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Webber Produces Impressive Win in Germany

July 12, 2009

Mark Webber won his first Grand Prix in Germany this afternoon in spectacular fashion, leading home teammate Sebastian Vettel for a Red Bull one-two.

Despite receiving a drive through penalty for tapping Rubens Barrichello going into the first corner, Webber held his nerve, and stormed to victory, to become the first Australian in 28 years to win a Grand Prix.

The right call from the team at the right time saw Webber take his penalty as late as possible, at the same time as Barrichello made the first of three stops on lap 14. Webber maintained his lead after taking his penalty, and following his first pit stop five laps later, rejoined in fourth behind Barrichello, who was being held up by the Ferrari of Felipe Massa.

Massa subsequently cost Barrichello time, giving Webberthe opportunity to make up for the time lost in his drive through. Following a problem with the fuel rig in his second stop, Barrichello was soon being chased down by teammate JensonButton, and after bothdrivers pitted for the third and final time, Button managed to catch and pass Rubens for fifth, leaving Barrichello in a mood in sixth, having lost the opportunity of a win earlier on in the race.

It seemed Webber was having enough luck for both him and Rubens, and as the Brazilian’s hopes of winning ebbed away, Mark was busy clawing back the time lost in the penalty. As the front runners one-by-one dived into the pits he regained the lead on lap 33. From then on, he had victory in his sights.

For Lewis Hamilton, who came to Germany withupgrades on his MP4-24, and hoping for a better result than the last few races, it seemed his race was over in the first two corners. Despite an impressive getaway for the reigning champion, contact with Webber’sfront-left-end-plate left him with a right-rear puncture, and by the time he had exited the pits at the end of the first lap, he was last and lapped. He was soon to be passed by the whole field and spent the remainder of the race at the back of the pack.

Heikki Kovalainen, who made a good getaway off the grid to third, bunched the pack up in the first stint, and after being caught and passed in the first round of pit stops, finished in eighth. Sebastian Vettel, was not so lucky off the grid, but following a great strategy from Red Bull, leap frogged the Brawns and the Ferrari of Felipe Massa, and finished second. Massahimself started in eighth, and after making a clean getaway and running long into the first stint, managed to bring home his Ferrari in third, taking the final step on the podium.

Adrian Sutil, who produced the best qualifying result for Force India on Saturday, seemed to be running well, and by the end of the first stint, having been fuelled the heaviest out of the top ten on the grid, was up to third. However, after exiting the pits after his first pit stop, there was contact between him and the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen. Sutil finished in 15th, while Raikkonen retired just over half way through the race.

Webber’simpressive victory brings the two Red Bull drivers closer together in the driver’s standings, with Vettel on 47 points, and Webberon 45.5. Their one-two sees Red Bull closing their gap to Brawn in the constructor’s championship to 19.5 points. Button continues to lead the driver’s championship with68 points, with Barrichello being knocked down to fourth with 44.

 

The next race will be in Hungary in two weeks time, with qualifying on Saturday 25th July, and the race live on BBC One on Sunday 26th at 1pm.

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