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Webber rues more bad luck on home soil in Australia

His points-scoring Formula 1 debut with Minardi aside, Mark Webber has rarely enjoyed much good fortune in front of his home fans in the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne – and, sadly for the Red Bull Racing star, 2009 turned out to be little different.

In eight appearances in the race, Webber has only twice finished inside the points – fifth place on his maiden outing back in 2002, and the same result with Williams three years later. Starting from eighth on the grid this time around and with an undeniably fast car underneath him in the shape of the Adrian Newey-designed, Renault-powered RB5, he justifiably believed he had a good chance of adding to that tally. Up until the first corner, at least...

“That was frustrating at my home race,” the New South Wales native reflected afterwards of having effectively seen his chances torpedoed only seconds into the grand prix when he was implicated in the turn one mêlée. “I was so disappointed to drive round with a damaged car. I wanted a good result for the fans, but we'll do our best to recover from the next race on – it would just have been nice to have got a good result here.

“My start wasn't too bad. I got to turn one and was making sure I got through there clean, but then Rubens [Barrichello] came into the side of me pretty hard and that was it really. I lost a huge amount of downforce; we had a lot of damage and I wasn't going to be a threat to anyone after that. It was a tough day for the team but we'll be back. I'm happy that Malaysia is in only a week's time.”

With team-mate Sebastian Vettel's late-race accident with Robert Kubica costing the energy drinks-backed squad a podium finish, it was indeed 'a tough day' for RBR, but team principal Christian Horner is confident that the encouraging pace displayed around Albert Park can be maintained season-long.

“Mark was unfortunately involved in an incident on the first lap which effectively destroyed his home race,” the Englishman remarked. “We elected to keep him running in order to put more mileage on the car. It was a great shame after such strong teamwork here and in Milton Keynes. The team didn't deserve the finish we had, but we'll fight back next weekend.”

“What a disappointment!” exclaimed Renault principal track support engineer Fabrice Lom. “We had been so quick. Mark had a shunt at the first corner and lost his race there. That was a shame, but I have such hope for the season with this pace. We are down, but ready to bounce back.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mark Webber (Aust) Red Bull RB5 Renault RS27   ING Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix Rd 1 World F1 Championship Albert Park Melbourne  Vic
25.06.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
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25.06.2017 - Race, The race stopped
25.06.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
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25.06.2017 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.06.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 and the Safety car
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25.06.2017 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.06.2017 - Race, 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
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tos@westnet.com.au - Unregistered

April 01, 2009 3:15 AM

I still haven't worked how Rubens got away without a penalty for wrecking 4 - 5 cars chances in this race in the first corner yet comes away with a 2nd place. There's a saying now in Aus when things go wrong. 'youve got the Webbers'. Tough luck once again for Mark and RBR (they are used to it). I suppose you gotta feel more sorry for Hiekki as at least Mark got to the finish line.

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