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GP Week : Issue 109
30 It has been nine years since Mark Webber has come away with a result to be proud of from his home grand prix, and that will continue for another 12 months at least after finishing a disappointing fifth in sunday’s race. Webber made his F1 debut with Minardi in Albert Park in 2002, scoring a remarkable fifth place, but he has only been able to match that achievement since, despite being in considerably more capable machinery. Webber was unable to live with the searing pace of team-mate Vettel throughout the weekend, and qualified third on the grid almost ninth- tenths adrift of the champion. His fortunes failed to improve during the race, and after losing out to to Hamilton off the line, he had to pit early for a fresh set of tyres before later falling behind Petrov and Alonso during pitstops in the final 20 laps. “I wasn’t quick today and it was the same in qualifying yesterday, so we need to understand the reason why. There wasn’t much else I could do today. I lost the last position to Fernando [Alonso] during the pit stops and that was it really. It was very frustrating,” said a downcast Webber. “I should be able to stay with these guys, but today I finished a long way behind. It was a tough race and I was pushing as hard as I could, but I wasn’t getting much back. To finish that far behind is not really usual, but let’s stay cool; it’s the first race.” Webber’s record in Malaysia, the next race on the calendar, is considerably better, having finished second there last year. Webber fifth at home ... again