/ Motorsport

Webber beats Vettel into second in Brazil

Updated: Sunday, 27 Nov 2011 18:55

Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel - Webber passes his team-mate during the race (above)
Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel - Webber passes his team-mate during the race (above)

Mark Webber finally ended his victory drought by taking the final chequered flag of the 2011 Formula One season in Brazil.

Webber's first win for 26 races came at the expense of Sebastian Vettel as his Red Bull team-mate was forced to drive for the bulk of the 71-lap race with a gearbox issue.

That did not stop Vettel from conjuring a one-two for Red Bull at Interlagos, appropriately so in a year they have dominated from the start in Australia to the finish in South America.

Behind them, Jenson Button continued his stunning end to the year by claiming his eighth podium in the last nine races, so finishing second in the drivers' championship.

However, it was a sorry end for McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton as he retired with a gearbox issue.

For the second day running the weather forecasters had again failed to accurately determine the conditions as the expected rain was nowhere to be seen.

It allowed Vettel to pull away handsomely, with the gap to Webber 3.4secs after 12 laps, although it was soon announced over the team radio he was struggling with a gearbox problem.

Two laps earlier and with the race starting to become processional, the first incident unfolded as Michael Schumacher attempted to pass Bruno Senna into the downhill turn one.

But as the seven-times champion cut back across on to the racing line, he sustained a left rear puncture to his Mercedes as it clipped the right front wing of the Renault.

It meant Schumacher limping back to the pits for an entire lap to take on fresh rubber, dropping to last, whilst Senna waited for three laps before pitting for a new nose and tyres of his own.

The stewards, however, did call an investigation into the incident, resulting in a drive-through penalty for Senna, which he served at the end of his 18th lap, dropping him to 17th.

Soon after Alonso pulled off a superb pass on Button into the left-hander turn six to claim third, the latter then pitting at the end of lap 15 as he appeared to be struggling for pace.

Alonso, Hamilton and Mercedes' Nico Rosberg all pitted a lap later, followed by Vettel after 17 laps and then Webber after 18.

After 22 laps Vettel led by 2.6secs to Webber, followed by Alonso, Button and Hamilton, the quintet covered by 11.7 seconds.

For the second day running the weather forecasters had again failed to accurately determine the conditions as the expected rain was nowhere to be seen.

It allowed Vettel to pull away handsomely, with the gap to Webber 3.4secs after 12 laps, although it was soon announced over the team radio he was struggling with a gearbox problem.

Two laps earlier and with the race starting to become processional, the first incident unfolded as Michael Schumacher attempted to pass Bruno Senna into the downhill turn one.

But as the seven-times champion cut back across on to the racing line, he sustained a left rear puncture to his Mercedes as it clipped the right front wing of the Renault.

It meant Schumacher limping back to the pits for an entire lap to take on fresh rubber, dropping to last, whilst Senna waited for three laps before pitting for a new nose and tyres of his own.

The stewards, however, did call an investigation into the incident, resulting in a drive-through penalty for Senna, which he served at the end of his 18th lap, dropping him to 17th.

Soon after Alonso pulled off a superb pass on Button into the left-hander turn six to claim third, the latter then pitting at the end of lap 15 as he appeared to be struggling for pace.

Alonso, Hamilton and Mercedes' Nico Rosberg all pitted a lap later, followed by Vettel after 17 laps and then Webber after 18.

After 22 laps Vettel led by 2.6secs to Webber, followed by Alonso, Button and Hamilton, the quintet covered by 11.7 seconds.

For the second day running the weather forecasters had again failed to accurately determine the conditions as the expected rain was nowhere to be seen.
It allowed Vettel to pull away handsomely, with the gap to Webber 3.4secs after 12 laps, although it was soon announced over the team radio he was struggling with a gearbox problem.

Two laps earlier and with the race starting to become processional, the first incident unfolded as Michael Schumacher attempted to pass Bruno Senna into the downhill turn one.

But as the seven-times champion cut back across on to the racing line, he sustained a left rear puncture to his Mercedes as it clipped the right front wing of the Renault.

It meant Schumacher limping back to the pits for an entire lap to take on fresh rubber, dropping to last, whilst Senna waited for three laps before pitting for a new nose and tyres of his own.

The stewards, however, did call an investigation into the incident, resulting in a drive-through penalty for Senna, which he served at the end of his 18th lap, dropping him to 17th.

Soon after Alonso pulled off a superb pass on Button into the left-hander turn six to claim third, the latter then pitting at the end of lap 15 as he appeared to be struggling for pace.

Alonso, Hamilton and Mercedes' Nico Rosberg all pitted a lap later, followed by Vettel after 17 laps and then Webber after 18.

After 22 laps Vettel led by 2.6secs to Webber, followed by Alonso, Button and Hamilton, the quintet covered by 11.7 seconds.

Defying speculation he would run to the flag, Button pitted for a third time on lap 53, taking on another set of medium tyres.

That forced Ferrari to react on the following lap in a bid to preserve another podium finish for Alonso.

From the lead Webber pitted after 58 laps, followed by Vettel a lap later, with the gap 8.5secs after 60 laps.

Behind the runaway duo Button was closing in on Alonso for third, duly taking the Spaniard into turn four by using DRS on lap 62.

All that was left was for Webber to finally take the chequered flag for the first time in 26 races, finishing with the fastest lap on the final tour, and 17 seconds clear of Vettel come the conclusion.

Button made it eight podiums in the last nine races with third, and so claiming second in the drivers' championship, with Alonso fourth and Massa fifth, albeit 30 seconds apart.

Adrian Sutil finished sixth for Force India, with team-mate Paul di Resta eighth, securing sixth in the constructors' championship for the team, sandwiching Rosberg in his Mercedes.

Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi was ninth, while Vitaly Petrov claimed the final point in his Renault.