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GP Week : Issue 190
WEBBER HITCHES A RIDE, COPS PENALTY Mark Webber has been reprimanded for entering the track at the end of the Singapore Grand Prix without the permission of marshals, an incident that occurred when he caught a lift back to the pits on the sidepod of Fernando Alonso's Ferrari The pair have a history of offering one another rides, with Webber giving the same cour tesy to Alonso when the Ferrari driver ran out of fuel on the final lap of the 2011 German Grand Prix. In Singapore, Webber was forced to retire when his gearbox expired on the penultimate lap; the Red Bull driver then waited by the side of the track before waving Alonso down. In this instance, Webber chose to ignore the cautions of trackside marshals, and – apparently far worse in the eyes of the stewards – chose to climb aboard the Ferrari via the lef t-hand sidepod and perilously close to oncoming traffic. A CCTV recording from the corner of the incident was played to journalists in the Singapore media centre and distinctly showed a Mercedes narrowly avoiding the Red Bull driver as he boarded Alonso's Ferrari. Intriguingly, Webber has had a penchant for boarding a single- seater through the portside since the beginning of his career, although it's doubtful the stewards saw his superstitious quirk as a mitigating circumstance. It was Webber's third reprimand of the season, forcing the stewards to impose a ten-place grid penalty on the Australian at the next race in Korea. The best Webber can now hope for is P11 on the grid in South Korea, and then only if he has a perfect qualifying session. According to an FIA notification, Webber violated Ar ticle 30.9 (b) of the Sporting Regulations when he “entered the track without the marshal's permission bet ween the commencement of the formation lap and the time when the last car enters parc ferme.” “It’s annoying, but someone’s had a tougher day than me somewhere and that ’s the way it goes,” said a bemused Webber after the race. “I was having to shor t shift, but then, unlike Monza, we started to lose a lot of power. We were just trying to get home at that point but then on the last lap we caught fire.” It has been a wretched year for the soon-to-retire Australian. Since losing a controversial victory in Malaysia, which would have seen him on equal points with Sebastian Vet tel, Webber has endured mechanical gremlins and poor starts which have left him fifth in the championship and 117 points adrift of his teammate and championship leader. F1 >>> nEWs Is this F1 political correctness gone mad? 6 GPWEEK.com // 6 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: