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Webber wins first F1 race with German GP victory
Published on 12 Jul. 2009 10:09 PM IST
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Red Bull’s Mark Webber has won his first Formula One race after overcoming a penalty to take the German Grand Prix. The Australian beat teammate Sebastian Vettel by 9.2 seconds Sunday despite a drive-through penalty for bumping Brawn GP’s Rubens Barrichello at the start while defending his pole position. It was the second straight 1-2 for the Austrian team and third overall in nine races. Felipe Massa gave Ferrari its first podium finish of the season by coming in third ahead of Nico Rosberg of Williams. Overall leader Jenson Button of Brawn GP was fifth to increase his total to 68 points. Vettel moved into second with 47 points and Webber is third with 45.5 points. Barrichello has 44 points after finishing sixth. Red Bull’s Mark Webber scored his maiden Formula 1 win with a brilliant performance at the German Grand Prix after a drive-through penalty. Webber was punished for colliding with Brawn’s Rubens Barrichello at the start but was in a class of his own to dominate the race despite his handicap. Sebastian Vettel made it a Red Bull one-two ahead of Felipe Massa. Barrichello finished sixth behind Williams’s Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button while Lewis Hamilton was last. Button remains in the world championship lead on 68 points, but Vettel and Webber have leap-frogged over Barrichello. The German is 21 points behind Button with Webber just 1.5 points behind his team-mate and Webber the same margin ahead of Barrichello. Starting from pole position, Webber was an odds-on favourite heading into the race but he made life difficult for himself from the moment the lights went out at the start. He was slow off the line and in trying - and failing - to prevent Barrichello passing him he swerved at the Brawn and the two cars touched. The stewards took a dim view of the manoeuvre and handed Webber a drive-through penalty, which meant he had to drive through the pits - where there is a 120km/h speed limit - before rejoining the race. But crucially Red Bull left Webber as long as they could before bringing him in to serve the penalty on lap 14. Because his team-mate Sebastian Vettel and Button had been held up after being passed by the slower McLaren of Heikki Kovalainen at the start, Webber was able to rejoin in the lead and set about re-building his advantage. The race further fell into his lap because Barrichello, who made his first pit stop when Webber came in for his penalty, and he came out behind Felipe Massa’s Ferrari, which held him up until his first pit stop on lap 25. So although Webber dropped to eighth after his first pit stop on lap 19, he was able to close the gap on Barrichello in second place. And by the time all drivers had made their stops, Webber was back in the lead by just after half distance. From there, he was able to cruise to a well-deserved first victory while the Brawns were left with deteriorating tyres to hold off the charging Fernando Alonso of Renault.

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