Red Bull Racing gleamed at the Nurburgring
Mark Webber sealed his comeback from off-season injury with a battling maiden win at the Nürburgring that saw him overcome a drive-through penalty to become the first Australian since Alan Jones in 1981 to climb to the top step of the Formula One podium. Webber wwwitted afterwards that it had been a tough road back to F1 competition after a cycling accident during his Tasmania Challenge left him with a badly broken leg and a long recovery period.
Even up to a fortnight ago the recovery was not complete, the Red Bull Racing star having surgery to remove metal pins from his leg ahead of the race in Germany. Pole position on Saturday though showed there were no ill effects.
In the race though, Webber's hope of victory were dented by an early-race drive-through penalty after he banged wheels with Rubens Barrichello and was deemed, in doing so, to have caused an accident involving Lewis Hamilton.
Webber fought back, though, and with the Brawns struggling with their tyres, he retook the lead and raced to an emphatic victory at his 130th attempt.
"It's an incredible day for me," he said afterwards. "I wanted to win so badly. I knew we had a good chance here and after qualifying I knew I had a better than good chance. But then I lost Rubens off the line and banged wheels with him, which isn't my style normally, but my engineer kept me calm and I was able to push on."
Webber wwwitted that his off-season injury had left him with a mountain to climb to get to this level.
"The leg definitely wasn't healed at the start of the season it was still broken and it was only the metal that was holding it in place," he said.
"I was very lucky in a few areas," he added. "For example, Melbourne was put back on the calendar a bit and a few other things have gone my way. You know, even walking in the swimming pool back in January was very tough. But I stayed positive. I knew from the times Sebastian [Vettel] was doing in winter testing that the car was going to be quick, and that really gave me motivation to get fit again. It was a difficult winter, but the team were very patient with me and I have to thank them. There were a few doubters too, so hello to them as well! An incredible day!"