Mixed feelings for Red Bull
Mark Webber delighted in winning the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix while team-mate Sebastian Vettel was licking his wounds despite
making the podium in third place.
The mixed feelings were not limited to Red Bull, though, after the first race in Europe on Sunday, as McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes also
saw the full spectrum of emotions.
Webber won the race from pole while Vettel had a bad pit stop, brakes and balance problems in the Barcelona race. He only made the podium
behind Webber and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso because Lewis Hamilton had a puncture in the penultimate lap while running strongly in second.
"The car is fast but you have to be able to use that every single time. It is 50-50 per cent chance of getting through. Mark had a
race without any problems but for me it was the other way around," said Vettel.
The German was visibly frustrated because car problems had already denied him possible victories in the opening races in Bahrain and
Australia. Webber, who normally finds himself behind Vettel, agreed as he spoke on behalf of his team and others.
"You need a quick car but you need to have one that is always there for you," he said. "It showed with McLaren with the
failure there that everyone is pushing things to the limit. Ferrari have had some engine problems. We can build (reliable) tractors, but
they are slow. You need to build Formula One cars that are on the edge and this is the balance everyone is chasing."
Alonso was effectively gifted second place due to the mishaps of Hamilton and Vettel, which pleased Ferrari, and the Italian media on
The Corriere della Sera daily spoke of a "thoroughbred Ferrari" and added that "Alonso achieved a masterpiece." But
at the same time there is growing concern that apart from the opening race where he come second behind Alonso, Felipe Massa is having
trouble in the second Ferrari and consistently finishing off the pace - in sixth place on Sunday.
"Fernando is a very good driver but something has happened to me," the BBC quoted Massa as saying. "Something is not going
like I want, so I can't do the lap time or drive the car like I want."
The same was the case with Mercedes where comeback man Michael Schumacher consistently trailed team-mate Nico Rosberg over the first four
races of the season before finally reversing the trend on Sunday by coming fourth while Rosberg was far off the pace after all sorts of
"Michael has driven extremely well all weekend to continue the progress that he made over the first three races of the season and
achieve his best finish with our team. Nico has had a more difficult time and we will look closely into the reasons why he has struggled
this weekend," said team boss Ross Brawn.
Schumacher frustrated world champion Jenson Button when he first overtook the McLaren driver and then fended off all of his attacks, but
Button at least finished fifth despite dashboard and clutch problems to retain the championship lead while Hamilton was not awarded for his
superb drive at all.
"It's not the result we wanted (and) deserved. The car was quicker, which was positive and negative since we weren't able to use
it," said Button.
McLaren continues to lead the world championship with 19 point in hand over Ferrari.
By John Bagratuni