BREAKING NEWS: Mark Webber has crashed out of the European Grand Prix at Valencia after a spectacular incident with the Lotus of Heikki Kovalainen. The contact with Kovalainen happened on lap 9 of the 57 lap race. Importantly, both drivers walked away with no injuries and have been released from the trackside medical centre.
After a poor start from second on the grid Webber had dropped back to ninth place by the second lap. Webber’s Red Bull team brought him in for an early pit stop in a bid to escape traffic; the Valencia track is notoriously difficult to pass.
Webber’s bad day continued with a less than perfect pit stop after the crew had problems changing his front left wheel. However, things were about to get much worse. After rejoining the race Webber found himself fighting with Kovalainen for track position. The Finn swerved to defend his place and the rapidly closing Webber was left with nowhere to go except up. And up, and up!
Webber’s car flipped and landed on its roof before crashing into a tyre barrier at high speed. It was an incident reminiscent of Webber’s crash during practice at Le Mans in 1999.
After the break you can see a series of screen grabs of the incident, including the view from Mark’s in-car camera. There’s an animation showing the incident, as well as footage from Webber’s Le Mans crash.
UPDATE: Webber’s teammate Sebastien Vettel won the race ahead of the McLaren duo of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. A full race image gallery will be online in the next 24 hours.
[Pics via OneHD]