Red Bull driver Mark Webber welcomes timely victory in Monaco


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The Independent Online

Mark Webber hailed his Monaco Grand Prix victory as timely as he thrust himself firmly into contention for this year's Formula One world title.

Webber had not led a lap nor stepped on to the podium prior to yesterday's triumph, the eighth of his career and second around Monaco in three years.

As the sixth different winner of a grand prix this year, a new F1 record to start a campaign, Webber has hauled himself alongside Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel, with the duo three points adrift of championship leader Fernando Alonso.

The Australian conceded his success was harder than in 2010, notably in the closing stages as drizzle fell in places, forcing Webber to play it safe which backed up the field.

Come the conclusion, Webber finished just 0.643secs ahead of Nico Rosberg in his Mercedes, with the top six covered by six seconds.

After a run of four fourth-placed finishes to start the season and failing to score in Spain a fortnight ago, Webber said: "This is timely off the back of a difficult weekend for us in Barcelona.

"A few small things we got wrong, and ultimately we paid for that with no points in Barcelona.

"Up until then, generally, we had got the maximum out of most weekends, and that was the case this weekend, and that's all we can keep doing.

"In Shanghai, Nico was untouchable; in Barcelona the Williams (of Pastor Maldonado) was quick.

"So we need to be scoring all the time, and then when days like this come along you just cannot let them go at all.

"You have to grab them with both hands and feet and hang on to them like hell. That was the plan, but consistency is nice.

"Of course, wins are what win championships, so you need to win and then keep consistent."

Alonso underlined that point as he has been the most consistent performer of the season, claiming third to grab the overall lead.

Reigning champion Vettel had to settle for fourth, followed by McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, who is 13 points adrift, and Felipe Massa in his Ferrari for his best result of the year.

Adopting another excellent strategy, Paul di Resta was seventh in his Force India, extending his run of consecutive finishes to 21.

But it was Red Bull who were again celebrating, notably as there was no protest against their cars supposedly running with illegal floors.

Team principal Christian Horner had suggested a protest "wouldn't be particularly sporting" given his supreme confidence his cars are legal, although the story may yet run.

That allowed Webber and Horner to enjoy the now traditional celebratory jump into the pool on top of their floating paddock home for Red Bull's third successive win in Monaco.

Horner said: "It's a fantastic result for the team. Mark drove an immaculate race, and after a very clean get away he controlled it from the front.

"All the races carry the same amount of points, but some are that little bit more special to win."