN

ALBERT PARK

12-15 MARCH 2015

Webber pledges Red Bull future

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.

Alonso's title to lose

Fernando Alonso believes he is in a strong position to win the Formula One World Championship after qualifying ahead of Mark Webber.

Ferrari's Alonso came in third on Saturday qualifying for the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, behind the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel and McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, but crucially ahead of nearest challenger Mark Webber.

The Red Bull man, eight points behind leader Alonso in the drivers' championship standings, could only manage fifth.

"In the race anything can happen," Alonso said.

Ferrari - Red Bull hold all the Aces

Ferrari Team Principal Stefano Domenicali considers Red Bull duo Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel a joint threat for the Formula One title.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso leads the Drivers' Championship by eight points heading into the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday, but Domenicali said the fact that Red Bull have two drivers left in the title race gives them an edge.

Aussie Ricciardo impresses again

Daniel Ricciardo set the pace on the second and final day of the young driver test at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.

The Australian, driving a Red Bull, set a best time of one minute 38.102 seconds from his 77 laps to finish seven-tenths quicker than the Renault of Jerome D'Ambrosio.

Ricciardo's time was 1.3 seconds quicker than that achieved by Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel in setting pole position for Sunday's season-ending grand prix, although it is generally accepted that the circuit was around 1.5secs quicker on Wednesday than it was over the weekend.

Webber qualifies fifth

Mark Webber's title hopes have been dealt a blow after the Australian qualified fifth for Monday morning's season deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel set a scorching pace to take pole.

Championship leader Fernando Alonso came in third, considerably denting Webber's chances of snatching the title.

Vettel's time of one minute 39.394 seconds was followed closely by McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, who kept his slim title hopes alive with 1:39.425 to come in second.

Williams keep Barrichello

Rubens Barrichello has re-signed with Williams, but team-mate Nico Hulkenberg is on his way out of the British Formula One team.

Barrichello, 38, has signed on for a second year with the UK constructor, meaning he will line-up for his 19th consecutive F1 season in 2011.

The Brazilian veteran became the first man to make 300 race starts at the Belgian GP in August and helped Williams to sixth place in constructors' championship.

The most experienced man in F1 joined Williams after one season with the now defunct Brawn GP in 2009.

Webber will take any win

Red Bull's Mark Webber admits he is prepared to win the Formula One championship with the assistance of team orders on Sunday.

The F1 season concludes at Abu Dhabi this weekend with an unprecedented four drivers vying to become world champion.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso holds a slim eight-point lead over Webber on the drivers' table with Webber's team-mate Sebastian Vettel a further seven points adrift.

No excuses from Alonso

Fernando Alonso refused to point the finger of blame at his Ferrari team after conceding the Formula One title to Sebastian Vettel.

Alonso was eight points ahead in the F1 drivers' standings going into Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but he could only manage a seventh-place finish at the Yas Marina circuit.

Ferrari's initial strategy appeared centred around holding off Australian Red Bull driver Mark Webber, who was second behind Alonso in the overall standings before the race.

Horner braced for tense finish

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is preparing for frayed nerves as he fears this season's battle for the Formula One world title will boil down to the last lap.

Earlier this season Horner suggested the fight would go to the final race, and has obviously been proven right as the showdown takes place in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

A degree of tension has eased given Red Bull won the constructors' championship last Sunday, remarkably doing so in six short years after the team was built from the wreckage of Jaguar's failure.

Vettel rapt with pole

Sebastian Vettel believes the title is within his reach after clinching pole at the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix.

Vettel headed McLaren's Lewis Hamilton with the quickest time of one minute 39.394 seconds, but more importantly topped championship leader Fernando Alonso who qualified in third (1:39.425), while Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber (1:39.925) was a disappointing fifth.

The 23-year-old German trails Alonso in the drivers' standings by 15 points while Webber is in second, eight points behind.

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