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Webber savours ‘special’ podium

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Mark Webber savoured the second podium appearance of his grand prix career after finishing third in the rain-hit race at the Nurburgring.

The Australian kept a cool head during the early downpour and profited from Kimi Raikkonen’s mid-race retirement to claim his first top-three finish since the 2005 Monaco GP.

To cap Red Bull Racing's best day since it joined the F1 ranks in '05, David Coulthard brought the sister RB3 home fifth.

“This is a podium I can enjoy on a special day for us,” said Webber, who has been dogged by mechanical misfortune this year.

“The team deserves it after all the effort that has taken place behind the scenes.

“It’s great to get some points on the board, especially as David finished fifth as well.

“I didn’t have a good start and was on the back foot – the rain certainly came much earlier than we expected.

“We had to make a quick decision and went for the intermediates, but as the rain got much worse we were aquaplaning really badly.

“The FIA took the right decisions in bringing out the safety car and then suspending the race.

“I did a long run on the grooved tyres, which helped me pull away from the guys behind, even if I struggled a bit in the middle stint with the rear [tyres].

“I have to say I wasn’t too disappointed to see Kimi retire…”

Webber had to fend off a determined bid from Williams rival Alex Wurz over the final laps.

“Towards the end I began to think I had it in the bag, but I thought ‘oh god’ when I saw the rain coming again,” he said.

“In the final part I had massive vibration from the rear tyres and that’s why Alex got so close.”

Coulthard was delighted with his result after a botched qualifying session consigned him to 20th on the starting grid.

“I’m very happy for the team,” said the Scotsman.

“It’s obviously been a difficult start to the year with some reliability issues, but nonetheless to show the pace we did in this race was good and the calls we made on strategy were a credit to the team; the pit stops were great.

“After such a bad qualifying, it was only ever going to be a change of conditions like these that was going to give us a chance to move forward.”

RBR sporting director Christian Horner paid tribute to the whole team's efforts.

“A fantastic team result today,” he said.

“Today was all about teamwork, the drivers, the work on the pit wall, the work in the pit stops; everyone did a fantastic job.

“I’m very, very pleased for Mark – after such rotten luck during the first half of the season he finally got a result he deserved.

“David had a fantastic recovery from a disappointing qualifying session, but the guys did their bit on the circuit today and the team in the pit lane, and I’m very proud of everybody, it’s a great result for the whole team.”
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