Le Grand Retour
Paul Ricard 2018
French Grand Prix
Webber takes first career pole
Webber takes first career pole
Posted By: James Allen  |  11 Jul 2009   |  3:01 pm GMT  |  11 comments

Mark Webber drove a nerveless final lap in qualifying today to take the first pole of his 128 race career.

Picture 49

This was one of the most sensational qualifying sessions in recent memory, with intermittent rain falling throughout the second and third sessions, making tyre choice and timing of runs absolutely critical.

The most extreme part of the session was qualifying 2, where there was a window of about three minutes to be on the slick tyre as the track began to dry out, before it started to rain again. Webber, Rubens Barrichello and Sebastian Vettel all got through safely but Jenson Button was made to sweat and had to set his lap as the rain fell again, only just making it through to the pole position shootout. Falling by the wayside at this time due to taking the wrong options were some big names, like Fernando Alonso, Nico Rosberg, Jarno Trulli and Nick Heidfeld.

In contrast, Nelson Piquet and Adrian Sutil rode their luck and booked a place in the top ten shootout. Sutil ended up 7th, Piquet 10th.

Although it was a huge challenge with a lot of downsides to making the wrong decisions, the drivers revelled in the conditions. Lewis Hamilton took his upgraded McLaren to provisional pole position before being pushed back to an eventual 5th place, behind the Red Bulls and Brawns.

With unexpectedly cold conditions here in Germany, the choice of tyres is going to be very tough tomorrow for the race. Most teams are really struggling to get the hard tyre to work, especially the Brawns and quite a few drivers would probably prefer some rain so that they are not obliged to use both types of slick tyre.

Webber must be feeling pretty confident that he can translate his first pole into his first win tomorrow. The Red Bull is the fastest car here without doubt and his team mate Sebastian Vettel is in fourth place with some work to do. It is a great opportunity for Webber who will want his race to be as straight forward as this one was complicated.

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Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!

At Last! …and I mean that in the nicest possible way, the fuel loads make it even sweeter.

The top 5 are probably the best wet weather drivers out there ,so this one should be a real treat.

Wouldn’t be surprised to see some red in the mix in the final stint.

Good onya Mark….bring it home baby.


– By the way, I like the new look of the site. Keep it up.


– Mark Webber on pole position! If he wins tomorrow I can finally fulfill my dream of running around the house shouting “Aussie Aussie Aussie!”

– If he doesn’t win, I will be unbelievably disappointed. Hamilton and Webber are my two favorite drivers.


Great result for Webber, hope he translates it to a win. Off topic a bit, I really hope STR don’t draft in James Alguesari or Brendan Hartley, there’s becoming too many kids in F1, get Seb Loeb or Takuma Sato in there.


Good to hear you in the FIA press conference but really need you back with Martin Brundle rather than the horse race style presenter he is currently with. Mr Legard is a professional broadcaster but not for visual TV commentary.


Really pleased for Webber, and hope he does well, interesting that maybe Sutil could have got into Q3 regardless of the weather, turns out he has more fuel than Massa, Raikkonen and Piquet!! Seemingly Fisichella could have made it to Q2 at least also if he hadn’t got stuck in traffic, so with a bit of luck and maybe ironically enough a dry track, Force India may get points tomorrow!


James, Are you replacing Peter Windsor for the FIA press conferences now? I heard you during the U.S. broadcast on SPEED TV this morning after qualifying.


Yes that’s right.


Congratulations to Mark, this is long over-due! Whilst I was really rooting for Rubens, this result makes me really, really happy. It will be nice to see the two of them fighting for the victory, something else which is long over-due for Mark.

Hoping for a very good race tomorrow – if either of the two on the front row win it will be good for the championship, although I wouldn’t count out anybody in the field. The weather over the past two days has shown just how unpredictable it can be and 2007 showed just how bad it can get. Someone from the back could pull a Winkelhock and maybe even translate that in to victory!

But Mark has been looking good all weekend, having the edge over his team-mate and really going for it. Starting with two Brawn GP cars between him and Vettel must also put a smile on his face, especially with the talk of Red Bull considering favouring one of the two drivers and Vettel being in the stronger position within the team.

Tomorrow provides opportunity for things at the top of the championship to be evened-out a little and could set us up for some more exciting battles as we head towards the end of the season.

Good luck, Mark! 😀


Really was sensational stuff and a real treat for the fans. Congrats to Webber for sure for a really strong performance and I honestly cannot wait for tomorrow. Be interesting to see how the Silver cars use the KERS button off the line.


Brilliant quali – well done Webber Button & Vettel need to watch KERS McLarens off the start – Well done to Adrian Sutil – Sutil or Kubica to BrawnGP next year ???

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