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Webber runs rings around his rivals to take maiden win

NEWS STORY
12/07/2009

While yesterday's GP2 race wasn't hit with the same sort of weather that turned the F1 qualifying into a lottery, this morning's race was. Following heavy overnight rain the track was already damp, but a further shower ensured that the race took place in difficult conditions.

More worrying however, was the heavy fog in the distance, bringing back memories of Jackie Stewart's epic drive on the Nordschleife - the real Nurburgring - back in 1968.

Much praise has been handed out to Mark Weber for his qualifying performance yesterday - and rightly so - however, given the difficult circumstances, not to mention the fuel loads - the performances of Sutil, Kovalainen and Piquet should be applauded, for each punched well above his weight.

It's going to be difficult making predictions because it is clear that conditions this afternoon will be changeable, indeed, we could be in for one of those very odd races that F1 throws up from time to time, the sort of race that helps us to forget all the political bull.

Red Bull have to be favourites, and while it would be great to see Webber convert his maiden pole into a maiden win, Vettel, who has scored two of his three victories in the wet, also has home advantage.

Barrichello outshone Button in qualifying, and with the Brazilian eager for a win, not to mention the opportunity to stake his claim on a seat for next season, we could be in for an interesting battle between the two Brawn drivers also.

As we have previously said, as the title fight heads to Abu Dhabi, financially Brawn cannot compete with Red Bull and its billionaire owner Dietrich Mateschitz. Consequently, the Brackley team will have to rely on a certain amount of luck - such as weather affected events that level the playing field - and the ability of Button and Barrichello to ensure they pick up every available point they can.

McLaren has shown definite signs of improvement this weekend, with Hamilton topping the timesheets in two of the three practice sessions. However, despite the lottery that was qualifying, let's not forget that Kovalainen, who starts alongside his teammate, has none of the numerous updates available to the World Champion.

As we said, one of the undoubted stars of qualifying was Adrian Sutil, the German putting the Force India seventh on the grid, ahead of the Ferraris, a truly remarkable performance. Like Webber, it would be great to see Sutil convert his qualifying success into a decent race result.

As for the rest, keep an eye on Massa, Raikkonen, Alonso and Trulli, while Piquet and Bourdais both need to perform today if paddock speculation is to be believed.

At a time when our sport is bogged down with political bull and in the headlines due to the arrogance of one man and the politically incorrect naivety of another, F1 needs something to show the world that when it really matters it can put on a show. We don't expect the drama of 1999, but something a little better than the yawn-fest that was Silverstone would be very much appreciated by everyone.

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