Two seasons ago Mark Webber won his teammate’s home grand prix at the Nürburgring. Sebastian Vettel returned the favor on Sunday with an emphatic victory in the Australian’s backyard.
Prior to this race, Red Bull Racing’s highest Albert Park finish was a fourth from David Coulthard in the team’s debut race in 2005. Today DC celebrated his 40th birthday and the team celebrated its first Australian Grand Prix victory.
As the lights went out, both Webber and Vettel had a good getaway and it looked as if Mark had the march on Hamilton by the first corner, but Lewis managed to squeeze past. For Sebastian it was simply a case of two pit-stops and ensuring that his tires survived the race, and it was on to an emphatic victory.
“I’m very pleased, it was a very good weekend and I had a very nice car to sit in this afternoon,” Vettel commented. “Everything went perfectly – from the start until the final lap. It was simply amazing.”
“We learned a lot of things today,” he continued. “It’s good coming here after a long winter and setting the pace.”
Tire Trouble for Webber
Mark was forced to take a three-stop strategy as his tire degradation was worse than his teanmate’s; the team will now sit down and attempt to find the cause.
“It was a tough race and I was pushing as hard as I could, but I wasn't getting much back,” said Mark. “I was in a different race to Sebastian today, so we had to do different things. I was in trouble with the tires much sooner than he was, so we need to have a look why. But let's stay cool; it’s the first race.”
For Christian Horner, the victory and the back-to-back wins for the team after Abu Dhabi was again thanks to the effort of all involved. “It’s testimony to all the hard work that’s gone in over the winter; to have book-ended the two championships by winning the last race in Abu Dhabi and the first race here is a fantastic achievement."
In regard to the difference in tire wear, he said, "Unfortunately things didn’t work out for Mark and we need to understand why. We took a slightly different strategic route with him running the harder tire second, as his degradation seemed to be higher than Sebastian’s.”
“It’s something we need to look into on Mark’s car, as it was an unusual difference between them this weekend that we don’t normally see. I’m sure that will be back to normal for Malaysia.”
Few could have predicted the rest of the podium. You’d have taken bets on Hamilton being up there, but Petrov’s rise from sixth on the grid to podium was proof of his and Renault’s potential this season. Sébastien Buemi, who also scored on his debut here back in 2009, was in the points today with a solid 10th position for Toro Rosso.
Receiving the trophy for Red Bull Racing team was Rob Marshall, which was fitting, as he’s the chief designer and the team back in Milton Keynes have obviously designed a car with the potential to do great things again this season.
Next stop: Malaysia, where last year we did all right…
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- Red Bull Racing wins the 2010 Constructors Title
- Sebastian Vettel takes the 2010 Drivers Title
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