Inauspicious start for Webber as he qualifies fifth on grid for season opening Melbourne Grand Prix

Mark Webber speaking to Bucks Herald reporter Andrew Kay ahead of the new F1 season
Mark Webber speaking to Bucks Herald reporter Andrew Kay ahead of the new F1 season

ASTON Clinton’s Mark Webber will start his home GP in Melbourne back in fifth place after a qualifying session which was dominated by McLaren and their British duo Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.

McLaren have thrown down the gauntlet ahead of the opening GP on Sunday, claiming a one-two in qualifying leaving World Champions Red Bull trailing in their wake.

In an absorbing and unpredictable session in Melbourne, there was abject misery for Ferrari, proof positive from Lotus and Mercedes that they have joined the frontrunners and, most significantly of all, no answer from Red Bull to the revelation that the new McLaren contains a stunning turn of pace.

Importantly for Webber, though, he did qualify ahead of World Champion teammate Seb Vettel, who admitted: “They were out of reach today.”