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Webber's curse reaches new low

2013-10-07 08:30

'NO HURRY, MATE!' Australian Mark Webber leisurely quits his car as if in a car park as flames engulf the cockpit. He'd "been looking for the fire-extnguisher". Image: YouTube

CHRIS LINES

As team mate Sebastian Vettel was drenched in Champagne team mate Mark Webber was in the garage reflecting on his recurring bad luck.

YEONGAM, South Korea - As team mate Sebastian Vettel was drenched in Champagne and unconvincingly downplayed the assumption he is assured of a fourth consecutive Formula 1 title Red Bull's Mark Webber sat disconsolately in the garage and reflected upon yet another chapter in his story of extraordinary bad luck.

The Australian has shown a repeated knack throughout his career for being in the wrong place at the wrong time and Sunday's Korean G1 GP may well have been the most remarkable example yet.

Having started the race with a harsh 10-place grid penalty for merely hitching a ride back to the pits after the 2013 Singapore GP Webber had worked his way up from 13th to third when he made his second pit stop around lap 29 of 55 at the Yeongam circuit.

'THEY EXPLODE A BIT'

Emerging back into the race, Webber was trailing McLaren's Sergio Perez when the latter's right-front tyre blew and Webber had no way to avoid the debris, immediately picking up a puncture that immediately returned him to the pity.

A philosophical Webber said after the race: "The tyres are wearing a lot and they also explode a bit, but that is for Pirelli to sort out. Pirelli will put the puncture of Perez down to a lock-up but the reason the drivers are locking up is because there's no tread left."

It was a blow, but fitting a new set of medium-compound tyres would have given Webber a fighting chance of a decent points finish. However he was bemused to see the team had fitted a set of the short-life super-softs rather than mediums. The radio message from his engineer said:

"We are in a tricky position, the plan is to try to go to the end" to which Webber radioed back "Why did we choose the options?" The sheepish answer was: "We had nothing else left, mate."

WORRYING SECONDS

Upon resumption after a safety car period, Webber was charging into the turn out of the main straight when he was hit from behind by the spinning Force India of Adrian Sutil, impacting the kers system on the Red Bull and immediately starting a fire.

Webber sat in the car for a few worrying seconds as the flames engulfed it before stepping out and watching the fire from close distance, like a barbecue in his homeland. Asked why he took so long to get out of the car, he laconically replied: "I was trying to get the fire extinguisher out but I couldn't. I had my overalls on."

The ill-luck occurred on the same track wher, three years previously, he went into the race with a 14-point lead in the championship, only to see his only chance of a title end in a couple of seconds when he spun on the wet track, drifted across it and was collected by the onrushing Mercedes of Nico Rosberg.

Webber will depart from F1 at the end of the 2013 season to go back to sports-car racing, where he can only hope for improved fortunes.
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Read more on:    red bull racing  |  mark webber  |  korea  |  formula 1

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