Webber’s German GP marred by pitlane horror

Mark Webber
Mark Webber

While his team-mate celebrated victory in his home race, Mark Webber’s fight back through the field was tarnished by the injuries suffered by a cameraman struck by his loose wheel.

The Australian made a tremendous start, leap-frogging Mercedes pole man Lewis Hamilton at the first corner to slot in behind team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who he harried throughout the first stint of the race.

Making his first stop of the afternoon from second place, Webber was released by his Red Bull team when his left-rear tyres wasn’t fully attached.

As he pulled away, the wheel came off and bounced down the pitlane, striking cameraman Paul Allen on the back.

Allen sustained two broken ribs, a broken collarbone and concussion.

The Red Bull team pushed Webber’s three-wheeled RB9 back into the pit box and sent him back out with all four wheels attached, but last of the runners.

A safety car period helped Webber regain a lap and he fought his way back through the field to finish a brilliant seventh, considering the circumstances.

Afterwards, Webber said: “I knew we had lost the tyre in the pit stop of course, but not that someone got hit by it.

“That’s bad and I hope he is okay, that’s the main thing.

“Today was a bit of a nightmare and you want to wake up tomorrow and have another go at it.

“We had an excellent start and were in a great position leading up to the first stop with Seb, but we lost all of that.

“We lost a lot of points today and a chance to challenge for the win, but there’s no rewind button now.”

The next race is in three weeks time, at the Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary.