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Webber wins Monaco F1 Grand Prix

(China Daily)
Updated: 2010-05-17 09:33
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Australian leads Red Bull one-two; Button retires on the third lap

MONTE CARLO - Mark Webber leapt into serious contention for this year's drivers' world championship on Sunday when he drove to an imperious victory ahead of his precocious young teammate, Sebastian Vettel, in the Monaco Grand Prix.

Webber wins Monaco F1 Grand Prix
Red Bull Formula One driver Mark Webber of Australia holds the trophy after winning the Monaco F1 Grand Prix race in Monte Carlo May 16, 2010. [Agencies]

The 33-year-old Australian led from start to finish and made light of four interruptions for the introduction of the safety car on his way to a second comprehensive win in succession, having won equally impressively in Spain last weekend.

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It was the fourth win of his career, his second this year and he became the first Australian victor on the famous Mediterranean street circuit, bathed in more glamor than sunshine this time, since Jack Brabham won in 1959, on his way to the world title.

It was also the Red Bull team's third one-two triumph in succession and their fourth in six races this year, sufficient evidence to confirm with reasonable certainty they have overcome their reliability problems - at least on slower circuits.

An ecstatic Webber praised his team after taking the chequered flag. Over the team radio, he said: "Unbelievable. Thank you. You deserve every bit of this. The car is fantastic."

Vettel, the 22-year-old wunderkind whose sheer talent had seemed to rattle Webber earlier and last year, was unable to mount a challenge to his partner's supremacy this time and came home a comfortable second ahead of Pole Robert Kubica in a Renault. All the top three drivers were powered by Renault engines.

Webber's win lifted him to the top of the drivers standings on 78 points, level with Vettel as the season continued to unfold as a Red Bull in-house contest.

World champion Jenson Button lost any chance of retaining his lead in this year's championship when he was forced out of the Monaco Grand Prix on the third lap.

The 30-year-old Briton - who led Spaniard Fernando Alonso by three points going into the race - came to a halt with what looked like engine trouble as smoke billowed out of his McLaren.

Brazilian Felipe Massa came home fourth for Ferrari ahead of the 2008 champion Briton Lewis Hamilton in a McLaren with seven-times champion German Michael Schumacher, 41, taking sixth for Mercedes after a controversial move behind the safety car to pass Fernando Alonso on the final lap.