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Radio problem the end of Webber’s chances

Speedcafe.com

Monday 30th May, 2011 - 11:23am

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Webber tried hard but could manage no better than fourth

Webber tried hard but could manage no better than fourth

Mark Webber was left to rue an uncharacteristic pitstop bungle from Red Bull Racing that cost the Australian a chance of winning his second consecutive Monaco Grand Prix.

CLICK HERE for Speedcafe.com’s race report

Webber lost third position to Fernando Alonso at the first corner of the race, and sat behind the Ferrari until making his first stop on Lap 16.

A radio problem meant that the Red Bull crew did not have tyres ready for Webber when he arrived for his first stop – a problem that had, to a lesser extent, also affected team-mate Sebastian Vettel when he pitted on the same lap.

Both drivers exited the pits on the Soft compound tyres – a strategy that team principal Christian Horner later admitted was not deliberate.

“We didn’t really go long enough on the first stint, which is normal for me on these tyres, so that compromised me,” explained Webber.

“When I arrived in the pits we didn’t have any tyres out, I arrived and sat there, but the boys were still getting them ready.

“There was a radio communication problem within the team and so they weren’t properly prepared.

“When you wait here, you lose track position and you have to wait behind people, so it was not bad to get fourth from there.”

Webber returned to the track from his disastrous stop in 14th position, and rose back up the order to sixth before pitting for the second time on Lap 56.

The Australian subsequently charged his way past the one-stopping Vitaly Petrov and Adrian Sutil to run fifth when the race was red flagged on Lap 72.

Webber was then the only leading contender to make a clean passing move in the final six lap sprint – nailing Kamui Kobayashi for fourth into the Nouvelle Chicane on the penultimate lap.

“I don’t know why we restarted the race when there were only five laps left – but that was the decision and it turned out okay,” said Webber.

Webber is currently third in the World Championship standings – 64 points behind leader Vettel.

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