by Russell Atkins

Mark Webber was one of a number of drivers left ruing the numerous safety car appearances during Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, after the Red Bull star lost out on what was looking like being a podium finish.

The Australian had recovered from an eventful series of opening laps that saw him drop three positions from his sixth place grid slot at the start, before going on to lose a further five with an early spin. He was lying in second place when the safety car came out for the fourth and final time on lap 51, but while the first one had helped him to regain lost ground on those ahead of him, this one had precisely the opposite effect.

"Twenty-twenty hindsight is always a nice thing to have," he remarked to journalists after the race around the challenging Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, "but that's the way the rules are. You always need a bit of luck. It's a learning experience unfortunately, and in this game you've got to consistently make the right calls.

"I had a bad start and lost out to (Nico) Rosberg and (Robert) Kubica on the run to the first corner. I was trying to fight my way back through and had a good battle with Robert. I got back past him into turn one but then I was a fraction late on the brakes, and it's so easy to get onto the marbles here and I lost a few positions."

That was the 30-year-old's first setback of the race, but the second - when a knee-jerk reaction saw him pit at the wrong time under the final safety car - was by far the costliest, dropping him all the way down the order to ninth place, and on Bridgestone's lesser-favoured super-soft tyres that was where he would remain all the way to the chequered flag.

"Following the first safety car the pace was sound and we were going along alright," he underlined. "I was lucky because it brought us back into the race and I started to move up through the field again, but I knew there was still a long way to go.

"After that, with all the other safety cars it wasn't easy to follow what was going on. I didn't know who was doing what! The soft tyres weren't very goods at the end, so it was hard to fight (Takuma) Sato who was on the other tyre compound."

 

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