AAP

The Indian F1 Grand Prix was like Groundhog Day for Mark Webber.

For a second straight season, Webber was forced to retire from a race on the same day his team secured the Formula One world constructors' championship.

And, just like the United States Grand Prix in Texas last November, it was an alternator problem that cut short his race in India on Sunday.

The Australian was on track for a second-place finish behind victorious teammate - and now four-time world champion - Sebastian Vettel, before being ordered by his team to pull over with a third of the race remaining.

"Obviously I'm pretty disappointed with today's race, but there is not much I can do - the alternator went wrong with very short notice so we had to stop straight away," said Webber, who is retiring from Formula One at season's end.

"It's tough because we did a lot of things right this weekend, but I've got a smile on my face as I could not have done any more."

It was the fourth time this season the 37-year-old Webber has not finished a race.

In Korea, Webber's race was cut short when his RB9 car caught fire after it was hit by Adrian Sutil's Force India.

Fire also ended his hopes in Singapore the previous round following an engine failure on the final lap.

The wheels literally fell off his Chinese Grand Prix campaign in April, when his right rear tyre came spinning off, forcing his retirement.

Vettel, who has won 10 of the 16 races this season, has had to retire from only one.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner could only put the reliability issues down to bad luck.

"If you statistically look at the time the two drivers (Webber and Vettel) have been in the car together, they have had an equal amount of issues and failures," Horner said.

"Look at the KERS issue on Seb's car in qualifying in Japan a couple of weeks ago. There is no reason to it.

"It was just tremendously bad luck for Mark today and, until Renault get the engine back, it is impossible to know what has caused it.

"It was just desperately disappointing to happen while we were on course to achieve a 1-2 finish."

Vettel's victory secured him his fourth drivers' title and Red Bull its fourth consecutive contructors' world championship.