Mark Webber claimed a vital front row grid position for Red Bull Racing after Formula One’s longest ever qualifying session early this morning. Finishing second behind Brawn GP’s Rubens Barrichello, the rain affected qualifying period ran for two hours and 41 minutes and was marred by a series of red flags and track closures.
Mark acknowledged the difficult conditions, and hopes there is more to come in tomorrow’s race, “I would have liked to have had another crack at being on pole, but I made a mistake. I think it wasn’t easy to knit six perfect laps together in those conditions, but I’m very happy with how I drove and the guys in the garage did a great job. Congratulations to Rubens for his pole here at home; we’ll give him a race tomorrow.”
Webber is no stranger to good results in wet conditions, of course. His first, and, to date, only Grand Prix victory came earlier this year in the wet at the German Grand Prix.
The good results posted by Webber and Barrichello could be matched by their respective teammates who were caught out in the dreadful conditions. Sebastien Vettel could do no better than 16th in his Red Bull machine, while championship leader Jenson Button qualified his Brawn-Mercedes back in 14th position and looks to have dashed his hopes of following Lewis Hamilton to be the second Briton in two years to claim the world driver’s title from a challenging Brazilian.
With just one more race remaining this season, Button, 14 points ahead of Barichello, would need to claim fourth or better and hope that Barrichello does not score any points to seal this year’s crown. Meanwhile Red Bull Racing’s challenge for the manufacturer’s title seems forlorn. With just
40 36 points up for grabs, they are 35.5pts behind Brawn GP.
A full report on qualifying can be read at Formula1.com.
Photos: Getty Images, via Red Bull Racing
AUSSIE SURFS TO SECOND
Car 14, MARK WEBBER
“That was a very tricky session – especially in Q1 when the conditions were really bad. The car was difficult to drive then, but we scraped through. After qualifying re-started, the track came back to us a bit and I was able to be more competitive. It wasn’t too comfortable at first out on track, but then the grip came and the times were quite good. In Q3 I kept switching between the top three, from pole to third to pole to third; I would have liked to have had another crack at being on pole, but I made a mistake. I think it wasn’t easy to knit six perfect laps together in those conditions, but I’m very happy with how I drove and the guys in the garage did a great job. Congratulations to Rubens for his pole here at home; we’ll give him a race tomorrow.”