Mark Webber knew that if he could beat Sebastian Vettel in China, it would go a long way to drawing a curtain over the multi 21 scandal at the Malaysian Grand Prix. Sadly for the Australian, he has endured a weekend that is the work of Formula One nightmares.
Following his exclusion from qualifying due to a fuel shortage yesterday, Webber elected to start from the pit lane so his team could make changes to his car. However, Red Bull took the decision to pit him after just one lap to get through the soft tire stage, leaving him last and thirty seconds off the leaders.
Webber quickly set about improving his fortunes though, setting some impressive lap times, and after the first round of stops for the soft runners, he was within five seconds of the leading group. Once the cars running the harder tire pitted (including Vettel), Webber was well within the points, and even ahead of Vettel.
However, when attempting an overtake on Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne, Webber made heavy contact. This caused Vergne to spin, and broke Webber’s front wing in the process, forcing him to limp back to the pits and dropping right down the order. Red Bull turned him around, but Webber then slowed on the track with a loose wheel. This eventually came away from the car at the hairpin, but luckily the passing cars avoided it.
Red Bull are expected to be sanctioned by the FIA for allowing Webber to go out with a loose wheel.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!