Media outlets across Australia have been reporting on Mark Webber’s maiden Grand Prix win all morning. The in car audio from Mark after the race, which captured his raw emotion, is still being played, “Yes, yes, yeehah. You f@#king beauty!”
His celebrations were typically Australian, he wore his heart on his sleeve and just as in the race, he left nothing behind. Speaking on ABC radio overnight, Will Hagon described Webber’s release of emotion as being the culmination of not one race, or one result, but his entire motorsport career.
As a young boy starting his racing career at the Fairbairn Park karting track in Canberra, Webber would have been dreaming of this day. Now he has reached the summit. Mark Webber, from the small New South Wales city of Queanbeyan, is a Grand Prix winner!
Even better than that, his Red Bull Racing team are providing he and Sebastian Vettel with a potential championship winning car. They have clearly been the form team of the last few races and last night’s results saw both Vettel and Webber close the gap to championship leader Jenson Button.
Button heads the championship table with 68 points, Vettel is second on 47 points. Webber’s win sees him leap frog Rubens Barichello into third place in the driver’s championship on 45.5 points, with the Brazilian in fourth on 44 points. Felipe Massa is fifth in the driver standings, back on just 22 points.
After Brawn GP’s early season jump start on the competition, Red Bull Racing are also narrowing the gap in the constructor’s title which now stands, Brawn GP 112 points, Red Bull Racing 92.5 points and Toyota, third, on 34.5 points.
Mark Webber is just the third Australian driver to win a Formula One race, following in the footsteps of Alan Jones and Sir Jack Brabham. Amazingly, Webber’s maiden victory came in his 130th race start—Alan Jones had 116 race starts in his entire career, Brabham had 126. Let’s hope Webber can continue the legacy of Australians who have won a Grand Prix race have also gone on to win a World Championship.
Full driver quotes from the post-race press conference are available from Formula1.com. Red Bull Racing’s media release, along with a vast gallery of images from the race are available after the jump.
G’DAY FOR MARK
WEBBER’S FIRST WIN!
Sunday, 12 July 2009
Car 14 MARK WEBBER, Finish Position: WINNER! Start Position: 1st
“It’s an incredible day. I wanted to win so badly after Silverstone, as I thought I had a good chance there, then after yesterday’s pole I knew I was in a good position to try and win the race today. The only thing that I thought was going to test me was the rain, but even that held off. It was testing to get the victory today, I lost Rubens completely at the start; I thought he was gone a little bit to the left so I went to the right and banged into him. That’s not normally my style and I got a drive-through penalty for that, so had to recover. My engineer kept me calm and I pushed as hard as I could when I needed to, so it’s a great day. It was a difficult winter, Sebastian showed in winter testing what the car could do, so that kept my motivation very high when I was hurting a lot with all the rehab. I had great people around me to recover from all the injuries I had and the team have been incredibly patient with me as well. I want to thank Dietrich Mateschitz, Red Bull and everyone at Red Bull Racing for what they did for me over the winter, everyone in Australia who has supported me on the way through my career – and there are a few people that doubted me too, so hello to them as well. It’s just an incredible day for all the people who have helped me get to where I am today.”
Car 15 SEBASTIAN VETTEL, Finish Position: 2nd. Start Position: 4th
“Congratulations to Mark, he was unbeatable today – he was quicker than all of us, so he totally deserved to win. I’m very happy with the result and in the end it was a good recovery. It was quite a bad start and I had all the KERS cars around me – I got passed by both the McLarens and even Felipe (Massa). It was quite difficult to start fourth and go into the first corner in eighth or something. I then struggled a lot with the soft tyre in the first stint and was in a lot of traffic. I could have gone quicker, but there was no way to pass Felipe, as he always used the special button when I was quite close. Therefore I was lucky to have the right strategy, as that pulled us back to second position but Felipe didn’t stop pushing, so it was hard until the end of the race. We had to fight, but it’s another one-two finish for the team and I’m happy. I’d be lying if I said I’m very pleased with second, as of course I wanted to win, but yesterday Mark did a better job and that’s why today he totally deserves the win – it’s a good fight between us, so I’m looking forward to the next races.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal:
“A brilliant team performance. A fantastic drive from Mark – he’s been on it all weekend and, after all the difficulties that he’s been through over the winter, I’m absolutely delighted that’s he’s managed to get his first win. He thoroughly deserves it. Sebastian recovered from a difficult first lap and put in an excellent performance to back up Mark’s win with a second place. A one-two is a brilliant team result and puts us back in the hunt in both championships. It was an important result for the team, but today belongs to Mark Webber, who is a deserved victor.”
FABRICE LOM, Renault, Principal Engineer Track Support:
“I’m so, so, so happy. What a race! It was a difficult beginning with a drive-through penalty and starts that were not great, but our car and engine package is so good that we recovered from there to finish first and second – for the second time in a row – it’s just magic. I’m so happy for Mark, he deserves his first win. We cannot stop thinking about Pierre-Emeric and I want to dedicate Mark’s first victory to him – I’m sure he is watching us from above and he would be very happy about what happened today. I’m happy for the team and now let’s push for the title.”
Photos: Getty Images via Red Bull Racing