Before we get into the whole team orders debacle, we need to look at the race that Mark had today. The first few corners were completely against type for him – he leapfrogged both Lewis Hamilton and the Ferraris as they negotiated each other – to take 2nd on the road as the track began to dry.
He took the lead as teammate Sebastian Vettel gambled on using dry tyres first. Despite the pressure from Vettel later in that stint, it was the Australian who began to eek out a small lead as the German fell backwards into the clutches of the fast charging Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton.
Vettel then pitted earlier again on the fourth and final time of asking to make sure he was on Webber’s tail. And he was – they grappled wheel to wheel through the first five corners for two consecutive laps, prompting frantic radio calls from a concerned Red Bull pitwall, before Vettel got decisively in front and went on to clinch another win.
It was the bit between the start and the end that was the most impressive from Mark today. He made the tyres work and he kept a race pace up that made Sebastian really work hard in the middle stints. When he got on the radio complaining that Webber should be moved out of the way, you just knew that the German was ruffled.
The race will be remembered for all the wrong reasons – but let’s not forget, from 5th on the grid, Mark Webber had done enough to lay claim to the top step of that podium.
The Australian anthem is ringing round the Sett today, he’s our driver of the day.