The opening round of the new F1 season in Bahrain isn't one that will go down as a classic – with Red Bull's Mark Webber admitting that it 'wasn't the most exciting grand prix I've ever driven' after being left to reflect on an eighth place finish at the Sakhir circuit.
Webber saw his hopes of a strong start to the season affected by a poor showing in qualifying, when he made a mistake on his flying lap in Q3 and could only manage sixth on the grid as a result.
Having dropped to seventh at the start, when his car smoked heavily exiting turn one, Webber lost a further place to Jenson Button during the pit-stops and then found himself following Michael Schumacher and the Briton to the end of the race, being unable to make any moves back up the order.
“It was a bit of a traffic jam out there,” he reflected. “I had a fight with the two Mercedes in turn one and Michael had the inside for two; after that it was just about working out how we were going to jump them. It was very, very difficult to stay close to the cars in front. We got hurt yesterday in qualifying; we still managed to get a few points today, although not as many as we would have liked.
“We definitely learned a lot as a team today. It wasn't the most exciting grand prix I've driven – following gearboxes all afternoon – but the world class drivers who were ahead don't normally make mistakes. I tried as hard as I could to make Jenson and Michael make mistakes, but it wasn't happening. We have a long Championship ahead and the boys are working incredibly hard; we showed last year we can fight, so I'm looking forward to Melbourne.”
Team boss Christian Horner admitted that a sticking wheel had cost Webber in the pits, which hit his challenge despite the pace of the RB6.
“Mark lost ground in the first turn and a little more with a slight sticking front tyre at his pit stop, losing him a place to Jenson,” he said. “After that, despite being a lot faster than the cars in front, he was unable to overtake.”