Mark Webber Hitches Lift from Fernando Alonso in Singapore, Hit by Grid Penalty
Mark Webber's luck run out in stunning fashion at the Singapore Grand Prix, with an engine failure on the last lap and then an unlikely grid penalty for the next race.
Bearing down on third position, the engine of his Red Bull car began to blow, and he was told to ease off.
He lost fourth and fifth spots to his rivals, and the car deteriorated further.
Trying to get around the final lap of the race at a crawl, his engine blew, flames shot out of the rear of his vehicle, and he had to park up at the seventh corner of the track, half a lap from the finish.
Indignity enough? No.
Looking for a speedy way back to the pits, Webber decided to head to the track to see if he could hitch a lift from one of the drivers whose car hadn't given up just before the end.
He found Fernando Alonso willing and able to pick up a hitchhiker on the sidepod of his Ferrari, and headed back.
He's not the only driver to get back to the garage this way—there's an iconic shot of Ayrton Senna doing exactly the same on the back of Nigel Mansell's car at Silverstone in 1991 (BBC, via Getty):
Unfortunately for Webber, he'd overlooked something—surging on to the track to find his ride home.
The race stewards, as per the Daily Mail, judged that he had entered the race track without the marshal's permission, and slapped him with a 10-place grid penalty for the next race in Korea.
There was also a reprimand for Alonso.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner was less than happy, in quotes picked up by the paper:
It was good for the show, it was good TV and it should have been dealt with with a fine or a slap on the wrist.
What's a shame is that it's ended up in a reprimand, and because it's the third it means a 10-place penalty. 'Unfortunately, reprimands are the only things now available to the stewards (only teams and not drivers can now be fined), and perhaps in this instance talking to the drivers would have sufficed.
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