Why always Webber? His curse reaches new low in Korea

Mark Webber walks through the pits after retiring from the Korean GP

Mark Webber walks through the pits after retiring from the Korean GP

As his teammate Sebastian Vettel was drenched in champagne, and unconvincingly downplayed the assumption that he is assured of a fourth-successive 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 and lamented the quality of the Pirelli tyres on offer to F1 drivers.

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

Having started the race with a harsh ten-place grid penalty for merely hitching a ride back to the pits after the Singapore Grand Prix, Webber had worked his way up from 13th to a creditable third place when he made his second pit stop on lap 29 (of 55 )at the Yeongam circuit.

Emerging back onto the track, Webber was trailing Sergio Perez when the McLaren’s right-front tyre blew and Webber had no way to avoid the debris, immediately picking up a puncture that sent him back to the pits again.

Fans created a banner for Mark Webber in Korea

Fans created a banner for Mark Webber in Korea

“The tyres are wearing a lot and they also explode a bit, but that is for Pirelli to sort out,” a philosophical Webber said after the race.

“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.”

Mark Webber makes a pit stop during the Korean GP

Mark Webber makes a pit stop during the Korean GP

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 which immediately started a fire.

Webber sat in the car for a few worrying seconds as the flames engulfed the car 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 where 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 in wet conditions, drifted across the track and was collected by the oncoming Mercedes of Nico Rosberg.

Webber departs F1 at the end of the season to go back to sports-car racing, where he can only hope for improved fortunes. (AFP)

Subbed by AJN.

  • MightyK

    Still love ya, Webb ! Soon, this will all be over. Above and beyond.
    Aussie Grit shall remain.

  • Boycotthehaters

    I’m sure some people will try to claim that this was all part of the RB effort to sabotage Webber! They arranged for Perez to have the tyre failure in order to give Webber the puncture, and then they arranged for Sutil to crash into Webber. Oh, and they arranged for Alonso to give him that lift so he’d get the ten place grid penalty!

  • Tinto

    Life is really magic beyond mortals’ understanding, the reason of his troubles may be in the way he used his …grit. He wasn’t a kind of saint. What goes around, comes around, they say, you get you think about. Handsome and likeable lad for some, despicable for others. Wish him well.

  • LotusFan

    @Tinto Despicable? What a word to use. Not a fan of Webber. But dont see what is the despicable thing he has done

  • prelvu

    CRY ME A RIVER

  • Ranger Steve

    Weebber just sucks… he’s never understood mechanical sympathy and always looks outward for his excuses when all he needs to do is look in mirror.

  • Bob Wheeler

    At least Webber had a good start today. If it was one of his usual starts, he would have ended up dead last after the first lap.

  • Red Bull Cheats

    @Bob Wheeler, Webber has bad starts until his team mate has wrapped up the WDC. Then they miraculously get better.

  • EazyE

    Aussie Grit? More like Aussie Shit.

    Just look at Webber’s entire F1 career… he’s been marginal at best. At BEST. ;)

    Good riddance to bad garbage!

  • AlsoRan

    Maak,

    I actually had sympathy for you today…
    You just couldn’t seem to catch a break.
    However and forever, I have been saying that you, Massa
    and Barrrachelo should have been dumped years ago.
    Finally, those in charge see the light.

  • MacStar

    Why wait for next year? Put Ricciardo in the car right now.

  • Jay

    Karma is a bitch!