Australian confused after lacklustre fifth-place finish in home race
Local hope Mark Webber can’t wait to go racing again – and forget a frustrating fifth-place finish after starting from third place on the grid.
The 34-year-old equalled his best finish at Albert Park but was left disappointed after teammate Sebastian Vettel dominated the race from pole. Webber trailed the reigning World Champion by an enormous 38.171secs at the end of the race, and was at a loss to explain his lack of pace.
“It was frustrating. I wanted to get more out of the car and I think we could have got more out of it today,” he said.
Webber made a strong start and almost out-dragged Lewis Hamilton into Turn 1, but couldn’t stay with race leader Vettel and the McLaren driver in the early stages. He later dropped behind Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso for fourth, and while the pair hunted down Renault’s Vitaly Petrov in the closing stages, neither could make it past.
Webber was keen to put his 10th Australian Grand Prix in the rear-vision mirror as soon as possible, saying: “I wish it was already tomorrow.”
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner admitted the team needed to investigate the reasons behind Webber’s drop in speed from Saturday onwards, calling the margin between the two drivers “unusual”.
“We need to go through things with a fine-tooth comb and understand where those differences are,” Horner said.
“Mark was very hard on the tyres (so) that created more degradation. We need to find out if there’s something perhaps in the car that is contributing to that. We couldn’t find it yesterday, but we’ll certainly have a very, very good look before Malaysia.”