Mark Webber handed three-place grid drop for Bahrain after Jean-Eric Vergne tangle
Red Bull driver receives second penalty of weekend
By James Galloway. Last Updated: 15/04/13 8:37am
Mark Webber's has been handed a three-place grid penalty for next weekend's Bahrain GP after crashing with Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne in China, capping a thoroughly forgettable weekend for the Australian.
Webber had been making a strong start to his recovery drive in the Shanghai race having opted to start from the pitlane following his qualifying exclusion on Saturday and had already moved towards the points by the time he came up behind Vergne, who had yet to pit, on lap 16.
However, as the Red Bull attempted to pass the Toro Rosso at turn six after seeing a gap down the inside, Vergne in turn moved across to take the right-hander as normal and Webber hit the side of him.
The contact spun the Frenchman round and also broke Webber's front wing and the latter's subsequent pitstop for the repairs prompted more terminal trouble when a rear wheel wasn't fitted correctly and the Australian had to pull into retirement before the end of the next lap.
Afterwards Webber was summoned to see the stewards and it was subsequently confirmed he will take a three-place grid drop in Bahrain next week after admitting his guilt in the clash.
Speaking to Sky Sports News before official confirmation of his penalty came through, the 36-year-old was philosophical over the repeat setbacks and expressed hope for a more straightforward run at Sakhir.
"I can't remember the last time we had that much in the space of two days," Webber conceded.
"Disappointing, but Fernando [Alonso] didn't have the smoothest last grand prix either, so that can come with the territory unfortunately.
"We've got of things to look into over this week and get ready for Bahrain. I think performance-wise I'm happy with how I'm driving, we just need to put things smoother together."
In a separate investigation, stewards also announced post-race that Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez would receive a grid penalty for Bahrain, with the Mexican rookie to be demoted five places next Sunday.
The full Stewards' verdict
Offence: Breach of Article 16.1 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations.
Decision: Penalty of a drop of 3 grid positions at the driver's next Event.
Reason: The driver of car 2 admitted that he attempted to overtake car 18 because he believed car 18 would give him sufficient room. Car 18 maintained its normal line through the corner and car 2 was unable to avoid the collision. The driver of car 2 admitted it was his mistake.