Webber left clutch-ing at straws after Belgian GP problems

Mark Webber and his team knew about the car problems before the Belgian Grand Prix PHOTO: Red Bull Media
Mark Webber and his team knew about the car problems before the Belgian Grand Prix PHOTO: Red Bull Media

Australian Formula One driver Mark Webber blamed a clutch problem after he could only finish fifth in Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix at the Spa-Franchorchamps circuit.

The Red Bull driver, who lives in Aston Clinton, said after the race that the team were aware of the problem beforehand.

He said: “On my way to the grid I did two practice starts at the exit to the pitlane.

“Both were pretty diabolical which wasn’t particularly encouraging.

“We had a meeting on the grid to decide what the best damage limitation was and went with that.

“However, it wasn’t much better come the actual race start.

“The clutch bite point was all over the place and I lost a couple of places immediately.”

Webber ended up nine seconds ahead of sixth-placed Jenson Button and 3.9 seconds behind fourth-placed Nico Rosberg.

He felt that a podium would have been possible had he got a better start.

He said: “We would have had the race pace for a podium, although we would have struggled to win.

“It was a shame that I couldn’t end on a high on my final visit to Spa, but it wasn’t to be.”

The result leaves Webber fifth in the drivers standings on 115 points.

The next stop on the F1 calendar is Monza for the Italian Grand Prix, with the race on Sunday September 8 at 1pm UK time.