Mark Webber has driven a magnificent race to claim his first ever Grand Prix victory. It was the first win by an Australian driver since Alan Jones won the 1981 US Grand Prix.
Webber started aggressively from pole position at the NÃ¼rburgring track, but couldn’t hold off a fast charging Rubens Barichello who led into the first corner. Lewis Hamilton, too, made a great start and headed Webber into the first corner but the Briton then ran wide and suffered a puncture, effectively ending his race.
The Australian was handed a drive through penalty for initiating contact with Barichello in the lead up to the first corner. Opinions in race commentary were divided as to whether the penalty was justified. Fortunately, it mattered not, as Webber’s outright pace and two stop strategy was superior to the Brawn GP three stop plan.
Webber has often had promising results ruined by bad luck. Today, though, the F1 gods were shining on the Aussie. After Barichello’s first pit stop he got caught behind Felipe Massa. The precious seconds lost by Rubens here allowed Webber to close the time surrendered to the Brawn machine following his drive through penalty.
Once that hurdle was overcome Webber looked in the best position to win the race. His grip on the race win tightened further when Barichello had a re-fuelling mishap at his second stop which cost valuable seconds.
Red Bull Racing got Webber back out quickly, and safely, after his second stop and from that point on the Australian enjoyed a clear run to the line, winning the 2009 German Grand Prix.
Webber’s Red Bull Racing teammate Sebastien Vettel finished the race in second, ahead of Ferrari’s Felipe Massa.
UPDATE 13 July: Check out AUSmotive’s image gallery of Mark’s win HERE.