Mark Webber has taken pole position in a Formula 1 Grand Prix race for the first time at the German GP at Nurburgring, raising Australian hopes that they could boast of an F1 race winner for the first time since Alan Jones in 1981.
Following in the footsteps of Jones’ 12 wins and 14 wins by the legendary Jack Brabham in the 1950s and 60s, it has seemed for many years like Webber would never reach the lofty heights in the sport that those two attained, but his Red Bull team is a major contender this year and Webber currently sits fourth in the 2009 Formula one standings.
Webber complained three weeks ago at the British GP that he was prevented from securing pole by Kimi Raikonnen, a circuit he also finished second in qualifying last year, but this time he managed to hold off Brawn drivers Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button, as well as his Red Bull team mate Sebastian Vettel to post the best time in the third qualifying sesion. Button has won six of the eight races this year with Vettel winning the other two.
Webber has attracted a poor reputation in Australia for not finishing many of his races, something he has been notorious for particularly at his home Melbourne GP. However, he only missed finishing three times last season and has finished every race in 2009 including six in the points and three second places plus a third.
If Webber is to ever win a Grand Prix race it may have to be this year, as his Red Bull team is enjoying a brief respite from the usual team dominance of the sport by the likes of Ferrari and McLaren. With political instability affecting Formula 1 more than ever, the window is likely to close fast on Webber’s chance to shine.