• Belgian Grand Prix

Webber bemoans another poor start

ESPN Staff
August 25, 2013 « Button attempted one-stop strategy | Raikkonen hit by brake failure »
Mark Webber was unable to find a way past Nico Rosberg in the second half of the race © Sutton Images
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Mark Webber said his race was badly hurt by another poor start as he eventually finished fifth in the Belgian Grand Prix.

Webber lined up third on the grid for the race but dropped back to sixth place before he'd even reached Eau Rouge as Nico Rosberg, Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso came past. Webber was only able to regain one of those places as a result of Button's late pit stop and he admitted that the poor start hurt his race as he didn't have the gear ratios to pass Rosberg ahead.

"That was it really, after that," Webber said. "The preparation - the two starts we did on the formation laps taking the car to the grid weren't good at all so we had some discussions about how we could get the clutch to improve across the period before the start of the race. We'll go through it now but obviously it made it very tricky to read what was going to happen.

"When you're then out of position obviously trying to clear people you use the tyres a lot more. You then interrogate what type of top gear you have; the top gear is good for free air but when you're trying to pass people with DRS it's difficult to get the ratios right for passing, so I would have sat behind Nico all day. It was very difficult to pass him; he was strong in sector one because I think they had more wing for a rainy day and we didn't have the top speed to clear him in sector one."

Webber added that running the hard tyre in the middle of the race was an attempt to use strategy to pass the cars in front.

"We had to try something. A two stop for me with the prime in the middle was gambling to try to do something against the Mercedes. When you're on the back foot like that you've got to try something different, so in the end track position was our Achilles Heel today. Pace wasn't really a problem - well we didn't really get to see it - when you get consecutive laps in free air, we know free air in the category at the moment is nice to have."