• Australian Grand Prix

Webber apologises for Hamilton crash

ESPNF1 Staff
March 28, 2010 « Alonso praises Ferrari strategy | »
Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton were fighting for position all day © Sutton Images

Mark Webber has apologised for crashing into Lewis Hamilton in the closing stages of the Australian Grand Prix and was subsequently reprimanded by the stewards as a result.

On two-stop strategies, Hamilton and Webber reeled in Fernando Alonso towards the end of the race, and on fresher tyres, looked capable of passing the Ferrari for fourth place. Potentially the pair could have challenged for a podium as Felipe Massa and Robert Kubica were also within range, but as Hamilton went to overtake Alonso, Webber rear-ended the McLaren and both ended up in the turn 13 gravel trap.

"At the end of the race we caught the leading guys, but then we had the incident," said Webber. "I apologise to Lewis about that. I lost all down-force in the front of the car when I got close to them, the car lifted and I slid into the back of him. Unfortunately it had looked like a good finish, but it's still very difficult to follow in these cars. I went down fighting, I wasn't happy with sixth place and wanted to get a podium, but in the end it was a tough day for the team. We'll be back."

Despite the reprimand, Webber was given no further punishment. However, he admitted that his afternoon had taken a turn for the worse before the accident, as he was one of the last drivers to change to slick tyres when the track started to dry early in the race.

"I wanted to get in on the lap that Sebastian pitted to change to dry tyres, but obviously whoever's ahead has the call so I had to do an extra lap on the intermediates, which lost me a lot of time," he said. "Leaving the pits I couldn't get second gear and went wide. [From then] I knew I had to make the moves on track."