Webber champagne moment © Getty Images for Red Bull Racing

A small mistake in his RB6's set-up cost Mark Webber the win at the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday. But luck was on the Australian's side once again as he dug in and fought back to claim second place after slipping to seventh. He talks us through his race...

Given my appalling start in Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix from pole position, I was very happy to finish second. At the exit of turn one I was back in seventh, so 18 points was a great haul in the circumstances.

As is so often the case at Spa-Francorchamps, the whole weekend was blighted by rain. Prior to the race, I'd done only a handful of laps in the dry, so there were still a lot of question marks regarding car set-up as we lined up on the grid. But it was the same for everyone.

As soon as I released the clutch at the start of the formation lap, I knew immediately that there was a problem. The car bogged down as I pulled away from the line, so I made some small adjustments to the settings to try to fix the situation, but it didn't work. When the lights went out, my dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree and cars streamed past me.

Luckily, the run to turn one is quite short at Spa and that limited the damage the others could inflict. As I've already said, I only dropped back to seventh; if the same thing were to happen at Monza in a couple of weeks time, the boxing gloves will have to come out because it's a really long run to turn one.

'My dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree and cars streamed past me'

I still had to knuckle down and work my way back into contention, which was pretty enjoyable. The car was handling well and I had a good fight with Adrian Sutil on the run-up to Les Combes on the opening lap before pulling a nice move around the outside of Felipe Massa at Rivage for fifth. Then the first safety car came out after Rubens Barrichello and Fernando Alonso collided.

We all lost tyre temperature behind the safety car and that made it pretty difficult when the race went green two laps later because the car felt pretty loose.

I didn't gain any places at the restart and a small group of us were then held up by Jenson Button, which allowed Lewis Hamilton to get away.

Events came to a head on lap 17 when my team-mate Sebastian Vettel and Button collided. Button retired on the spot and Seb dropped to the back of the field, which promoted me to third place behind Hamilton and Robert Kubica. I tried to jump Robert in the pitlane – and the Red Bull Racing mechanics did a great job to turn me around in 3.6sec when I pitted on lap 22 – but it wasn't enough and I had to wait until the second round of pitstops to gain the position.

All the leaders pitted together for intermediate tyres when it started to rain three-quarters of the way through the race. The pitlane was very slippery and Kubica overshot his pitbox, which gave me my chance: the Red Bull mechanics did a fantastic job once again and second place was in the bag.

The race had a twist in the tail, however, when Alonso crashed on lap 37 and brought out another safety car.

At the restart, I was right with Hamilton, but I didn't have the legs to pass him up the hill to Les Combes – and I wasn't about to risk anything stupid because second position was a great result given the weather conditions and my messy start.

Mark Webber is a columnist for the Daily Telegraph in Sydney, Australia. You can keep up with Mark at the Italian Grand Prix on our event page. For inside gossip from the Formula One paddock, interrogate the Red Bull F1 Spy or get involved through the Red Bull Racing Community pages.

null © Getty Images for Red Bull Racing


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