Home - The Official Formula 1 Website Skip to content

Webber to miss qualifying after practice shunt 03 Oct 2009

Webber loses control at turn 9 and the Red Bull ends up in a tyre barrier

Red Bull’s Mark Webber will sit out qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix due to damage to his car sustained in his crash during Saturday morning’s final practice session at Suzuka.

Driver error saw Webber go off into the tyre wall at the second Degner corner near the end of P3. The Australian was unhurt and the impact did not look severe. However, subsequent examination revealed extensive damage to the front of the RB5’s chassis.

The chassis will have to be replaced, meaning the Red Bull mechanics now have to build up a new car to be scrutineered ahead of Sunday’s race. As a result, Webber is expected to start from the pit lane.

“You think of the preparation that goes into a weekend like this, so to not have the opportunity to do the race from a decent grid position is very tough for all of us - especially the guys in the garage,” said Webber. “€t wasn’t a big crash by any means, but it did too much damage to the chassis, so we have to change it.

“We don’t have spare cars these days, so that’s the outcome and it’s a shame. We made a few changes to the car for the final run and € lost control when it bottomed-out through Turn Eight.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner added: “Mark was on a really quick lap towards the end of P3; he’d just set his fastest first sector. €t was a really unfortunate incident, which is quite costly. So, not a good start to the weekend.”

The news comes as a bitter blow to Red Bull’s hopes of beating Brawn to the 2009 constructors’ title. Red Bull need to score seven points more than Brawn in Japan to stop their rivals wrapping up the championship.