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Webber: It was a racing incident

I couldn't have done anything differently, that's was the view of Red Bull Racing's Mark Webber after he crashed out of Sunday's Italian Grand Prix on the opening lap, effectively ending his F1 title hopes.

Webber, who started tenth on the grid, saw his race end before it had even really started, courtesy of a tag from the BMW Sauber F1.09 of Robert Kubica which beached the Australian in the gravel at the Roggia chicane.

While the incident means he slips further behind championship leader, Jenson Button - 51.5 points to 80 - Webber, like his team-mate, Sebastian Vettel, is refusing to give up [see separate story - click here.]

"I had a reasonable start, I was trying to find a good line through the chicane. I had Sebastian in front, so I was pretty clean as I didn't want to get tangled up with him. Both of us got through the first chicane, I was following Sebastian into the next, but then had a racing incident with Robert Kubica," Webber said following the thirteenth round in the 2009 FIA F1 World Championship.

"It seems like his front wheel was inside my rear left at the second chicane, it was difficult to know he was there. We had contact which flicked the car into the air a little bit, then nosed it into the guard rail. The car was undamaged, but I couldn't get it out and back onto the track. I couldn't have done anything differently.

"It's frustrating to retire through such a small incident, especially when all the guys have put so much effort into preparing the car. It's not great for the Drivers' Championship, but this is my first DNF of the year. We will bounce back from this and do what we can in the final races."

Kubica meanwhile maintained that he just couldn't avoid Webber and that was why they made contact. Like the Aussie though, Kubica's race ended early too, and while he did go a bit further, he eventually retired on lap 15 due to a mechanical problem.

"I made a very good start and was in quite a good position before the first braking point. I was on the left hand side of Mark Webber. I guess he did not see me at all. Mark pushed me on the grass while I was on the brakes. Although I managed to come back on the track, we touched in corner one," Kubica added.

"In Roggia he was on the outside and slightly in front of me. When we were going into the first apex unfortunately again I was not able to avoid him. I ended up with a damaged front wing, but am not sure how this happened as it could have been with my fight with Mark or I could have hit a kerb.

"However, I was able to continue and managed to overtake Sebastian Vettel, despite having the front wing problem.

"For safety reasons we had to change the wing a couple of laps later. Finally an oil leak forced me to retire."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull RB5, German F1 Grand Prix, Nurburgring, 10-12th, July 2009
Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull RB5, Turkish F1, Istanbul Park, 5th-7th June, 2009
Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull RB5, Monaco F1 Grand Prix, 21st-24th, May 2009
Mark Webber [Pic credit: Red Bull]
Mark Webber [Pic credit: Red Bull]
Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull RB5, German F1 Grand Prix, Nurburgring, 10-12th, July 2009

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September 14, 2009 3:55 PM

I give Webber major credit for racing on a leg that was in pieces. I said he would never make it through the year on that leg. Good job Mark for your determination. The Red Bull has fallen off due to Renault engine. They are having to baby it during practice.

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