Posted October 06, 2013 on AP on Fox
As his teammate Sebastian Vettel was drenched in champagne, and unconvincingly downplaying the assumption he is assured of a fourth-successive Formula One title, Red Bull's Mark Webber sat disconsolately in the garage and reflected upon yet another chapter in his story of extraordinary bad luck. The Australian has shown a repeated knack throughout his career for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, even spawning a Facebook page titled `Why is Mark Webber so unlucky,' and Sunday's Korean Grand Prix may well have been the most remarkable example yet. Having started the race with a harsh 10-place grid penalty for merely hitching a ride back to the pits after the Singapore Grand Prix, Webber had worked his way up from 13th to a creditable third place when he made his second pit stop after lap 29 of 55 at the Yeongam circuit. Emerging back onto the track, Webber was trailing Sergio Perez when the McLaren's right-front tire blew and Webber had no way to avoid the debris, immediately picking up a puncture that sent him back to the pits again. "The tires are wearing a lot and they also explode a bit, but that is for Pirelli to sort out," a philosophical Webber said after the race. It was a blow, but fitting a new set of medium-compound tires would have given Webber a fighting chance of a decent points finish. However he was bemused to see the team had fitted a set of the short-life super-softs instead. The radio message from his engineer said: "We are in a tricky position, the plan is to try to go to the end" to which Webber radioed back "Why did we choose the options?" The sheepish answer was: "We had nothing else left mate." Upon resumption of the race after a safety car period, Webber was charging into the turn out of the main straight when he was hit from behind by the spinning Force India of Adrian Sutil, impacting the KERS system on the Red Bull and immediately starting a fire. Webber, whose start to a season was once delayed by being hit by a car while riding on a bike during a cross-country competition, sat in the car for a few worrying seconds as the flames spread before stepping out and watching the fire from close distance, like a barbecue in his homeland. Asked why he took so long to get out of the car, he laconically replied: "I was trying to get the fire extinguisher out but I couldn't. I had my overalls on." The ill-luck occurred on the same track where three years previously he went into the race with a 14-point lead in the championship, only to see his only chance of a title end in seconds, when he spun in wet conditions, drifted across the track and was collected by the onrushing Mercedes of Nico Rosberg. Webber departs F1 at the end of the season to go back to sports-car racing, and after a wretched run of outs in 2013, his fortunes can only improve. His star-crossed 2013 had its low point at the Malaysian Grand Prix where he led until Vettel ignored team orders and overtook him. Then in the next race in China, a fuel bowser problem in qualifying pushed him to the back of the grid, followed by a wheel coming off during the race. Yet to win a race this season, the Australian's F1 career is coming to a fittingly frustrating end.

Alonso, Webber, Pirelli in tire row

Ferrari was not happy with the way the tires were performing and their driver was struggling to be competitive. Drivers had learned that their tire supplier was a part of the equation and so any criticism was kept behind closed doors. That is until Michael Schumacher, at the height of frustration, commented publicly about the Goodyear tires. If memory serves correctly, this prompted...

Vettel wins F1 Korean Grand Prix

Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel won an eventful Korean Grand Prix on Sunday to close in on his fourth straight Formula One championship. The German led throughout the race, but two safety-car periods and significant graining on his tires made for a hard-fought win. He finished 4.2 seconds ahead of Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen, who was just ahead of teammate Romain Grosjean. Vettel...

Vettel wins Korean Grand Prix pole

Sebastian Vettel's extraordinary dominance of Formula One continued on Saturday when he claimed the pole position for the Korean Grand Prix. The German has taken the pole for three straight races - winning the first two. He's aiming for a third consecutive win at the Yeongam circuit and, most importantly, a fourth consecutive F1 championship. Vettel set his pole time early...

Prime & Option: the week in review, October 7

Despite the typical result of Sebastian Vettel and his finger on top of the podium, the Korean Grand Prix provided much excitement for viewers and dominated the headlines this past week. Though last week proved interesting enough, there is little time for more breaking news as the Formula 1 circus travels on to Japan for two back-to-back race weekends. Sebastian Vettel’s Win is...

Korea GPR Race Recap: Vettel wins, but excitement reigns supreme

Sebastian Vettel won the 2013 Korean Grand Prix, a race marked by two Safety Car periods and serious scrapping behind the leader. Kimi Raikkonen forced his way into second over teammate Romain Grosjean, with Nico Hulkenberg providing quite a show to finish fourth. He spent mush of the race defending from Lewis Hamilton or Fernando Alonso, who finished fifth and sixth in that order...

Driver Quotes: Korean GP qualifying

KOREAN GRAND PRIX KOREA INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT SATURDAY DRIVER QUOTES 5 OCTOBER 2013 Infiniti Red Bull Racing Sebastian Vettel “It was close today. I had a very good lap in Q3 on my first attempt and thought I would find it hard to do better. On my second attempt I caught Kimi on the warm up lap and didn’t have time to drop back, but fortunately the first lap was good enough...

Korea Quali Recap: Vettel takes pole, Hamilton comes close

Sebastian Vettel (1:37.202) won pole for the 2013 Korean Grand Prix, despite a late charge from Lewis Hamilton. The Briton would only be able to qualify second fastest in the end, beating out Mark Webber after the Australian dipped back into the garage. Though he aborted his fast lap, Webber qualified third, but will drop down the order on a ten place grid penalty after a reprimand...

Driver Quotes: Korean GP Practice

KOREAN GRAND PRIX KOREA INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT FRIDAY DRIVER QUOTES 4 OCTOBER 2013 Infiniti Red Bull Racing Sebastian Vettel “There is some room for improvement. It will be close with Mercedes; of course we’re not sure what others were doing with their fuel loads today, but it seems close ahead of tomorrow’s qualifying. I like the track here, it’s a shame it’s so far...

Driver Quotes: Korean GP

KOREAN GRAND PRIX KOREA INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT SUNDAY DRIVER QUOTES 6 OCTOBER 2013 Infiniti Red Bull Racing Sebastian Vettel “It was a long race today, but it’s really great to win. The start was crucial, it’s always tricky here as you’re nervous about the long straight when you start from pole. Fortunately we had good traction off the line and I had a strong exit out of...
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