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Webber loses out in Spanish GP 'chess game'
22 May 2011
Red Bull Racing's Mark Webber endured a bitterly disappointing F1 2011 Spanish Grand Prix today.
Webber, who qualified on pole yesterday at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya, slipped to third at the start and then spent much of the race trapped behind the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso.
Although he eventually got ahead, by then he had already lost too much ground and was unable to even get a consolation podium, finishing fourth - 12.3 seconds behind the McLaren of Jenson Button in P3.
“I don't think my start was hideous, but Fernando got a phenomenal one. Obviously from then on it wasn't the start we had planned and it was a bit of a chess game,” Webber noted.
“People were covering each other's pit stops and I really didn't do much racing on track.
“At the end of the race I finished 40 seconds behind Lewis [Hamilton] and Seb. It was an interesting day today and shows how fine the margins are. We were frustrated by Fernando who seemed to pit every time I did!
“At certain stages I was quick and at others I wasn't – that's just the way it was today.”
Red Bull boss Christian Horner meanwhile agreed that Alonso's brilliant start was a bit of a blow.
“I think we were all surprised to see Fernando come through at the first corner in first position and that changed the dynamics of the race,” Horner remarked. “He didn't have great pace at the front and it boxed the rest of them up behind.
“We managed to undercut with Sebastian, but couldn't do it with Mark because Ferrari could see what we were doing.
“It was a combination of team-work and strategy. Sebastian had to make the passes on Jenson and [Felipe] Massa to make his strategy work, it was a real risk, but he went for it and made it happen, which is what it's all about.
“Unfortunately for Mark though, he spent the first half looking at Fernando Alonso's exhaust and to get him ahead in the end we did a dummy which they fell for. Otherwise it was frustrating for Mark and the complete result would be to have him right up there as well.”
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