Australian Mark Webber has broken through for his maiden Grand Prix victory at the Nurburgring track in Germany in an action-packed race, beating Red Bull team mate Sebastian Vettel by over nine seconds.
The long-pilloried journeyman Webber survived a collision with Lewis Hamilton at the start, losing his lead from pole position on the first corner to Reubens Barrichello, and a drivethrough penalty during the race to salute the checkered flag and let out an almighty scream of joy through the team audio system which was picked up by race broadcasters.
Webber was beaten to the first corner by Barrichello after winning his first ever pole position yesterday, and had to endure a bump by Hamilton of the McLaren team – though Hamilton came off the worse for wear with a punctured tyre, leaving him a lap down on the field by the time the Briton finished his race.
The Brawn drivers Barrichello and Jensen Button finished sixth and fifth respectively, and it could be argued technical hitches by Brawn handed Webber the victory. A particularly long 11-second second pit stop for Barrichello on the 27th lap when his pit crew had problems with the fuelling rig delivered the lead to Webber, along with some confusion by Barrichello over how many stops he was supposed to make.
Webber is the first Australian to win a GP race since Alan Jones in 1981 and only the third ever behind Jones and Jack Brabham.
1. Mark Webber (Red Bull) 1:36:43.310
2. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) 9.252
3. Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 15.906
4. Nico Rosberg (Williams) 21.099
5. Jenson Button (Brawn) 23.609
6. Rubens Barrichello (Brawn) 24.468
7. Fernando Alonso (Renault) 24.888
8. Heikki Kovalainen (McLaren) 58.692
9. Timo Glock (Toyota) 1:01.457
10. Nick Heidfeld (BMW) 1:01.925
11. Giancarlo Fisichella (Force India) 1:02.327
12. Kazuki Nakajima (Williams) 1:02.876
13. Nelson Piquet (Renault) 1:08.328
14. Robert Kubica (BMW) 1:09.555
15. Adrian Sutil (Force India) 1:11.941
16. Sebastien Buemi (Toro Rosso) 1:30.225
17. Jarno Trulli (Toyota) 1:30.970
18. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) 1 lap behind
19. Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari) did not finish
20. Sebastien Bourdais (Toro Rosso) did not finish