AUSTRALIAN STAR MARK WEBBER rates his battle with team-mate Sebastian Vettel as the highlight of a spectacular season which netted the Red Bull driver his first ever Grand Prix win.
The 33-year-old entered the current campaign under pressure to produce despite sustaining a severe broken leg late last year during his own charity event in Taasmania.
Paired with rising star Vettel, the youngest ever race winner in Formula One, the season was expected to be a litmus test of Webber?s ability, with many predicting the German would consign his rival to the scrap bin at the end of the year.
However, Webber defied all expectations to take the challenge up to Vettel, emerging mid-season as a challenger in the race for the world title as he claimed a debut win, pole position and five podium finishes by round 10.
But despite reaching a number of career milestones, Webber said the highlight of his season has been his in-team rivalry with Vettel.
?Everyone was saying he was going to write off my career but that's not been the case. That is the biggest satisfaction of the season,? he told London?s Evening Standard.
While Webber?s title challenge has stumbled, with a succession of non-points finishes forcing him out of the race, the former Williams driver said he is still thrilled at his achievements this season.
?I've had some sensational moments and there have been times that have been really frustrating. But I would have taken my first grand prix and where I am in the championship [fourth] at the start of the season. In fact, I would have bitten your bloody hand off for that,? he said.
With Ferrari and McLaren expected to bounce back next season, Red Bull Racing is expected to have a more difficult battle next season to clinch race victories as Webber enters the final year of his contract.
However, the Queanbeyan-native refuses to be drawn into making predictions about his future.
?I haven't got a crystal ball so I don't know what's in store. It could be even easier,? he said.