Webber missed a good opportunity of a third row start in tomorrow’s Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, when a mistake in the third and final sector of his qualifying lap lost him three tenths of a second. The error saw the BMW Williams driver slip from a potential 6th to 10th on the grid after setting a time of 1min35.739seconds.
In Saturdays opening session Webber was the best of the rest behind the two McLaren’s and Renault’s with a time of 1min34.749seconds, placing him 5th fastest. In the final session this morning, Webber went out with two minutes remaining and encountered the same problem in the last sector forcing him to abandon the lap. Webber ended the session 10th fastest – a pre-curser of what was to follow.
Webber had been hoping to carry his encouraging performance in Friday’s and today’s practice sessions forward into qualifying and capitalise on his late running position. However, although he set impressive first and second sector times which looked to have him on course for 6th position, he ran wide in the last sector even though he braked early.
“It had been a really good weekend up until qualifying” said Webber. “The first two sectors of my qualifying lap were good but I messed up the last sector and lost three and a half tenths. We always new qualifying would be quite tough and everyone was having problems getting a first lap time in on the new tyres. However, our long run pace looks more competitive. Unfortunately we lost three positions in qualifying which will be hard to get back in the race tomorrow, but we’ll give it our best shot.”