Aston Clinton F1 star Mark Webber recovered from a disastrous start to take a brilliant second place in his last ever British Grand Prix at nearby Silverstone on Sunday afternoon.
Webber was fourth on the grid but a terrible start saw him run to 14th and with a damaged wing at the end of lap one. But the Aussie veteran used fresh rubber to complete what had already been an impressive resurgence which was rewarded with second place on the podium behind winner Nico Rosberg.
The grand prix will be remembered for a number of tyre failures but it was also a more than fitting swansong to the Stag at Mentmore owner’s British GP career after he announced he would be quitting F1 at the end of the season to race supercars for Porsche.
Webber had said he was disappointed to qualify behind bitter rival and teammate Seb Vettel but it was in fact his second place finish that indirectly served to hold the German’s title lead at no less than 21 points given Webber passed both Alonso and Raikkonen.
Talking ahead of what turned out to be a dramatic race, Webber had said he loved racing at Silverstone because he gets to wake up in his own bed and is able to run with his dogs here at home in the Vale on race day morning.
Webber, who won the British GP for the second time last season, says the more relaxing build-up to a grand prix always stands him in good stead.
And spurred on by arguably the biggest support of any of the overseas drivers, the 33-year-oldhopes to make it a trio of wins at the famous circuit this weekend.
“I love racing at Silverstone,” Webber said.
“I’ve had a fair bit of success there over the years and my win last year was particularly satisfying because the weather was crazy all weekend.
“The first dry running we had was in the race itself, when Fernando (Alonso) and I were on different tyre strategies.
“I knew that if I could stay in touch with him during the early stages, I would be in with a chance at the end, and that’s what happened.
“The British Grand Prix is one of the best races of the year in terms of atmosphere.
“The fans are great because they’re very knowledgeable and they are very open in their support of all the drivers.
“Jenson (Button), Lewis (Hamilton), Paul (di Resta) and Max (Chilton) will get the most noise, but I have a good level of support as well. The drivers’ parade is always fun.
“Another enjoyable aspect of the race weekend is the fact that I get to stay at home. I don’t go near a hotel room, which is a novelty, and I commute 40 minutes each way from my home near Aylesbury.
“There’s nothing quite like going for a run with the dogs on race morning!
“Red Bull Racing is based just down the road from Silverstone, in Milton Keynes, so the race is a chance for the guys and girls in the factory to come and see what’s going on.
“Let’s hope we can achieve another top result for them this year.”
After starting his F1 career with the Italian Minardi team, Webber has driven for British-based teams ever since including Jaguar (2003 -04), Williams (2005 -06) and Red Bull Racing (2007-present).