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F1 China 2013: Penalties for Webber and Gutierrez

A busy post-race evening for the race stewards got underway with grid penalties for Bahrain being handed to Red Bull's Mark Webber and Sauber's Esteban Gutiérrez.
Mark Webber's disastrous 2013 Chinese Grand Prix experience ended with the race stewards handing him some salt to rub into the still-smarting wounds, as he was handed a three-place grid penalty to serve next week at Bahrain.

Webber was found to have been responsible for the collision with Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne on lap 16 of the race at Shanghai International Circuit on Sunday afternoon.

The race left Vergne with some damage but able to continue after recovering from being spun around, while Webber's car suffered damage to its front wing and then had the right rear wheel fall off after he'd returned to pit lane to have a new nose and fresh set of medium compound tyres fitted.

At the time, Webber insisted that he was not to blame for the incident and that Vergne had appeared to give way to him as a courtesy from Toro Rosso to their sister team in the paddock.

"One view looks like Jean-Eric is giving me the line, the other looks more like it is me," said Webber. "It compounds an amazing weekend for me," he said ruefully.

"The start of the race was going OK and we decided to get rid of the other tyres quickly and then regroup," he continued. "But then I got to Jean-Eric. I was coming from a reasonable distance behind but he knew I was there. He looked like I was going to get past him and then he went for the apex. It's disappointing."

Vergne said that he hadn't been thinking of allowing Webber past at that point and that the clash had been entirely the Red Bull's fault.

"I think Mark could not have got through from where he tried and I'm not even sure if he was trying to pass me," the Frenchman said in the paddock after the race. "Certainly I didn't even know he was there. Unfortunately, the impact put me into a spin and the incident damaged my floor.

"From then I lost a lot of downforce," he sighed. "It was not a good race from then on, having lost a lot of time and having to drive a damaged car. It's not been a good weekend, as I did not have a smooth time of it from the start," he said, adding that he was looking forward to getting back on track in five days time in Bahrain.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
13.04.2013- Qualifying, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX), Sauber F1 Team C32
22.03.2013 - free practice 2, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX), Sauber F1 Team C32
12.04.2013- Free Practice 2, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX), Sauber F1 Team C32
13.04.2013- Free Practice 3, Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9
12.04.2013- Free Practice 1, Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9
12.04.2013- Free Practice 1, Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9
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Martin - Unregistered

April 14, 2013 12:34 PM

The wheel falling off wasn't a consequence of the contact, which was purely on the front of the car, it was a mistake in replacing the tyres on the pitstop and so not Webber's fault at all

Terminator - Unregistered

April 14, 2013 3:19 PM

This collision between Webber and JEV really does make it obvious that RBR probably have asked the Toro Rosso drivers to make way for their drivers if required during a race. I have seen Webber race for years, and I don't remember seeing him make such a silly move down the inside of a car in front. The reason why the made the move was because he thought JEV would make way for him. Obviously JEV did not want to make way for him at that corner because he would have lost time as Webber was not that close, so he probably wanted to let Webber through on the long back straight. Something needs to be done about this, it is not fair that one team has practically 4 drivers whereas other teams have only 2.

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