Red Bull rule the ‘Ring with Webber

Published on July 13th, 2009

After 130 starts since the year 2000 Mark Webber builds on his first career pole to clinch his first career victory in Formula 1 today at the German GP, leading team mate Sebastian Vettel to a Red Bull Renault 1-2 finish.

There was joy from the red side of the pits as well with Felipe Massa completing the podium for Ferrari. Vettel finished 9.2 seconds behind his victorious team mate with Massa following 15.9 seconds behind.

Finishing fourth was Nico Rosberg in the Williams-Toyota, followed by a disappointing performance from the Brawn GP boys with Jensen Button and Rubens Barrichello trailing him for fifth and sixth. Fernando Alonso in the Renault was stuck to Barrichello’s Brawn machine for the final few laps and finished a mere 0.4 seconds behind the Brawn man in seventh. Nicking some pride for McLaren-Mercedes was Heikki Kovalainen completing off the points finishers in eight.

Things took off right from the get-go as Barrichello took the lead from pole-sitter Webber into the first corner with Lewis Hamilton fully utilizing his KERS to stick with the leaders into the first corner.

Unfortunately for the defending champion he nicked Webber’s machine and suffered a punctured rear right tyre. This bumped Kovalainen up into third. On the second lap Button managed to squeeze past Massa into fourth place as the front runners began to bunch up behind third placed Kovalainen.

As the race entered the tenth lap, the top two runners began to show their might and pull away, leaving the rest trailing behind by almost 15 seconds.

Unbeknownst to the two front runners, the race stewards were reviewing the first corner incident on the opening lap and had concurred to penalize Webber with a drive-through penalty for ‘causing a collision’.

As the window for the first rounds of pitstops opened for those running a two-stop strategy, Button is the first to dive in on lap 14 from fourth place, rejoining at seventh. Team mate Barrichello pitted on the next lap and Webber decided to go for his drive through on the same lap and regained the lead.

Proceeding to build on the clear road in front of him, Webber pitted on lap 20 with a 12 second gap to second place and rejoined in eighth place.

Massa was now in the lead with Barrichello, Vettel, Raikkonen, Sutil, Rosberg, Kubica, Webber, Button and Heidfield trailing behind.

With the two Ferrari’s and Sutil yet to pit, those standings were bound to change and on lap 25 Raikkonen heads for the pits followed by Massa. Sutil took his turn three laps later but made contact with the Ferrari of Raikkonen at the first corner and was forced to pit again to replace his front wing.

Lap 30 saw Rosberg pitting and rejoining in sixth to produce a leader board that reads Barrichello, Webber, Button, Vettel, Massa, Rosberg, Raikkonen and Kovalainen.

As the next pit window opened, Button was the first in from third place with Barrichello taking his turn on the next lap to hand Webber the lead. The Raikkonen’s Ferrari then ran into some problems and he sputtered into the pits to head for an early shower.

Proving that this just wasn’t Brawn’s weekend, the team informed Barrichello that a fuel-rig problem on the last stop prevented enough fuel being pumped into the car and the only remedy would be another pit stop, effectively snapping the pieces of a disappointing weekend into place and all but ruining his chances of a win.

Making full use of the Brawn glitch, Webber puts in a series of fast laps to stretch his lead over team mate Vettel to 20.4 seconds. Trailing behind the Red Bull boys are the lone Ferrari of Massa, Rosberg, Barrichello, Button, Alonso and Heidfield.

Webber then made his final stop on lap 44 and rejoined the action behind his team mate in second. As for Vettel, he made his last stop on the next lap with Massa followed suit on the lap after. Rosberg dived in on lap 48.

A this point, Alonso was in seventh sets the race’s fastest lap, lapping the course a second ahead of the field.

Rounding off the pit stops for the front runners were Barrichello and Button as they rejoined in fifth and sixth respectively but with Button ahead.

As the race entered its final lap, the standings saw Webber ahead of the game with Vettel behind and Massa making it a crowd but not close enough to muster a challenge.

The standings remained unchanged and Webber cruises to a well deserved victory and 1-2 for the Red Bull Renault team.

On the whole, Webber’s win allows the Red Bull boys to leapfrog Barrichello in the drivers’ standings to move into second and third but with Vettel ahead this time. Nonetheless, they have their work cut out for them as leader Button still commands a 21 point gap over Vettel.

As the Formula 1 circus leaves for the next stop on the whirlwind calendar in Budapest, Hungary, the leader board standings certainly hint at an exciting conclusion to this year’s round of events.

Pos

No

Driver

Team

Laps

Time/Retired

Grid

Pts

1

14

Mark Webber

RBR-Renault

60

1:36:43.310

1

10

2

15

Sebastian Vettel

RBR-Renault

60

+9.2 secs

4

8

3

3

Felipe Massa

Ferrari

60

+15.9 secs

8

6

4

16

Nico Rosberg

Williams-Toyota

60

+21.0 secs

15

5

5

22

Jenson Button

Brawn-Mercedes

60

+23.6 secs

3

4

6

23

Rubens Barrichello

Brawn-Mercedes

60

+24.4 secs

2

3

7

7

Fernando Alonso

Renault

60

+24.8 secs

12

2

8

2

Heikki Kovalainen

McLaren-Mercedes

60

+58.6 secs

6

1

9

10

Timo Glock

Toyota

60

+61.4 secs

20

10

6

Nick Heidfeld

BMW Sauber

60

+61.9 secs

11

11

21

Giancarlo Fisichella

Force India-Mercedes

60

+62.3 secs

18

12

17

Kazuki Nakajima

Williams-Toyota

60

+62.8 secs

13

13

8

Nelsinho Piquet

Renault

60

+68.3 secs

10

14

5

Robert Kubica

BMW Sauber

60

+69.5 secs

16

15

20

Adrian Sutil

Force India-Mercedes

60

+71.9 secs

7

16

12

Sebastien Buemi

STR-Ferrari

60

+90.2 secs

17

17

9

Jarno Trulli

Toyota

60

+90.9 secs

14

18

1

Lewis Hamilton

McLaren-Mercedes

59

+1 Lap

5

Ret

4

Kimi Räikkönen

Ferrari

34

+26 Laps

9

Ret

11

Sebastien Bourdais

STR-Ferrari

18

Hydraulics

19

text: Dinesh Appavu  pix: BrawnGP & Ferrari

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