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Webber, Hamilton hoping for clean starts

Mark Webber has brushed aside any concerns about starting alongside Romain Grosjean, while Lewis Hamilton is hoping to avoid another run in with Pastor Maldonado.
Red Bull's Mark Webber was in a joking mood as he talked of how he felt about the start of the 2012 F1 Singapore Grand Prix, when he'll line up alongside Romain Grosjean.

It'll be the Lotus driver's first race back in F1 after a one-race ban for causing a major crash at Spa and a storm of criticism about the standard of driving of new drivers in the championship coming up through support series such as GP2.

Asked if he was nervous about the prospect of competing with Grosjean into the first corner of the race, Webber joked: "He better put his sneakers on if he hits me!" before adding: "He knows I've a good right hook on me, so he will stay away from me."

Grosjean himself insisted that he was "not particularly nervous" about his return to F1 duty after having to sit out the Italian Grand prix at Monza two weeks ago.

Webber himself was not happy to finish in seventh place on the grid after qualifying. "It was a tough hour to be honest," he told the Daily Mail newspaper. "We're scratching our heads because it's not like we didn't get the maximum out of the car.

"Ultimately we're disappointed with the result - sometimes you don't like the medicine but you have to drink it, that's the way it is," he said. "But it's a long GP, plenty of strategy involved and anything can happen."

Webber is not the only one facing a slightly nervous start to the race, with McLaren's Lewis Hamilton lining up in pole position alongside another recent GP2 graduate, Williams' Pastor Maldonado, on the front row of the grid.

Maldonado has been described by his own team director Toto Wolff recently as the "unguided missile" of F1 after a string of controversial accidents in his maiden season. Maldonado has been handed ten penalties during the season to date, including three at Spa alone that left him with a ten-place grid penalty to overcome at the most recent Grand Prix at Monza.

"There are some quite interesting characters around me on the grid so I will have to be very cautious," admitted Hamilton.

However, he refused to make any direct criticism about the driver who took him out of the European Grand Prix in Valencia in a late-race collision, for which the Venezuelan received a 20-second post-race penalty.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
22.09.2012 - Free practice 3, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E20
22.09.2012 - Qualyfing, Pastor Maldonado (VEN), Williams F1 Team FW34
20.09.2012 - Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
22.09.2012 - Qualyfing, Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB8
22.09.2012 - Free practice 3, Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB8
28.07.2016 - Red Bull Racing RB12, detail
28.07.2016 - Red Bull steering wheel
28.07.2016 - Red Bull Racing RB12, detail
28.07.2016 - Williams FW38 steering wheel
28.07.2016 - Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren Test and Reserve Driver
28.07.2016 - McLaren Honda MP4-31, detail
28.07.2016 - McLaren Honda MP4-31 steering wheel
28.07.2016 - Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
28.07.2016 - Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
28.07.2016 - Press conference, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
28.07.2016 - Press conference, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
28.07.2016 - (L-R) Rio Haryanto (IDN) Manor Racing MRT05, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05
28.07.2016 - Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12

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September 23, 2012 12:53 PM

Webber and Lulu should be prepared/willing to lift off if need be that is if they really want a clean start, or are they pretending to have some sort of monopoly at the starts? Both Grosjean and Maldonado has been made a show of by the FIA while they (the FIA) has closed both eyes for countless bumping of cars off the track by others and to the very common and constantly taking place blocking at the race starts.

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