Mark Webber admits Red Bull on ‘back foot’

Updated: Sep 11, 2012, 15:04 PM IST

Sydney: Mark Webber has conceded Red Bull has been forced on the back foot after a double retirement at the Italian Grand Prix wrecked their chances of defending their Formula One constructor’s world titles.

The 34-year-old Australian, who was forced to retire two laps from the end of a race dominated by McLaren`s Lewis Hamilton, said the team had a few technical issues.

German teammate and defending champion Sebastian Vettel was also forced to abandon the race after being hit earlier with a drive-through penalty for forcing Fernando Alonso`s Ferrari off the circuit.

“At the end of the race, I had no rear tyres left. I was obviously pushing hard and, for the sake of a couple of points, I could have not pushed as hard,” Webber said.

“The rear tyres were completely finished though. And it was a poor day for us as a team. I`m not sure the last time it happened. We`ve had a few technical issues -- and we put ourselves on the back foot today,” he added.

The double retirement was Red Bull`s first in 2012 and left them under pressure to hang on to their crowns.

In the drivers` championship, Vettel has slipped back to fourth on 140 points with Webber fifth on 132 behind Alonso on 179, while in the constructors` title race their lead is now only 29 points ahead of the in-form McLaren, which have taken out the last three races.

Red Bull has 272 points ahead of McLaren on 243, with Ferrari third on 226.