/ Motorsport

Webber claims maiden F1 win

Updated: Sunday, 12 Jul 2009 15:18

Mark Webber won his first race after 130 attempts
Mark Webber won his first race after 130 attempts

Mark Webber secured his maiden Formula One victory and Australia's first since 1981 when he led team-mate Sebastian Vettel home in a triumphant one-two for the Red Bull team in the German Grand Prix.

Webber, in his 130th F1 race after eight years in the sport, started from his first pole position and overcame a drive-through penalty for a first lap collision on his way to a spectacular win.

The 32-year-old driver came home 9.3 seconds clear of Vettel as he raced to a victory that threw the fight for the world championship wide open.

Webber is third in the title race with 45.5 points behind leader Briton Jenson Button on 68 points and Vettel on 47. Brazilian Rubens Barrichello has 44 points and is fourth.

The two Red Bulls finished first and second ahead of Ferrari's Felipe Massa of Brazil, who grabbed his first podium finish of the year, with German Nico Rosberg fourth for Williams.

Button battled through to finish fifth ahead of team-mate Barrichello, the Brawn pair resisting a late charge from two-time world champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso of Renault.

Finn Heikki Kovalainen came home eighth for McLaren Mercedes.

Defending world champion Lewis Hamilton finished 18th and last after a hot-headed attack on the opening lap saw him involved in a collision with Webber's Red Bull that cost him a puncture.

Webber bashed into Barrichello's car on the run from the start to the first corner, a collision for which he was punished with his drive-through penalty, but he overcame that with a dazzling drive to victory.

Watched by his father Alan, a motor cycle dealer in Australia, Webber romped to a triumph that ended Australia's long wait for another winner since Alan Jones won at Las Vegas in the 1981 US Grand Prix.

Last November, Webber broke his leg and a shoulder in a collision with a car while riding a bicycle in Tasmania.

The race started with high drama when Webber, from his first pole position, was marginally slower off the line than Barrichello and steered to his right to bump cars and push the Brazilian towards the barriers.

It was a solid knock, but not enough to slow the Brawn car, which pulled away to lead into the first corner ahead of the Australian, while another spectacular incident saw Hamilton flying off the track.

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