July 11, 2010, 11:54 am
The defining moment of the British Grand Prix on Sunday was described by one commentator as poetic justice for Mark Webber.
But for the Australian driver, who led from start to finish to win the race and take his third victory of the season and the fifth of his career, it was above all a settling of scores with his teammate, Sebastian Vettel, and their Red Bull team.
Vettel got off to a bad start from a pole position that Webber felt he did not deserve, allowing Webber to pass him before the first corner. Vettel then made contact with the McLaren Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton, causing a puncture on a tire and sending him off the track twice. He immediately dropped to last place as he drove slowly back to the pits.
Webber’s victory come just two weeks after a terrible crash at the previous race, in Valencia, Spain, from which the Australian driver emerged miraculously unhurt. But it was Webber’s comment on the wind-down lap after winning the race that told the bigger story.
“Not bad for a No. 2 driver,” Webber said to his engineer over the car radio, referring to his feeling of injustice over an incident the day before.
On Saturday morning, Vettel had destroyed his newly designed front wing in a practice session, and the team decided to give him the new front wing from Webber’s car, while giving the Australian one of the old wings. Vettel then scored the pole position by only a tenth of a second quicker than Webber.
At the start of the race, however, Webber proceeded to set one fastest race lap after another and controlled the race perfectly from start to finish.
“I would never have signed a contract for next year if I thought that yesterday was the way it would be going forward,” said Webber after the race, still bitter about the incident.
Eddie Jordan, a former Formula One team owner and now a commentator on British television, called Webber’s victory “poetic justice,” and Webber himself referred to good karma.
Bouncing back from the day before was above all, however, a question of character, Webber said.
“You can judge a person’s character by how they come back from adversity,” he said. “You want to make sure it’s not constantly happening — otherwise, it can challenge you too much. But if the balance is right, it puts a bit of fuel on the fire.”
Vettel, 23, is a bright young driver who has been backed by the Red Bull energy drink company since early in his career, while Webber, 33, has long been considered by many as a journeyman driver.
Hamilton finished second, 1.3 seconds behind, to hold onto his lead in the championship. Nico Rosberg finished third in the Mercedes, while Jenson Button finished fourth in the other McLaren, after starting 14th.
Hamilton leads the series with 145 points; Button is second with 133, while Webber passed back over Vettel into third position with 128 points. Vettel, who finished the race in seventh, is fourth in the standings, with 121 points.
Mark Webber was born on August 27th, 1976 according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Webber
8 + 27 +2+0+0+9 = 46 = his personal year (from August 27th, 2009 to August 26th, 2010) = 46 = Historic. Making history.
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