MARK Webber had ‘a mystifying lack of pace’ on Sunday, according to his Red Bull team boss Christian Horner.
The Aston Clinton-based driver started in 11th place, after he failed to make it through to the final part of qualifying on Saturday – because he was sat in the garage when his rivals were setting faster lap times.
Unlike previous races which have seen Webber push through the field, he made no progress and finished in 11th at the Spanish Catalunya circuit (the same position where he started). The result has left the team with ‘plenty to understand’, according to team principal Horner who said: “For Mark it was a tough race with the wing change early on and then unfortunately a mystifying lack of pace, which resulted in him spending a lot of the race looking at the back of Nico Hulkenberg’s car. So there is plenty to understand.”
Webber said: “I don’t know where I got damage to my front wing, but I had to pit for a new nose. I lost a lot of time with that and on the few laps before when it started playing up.
“We had to pit and when you’re out of position here it’s tough. You have to look after your tyres and when you catch people your tyres get killed, so it’s chicken and egg. If you push past them, you have to pit earlier and commit to another stop. It was a mystery with the pace. If you start at the front, you can drive your own race.
“If you start towards the back, you’ll invariably finish towards the back because you’re stuck in traffic and you take too much out of the tyres. You end up having to drive as slow as possible to get to the end of the race. I’m not a big fan of racing like that, but the fans seem to enjoy it.”
The race was won by Williams’ Pastor Maldonado, who became the fifth different winner in this season’s five races. Webber is currently fifth in the drivers’ championship.