Things go from bad to worse for Webber

On yer bike! Mark Webber gets a lift off the Shanghai track after being forced to retire early on Sunday''Photo: Red Bull Media
On yer bike! Mark Webber gets a lift off the Shanghai track after being forced to retire early on Sunday''Photo: Red Bull Media

Things are going from bad to worse for Mark Webber after he endured a hugely frustrating Chinese Grand Prix which threatens to spill over into this weekend’s race in Bahrain where he faces a three-place grid penalty.

After a productive opening couple of practice sessions on Friday, the Aston Clinton racer’s weekend headed downhill on Saturday and reached rock bottom on Sunday when he retired from the race after 15 laps before being handed a grid penalty for Bahrain after crashing with a Toro Rosso.

“That was a very disappointing weekend,” Webber said.

“Every time I got in the car on Saturday and Sunday there was a problem, so I wasn’t able to show my true pace. For some reason it just wasn’t meant to be this weekend.”

Events started to unravel during the second segment of qualifying, when Webber’s car ground to a halt with a fuel pressure problem which in turn meant he was left with insufficient fuel in his tank and, as per the regulations, the Aussie was forced to start from the back of the grid.

With the intention of making just two pitstops during the remainder of the race after starting from the pits, Webber set about trying to salvage something but that plan ended on lap 15 when he came together with Jean-Eric Vergne for which he was later penalised by race stewards.

The 33 year old pitted to replace the broken nose of his RB9 and changed tyres at the same time, but his right-rear wheel came off on his out-lap and he was forced to retire.

A frustrated but considered Webber is keen to move on and said: “Let’s hope that’s my bad luck for the year done in one weekend.”