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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Webber takes first win

Nothing was going to keep Mark Webber from getting his first F1 win this afternoon. Not a drive through penalty, not the famous Nurburgring weather, nothing.

F1 Grand Prix of Germany - Race

When all was said and done, the Aussie headed a Red Bull 1-2 in the German Grand Prix and closed the gap on Jenson Button and Brawn GP, as the Red Bull boys continue to turn what just a few weeks ago looked like a cakewalk for Button into a pretty entertaining race for the title.

A harrowing first corner saw Webber cut across on Rubens Barrichello, a move deemed dangerous by the stewards who awarded the drive through. It seemed Webber’s best chance at a victory was lost, but he quickly made the ground back up, a testament to how superior the Red Bull was to the Brawn on this track.

Meanwhile, Heikki Kovalainen’s good start led to a “Trulli train” behind the Finn that held up points leader Button, Felipe Massa and Sebastian Vettel, quickly making it into a two horse race.

Button clashed with Lewis Hamilton’s KERS aided McLaren at the start, but a bold move from the champion saw him go off. A cut tire forced Hamilton to pit, and he finished the race the only lapped runner of the day.

A refueling rig problem put an end to Barrichello’s challenge, and the Brawn three-stop strategy did the rest, handing Vettel the second spot. Massa finished third to give Ferrari a podium. Nico Rosberg took a deserved fourth in the Williams.

The best the Brawns could do was fifth and sixth, Button getting his teammate in their final stops.

Fernando Alonso and Kovalainen rounded out the top 10.

Heartbreak of the day goes to Adrian Sutil, who once again saw a chance at points taken away when Kimi Raikkonen took off his front wing. The Force India was emerging from the pits after his first stop. The German, a victim of Raikkonen last year in Monaco when looking at a points finish, wound up 15th.

Sebastien Bourdais, in perhaps his final race for Toro Rosso, and Raikkonen were the only retirements.

As we head to Hungary, Red Bull creeps ever closer to Brawn at the top of the constructor’s race. Meanwhile, both Red Bull drivers move ahead of Barrichello -- Vettel into second and Webber into third -- in the driver’s championship, where Button still holds a 20-point edge at the top of the table.

You have to go all the way back to 1981 to find the last time an Australian won a grand prix. Considering where Mark Webber was at last winter, recovering from a broken leg and dislocated shoulder, that can only make his win maiden win all the sweeter.

German Grand Prix (60 laps)
  1. Mark Webber, Red Bull-Renault
  2. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull-Renault
  3. Felipe Massa, Ferrari
  4. Nico Rosberg, Williams-Toyota
  5. Jenson Button, Brawn-Mercedes
  6. Rubens Barrichello, Brawn-Mercedes
  7. Fernando Alonso, Renault
  8. Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren-Mercedes
  9. Timo Glock, Toyota
  10. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber
  11. Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India-Mercedes
  12. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams-Toyota
  13. Nelson Piquet, Renault
  14. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber
  15. Adrian Sutil, Force India-Mercedes
  16. Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso-Ferrari
  17. Jarno Trulli, Toyota
  18. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes +1 lap
  • Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 34
  • Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso-Ferrari, 18, Hydraulics


Nico H├╝lkenberg made it a clean sweep this weekend, claiming all 20 points available at the Nurburgring and moving into the lead in the driver’s championship.


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