Webber wins for runaway Red Bull in Spain
Australian Mark Webber won the Spanish Grand Prix for rampant Red Bull on Sunday after leading from start to finish at Formula One's most predictable circuit.india Updated: May 09, 2010 21:38 IST
Australian Mark Webber won the Spanish Grand Prix for rampant Red Bull on Sunday after leading from start to finish at Formula One's most predictable circuit.
For a record 10th year in succession at the Circuit de Catalunya, the driver who started on pole position took the chequered flag as winner in the Catalan sunshine.
"Fantastic, you were untouchable," the team told Webber, the first driver to win from pole this year, after he crossed the line a massive 24 seconds clear of Ferrari's second placed Fernando Alonso.
"It was a fantastic result and I'm absolutely thrilled," said the Australian of his third career win. "We had a faultless grand prix weekend.
"We've missed a few points in the constructors' (championship) but a very special day for me."
Spaniard Alonso, celebrating his first home race for the Italian team, inherited a crowd-pleasing runner-up position when McLaren's hard-charging Lewis Hamilton crashed out when a front tyre suddenly deflated on the penultimate lap.
"I was just cruising to the finish line - it was great points for me. But then I blew a tyre with two laps to go. That's motor-racing," Hamilton told BBC television.
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, who had started on the front row alongside Webber, finished third despite suffering brake problems.
Seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher was fourth, the best result so far of the 41-year-old's comeback season, with McLaren's Jenson Button unable to find a way past and forced to settle for fifth.
Button, Hamilton's team mate and reigning world champion, stayed top of the standings with 70 points to Alonso's 67 after five of the season's 19 races.
"The pace was good but it doesn't make any difference if you can't overtake," said Button.
"I damaged my tyres quite badly. Really disappointing. It all came from the first pit stop. We had a problem with the clutch dragging. It's not the result we wanted or deserved."
Ferrari's Brazilian Felipe Massa was sixth, Germany's Adrian Sutil seventh for Force India and Poland's Robert Kubica eighth for Renault.
Williams returned to the points with Brazilian Rubens Barrichello in ninth place and local youngster Jaime Alguersuari took the final point for Toro Rosso at his home track and despite a drive-through penalty.
The biggest challenge Webber faced, after holding off Vettel's attempts to squeeze past at the start, was keeping alert as he lapped in splendid isolation and headed for a seemingly inevitable triumph.
Webber was the fourth different winner in five races.
Hamilton's exit was the biggest shock of what had otherwise threatened to be a slow-burning afternoon after three thrill-filled races in the Far East.
"It was a deflation. It could have been debris caught in the rim. It's not a straightforward puncture," said McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh.
"The tyres were in reasonable shape. I think probably debris caused the failure, but that's speculation."
Germany's Nico Rosberg, who had been second overall going into the weekend, finished out of the points and behind team mate Schumacher for the first time this season.
On a nightmare afternoon for the young German, he had a problem at his first pitstop when the team released him before the front right wheel nuts had been tightened and had to stop and be pushed back.
First Published: May 09, 2010 21:37 IST