BARCELONA: Mark Webber secured his first victory of the season and the third of his career on Sunday when he cruised to a sumptuous triumph for Red Bull in the Spanish Grand Prix.
The Australian, starting from pole, made the most of that advantage to hold his place in the crush on the opening lap, resisting all attacks at the first corner. It was his first win since last year’s Brazilian GP after he had become the first Australian victor since Alan Jones in 1981 when he claimed his maiden win in Germany.
Webber finished ahead of home hero Fernando Alonso of Ferrari, who profited from two dramatic late incidents to climb from fourth and give the big Catalan crowd good reason to celebrate. Lewis Hamilton of McLaren looked certain to finish second until he suffered a puncture on his penultimate lap of the 66- laps contest and crashed off the track, his front left wheel almost wrenched off his car.
This gave Alonso his second place and also enabled Webber’s German team-mate Sebastian Vettel to take third despite having to take an additional pit-stop in the closing stages after he had gone off into a gravel trap. Michael Schumacher came home fourth ahead of fifthplaced defending champion Jenson Button in the second McLaren. Felipe Massa was sixth ahead of Adrian Sutil, in seventh, Robert Kubica who was eighth for Renault and Rubens Barrichello who finished a solid ninth despite starting close to the rear of the grid.
Webber’s win lifted him up among the leading contenders in the drivers championship led by Button on 70 with Alonso second on 67. In the constructors’ title race, McLaren lead with 117 and Ferrari are second on 116.