November 2nd, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Mark Webber's pole position for the Abu Dhabi is his 2nd pole of the 2013 season and 13th of his career, which draws him level with his illustrious fellow Australian Sir Jack Brabham.
Brabham started from pole position 13 times in a career that included 3 World Drivers' Championships and 14 race victories. Webber has not won the title and never will - he is leaving Formula One at the end of 2013 and the title has already been decided in favour of Sebastian Vettel - but he has nevertheless had a successful career with nine victories to his name so far. With three races left in the 2013 season, including tomorrow's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which he will start from pole position, Webber has three opportunities left to improve on his victory tally.
Australia has a rich heritage in Formula One. The country has produced two World Champions - Sir Jack Brabham and Alan Jones - who won four titles between them. Webber is the third Australian to have won Formula One races, after Brabham and Jones. Between them, Brabham, Jones and Webber have recorded 35 F1 victories, putting Australia ninth on the list of victories by country.
While Webber is leaving Formula One at the end of 2013, his place at the World Champion Red Bull team will be taking by another Australian, Daniel Ricciardo. Ricciardo has yet to win a race, claim a pole position or stand on the podium, but he is likely to achieve all three of those next season if Red Bull can build another car that is as quick as this year's RB9.
Mark Webber has never won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - the four races that have been held so far were won by Sebastian Vettel (2009, 2010), Lewis Hamilton (2011) and Kimi Raikkonen (2012), and while this is Webber's last opportunity to win the race, it is also his best opportunity. Overtaking is difficult around the Yas Marina Circuit and he is starting from pole position.
Mark Webber reacted to his qualifying session as follows:
"This weekend so far has gone pretty smoothly for us. It's not the easiest venue, because of the changing temperatures. We run in the afternoon and then at night, so you have to be on top of the changing conditions as a driver and also from an engineering perspective.
"It wasn't the most electric start to Q1 or Q2, but we made changes to the car as the session went on and I got more comfortable. I knew I had to work on certain sections of the track which Sebastian had already been doing a good job on, so I had to try and match him as well as continuing to keep the areas where I was doing a good job too, so overall I'm happy with the pole.
"We're really looking forward to the race tomorrow."