Webber hits new heights in beating Monaco's day of shunts and safety cars

Australian has two comprehensive leads wiped out by accidents but records second win in eight days as Red Bull dominate again

Mark Webber withstood trial by safety car in Monte Carlo yesterday, but despite no fewer than four interventions, the Red Bull driver kept his cool to win his second grand prix in eight days and become the first Australian since Jack Brabham in 1959 to win the Monaco Grand Prix.

Before emulating recent Spanish MotoGP winner Jorge Lorenzo by jumping in Red Bull's swimming pool, Webber said: "It's absolutely fantastic, the greatest day in my life. To win here is very, very special. This place is such a test for two hours and the track was changing quite a lot, there were backmarkers, safety cards. I was tested quite often with the restarts, keeping the tyre pressures right. It was just very, very rewarding and I'm absolutely elated to join Ayrton Senna and those guys who have won round here."

Without question it was the best drive of Webber's fast-burgeoning career, yet it came close to disaster as backmarkers Jarno Trulli and Karun Chandhok collided in the Rascasse corner on the 74th of the 78 laps – right in front of Webber's Red Bull.

"You could lose so much time when you caught the slower cars," Webber said, "and when I saw Jarno go for the lunge at Rascasse I just thought, 'What the hell is gonna happen here?' I was just hoping that I'd have some options to go to the inside, and that Chandhok was OK as Trulli's car was around his head area. I thought, 'God another safety car! Let it stop at that!' But it was quite straightforward just to cross the line at the end."

Once again, Webber gave his much vaunted team-mate Sebastian Vettel a drubbing. The young German, highly rated as a champion of the future, squeezed ahead of Robert Kubica's Renault as they left the line at the start, but could never get close enough to challenge the Australian veteran who has hit a purple patch. After the first safety car was deployed on the opening lap when Nico Hulkenberg crashed his Williams in the tunnel, Webber streaked away, only to lose an 11.4-second lead when Rubens Barrichello crashed the other Williams going up to Casino Square on the 31st lap. Again, Webber moved away from Vettel but another safety car on the 43rd lap – when a drain cover worked loose at the spot where Fernando Alonso crashed on Saturday morning – saw him have to do it all over again.

However, Webber proved equal to each and every task, and had everyone covered on his day of days.

Vettel was more focused on defending from Kubica, who drove the wheels off his Renault to keep the dominant Red Bulls in sight, as Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton ran together without ever looking like changing places, and an inspired drive by Alonso took him from the back of the grid to sixth place, in the race of follow-my-leader that Monaco so often produces.

"Especially at the beginning and again after all restarts, I was not able to keep up with Mark," Vettel admitted. "There was a big difference later on when I finally found the grip, but early on he was already way down the road so there was no real point making an effort to catch him. And I spent more time looking in the mirrors today as Robert was pushing quite hard and I was having difficulty in getting away from him in the restarts.

"I was getting more sideways than going forward. I'm happy though, I couldn't have done any better today."

Well he might be, for he and Webber share the lead of the world championship for drivers, as Red Bull move to the top of the constructors' table for the first time this season.

"I think I was a bit quicker than Seb, especially after the restarts," Kubica said. "But then with 30 laps to go I got a big flat spot on one of the front tyres and that gave me big vibrations and I was really scared I might have to pit again to change the tyres, or that the tyre might explode, so I was surprised about pace after that. With third place we have to be positive, because nobody expected us to be there before this race."

Crashes apart, one of the few dramas came when Michael Schumacher pushed his Mercedes ahead of Alonso on that final lap as the safety car pulled in. The race stewards, however, took a dim view of Schumacher's opportunism; one of them was Damon Hill, his old title adversary. They ruled that he had breached Article 40.13 of the Sporting Regulations, and added 20 seconds to his race time, dropping him to 12th. Schumacher said he would appeal the decision. A date for the appeal is yet to be set.

"Two victories in eight days," said Webber. "To win in Monte Carlo is the dream of any F1 driver. Every F1 victory is special, but to join the winners here is a very special moment. Jack won here more than 50 years ago, so it's been a while for us Australians. This was an absolutely faultless day, apart from the start. It was a relief that Seb got Robert, because he'd have been very strong today. So this was the ultimate result for us. A one-two for the team in the Principality is mega. I'm predicting some serious headaches tomorrow."

Monaco Grand Prix, Monaco:

1 M Webber (Aus) Red Bull 1hr 50min 13.355sec

2 S Vettel (Ger) Red Bull 1:50:13.803

3 R Kubica (Pol) Renault 1:50:15.030

4 F Massa (Br) Ferrari 1:50:16.021

5 L Hamilton (GB) McLaren 1:50:17.718

6 F Alonso (Spa) Ferrari 1:50:19.696

7 N Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes GP 1:50:20.006

8 A Sutil (Ger) Force India 1:50:20.325

9 V Liuzzi (It) Force India 1:50:20.660,

10 S Buemi (Swit) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:50:21.554

11 J Alguersuari (Sp) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:50:22.490

12 M Schumacher (Ger) Mercedes GP 1:50:39.067

13 V Petrov (Rus) Renault at 5 Laps.

Not Classified: 14 K Chandhok (India) HRT-F1 70 Laps completed, 15 J Trulli (It) Lotus F1 70 Laps completed, 16 H Kovalainen (Fin) Lotus F1 58 Laps completed, 17 B Senna (Br) HRT-F1 58 Laps completed, 18 R Barrichello (Br) Williams 30 Laps completed, 19 K Kobayashi (Japan) BMW Sauber 26 Laps completed, 20 L di Grassi (Br) Virgin Racing 25 Laps completed, 21 T Glock (Ger) Virgin Racing 22 Laps completed, 22 P de la Rosa (Sp) BMW Sauber 21 Laps completed, 23 J Button (GB) McLaren 2 Laps completed, 24 N Hulkenberg (Ger) Williams 0 Laps completed.Drivers' Championship:

1 M Webber (Aus) Red Bull .....................78pts

2 S Vettel (Ger) Red Bull .....................78

3 F Alonso (Sp) Ferrari .....................75

4 J Button (GB) McLaren .....................70

5 F Massa (Bra) Ferrari .....................61

6 R Kubica (Pol) Renault .....................59

7 L Hamilton (GB) McLaren .....................59

8 N Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes GP ......... 56

9 M Schumacher (Ger) Mercedes GP ......... 22

10 A Sutil (Ger) Force India .....................18

11 V Liuzzi (It) Force India .....................9

12 R Barrichello (Br) Williams ......... 7

13 V Petrov (Rus) Renault .....................6

14 J Alguersuari (Sp) Scuderia Toro Rosso......... 3

15 N Hulkenberg (Ger) Williams......... 1

Manufacturers' Championship: 1 Red Bull 156pts, 2 Ferrari 134, 3 McLaren 129, 4 Mercedes GP 84, 5 Renault 65, 6 Force India 27, 7 Williams 8, 8 Scuderia Toro Rosso 3, 9 BMW Sauber 0, 10 Lotus F1 0, 11 HRT-F1 0, 12 Virgin Racing 0.

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick