’Ring rage

I have to admit, I flew into a rage on Sunday afternoon and turned the TV off with a shaky hand when Mark Webber received his drive-through penalty from the stewards at the Nürburgring.

That shaky hand, desperately trying to find the ‘off’ button, only just managed to stop itself flinging the remote through the screen.

At long last, it looked like Webber, a driver I’ve followed since his Formula Ford days (sorry, cricket fans, I’m an Aussie) would score his first F1 win, after many instances of chronic luck when he was on the verge of doing it.

So I went into town with my wife and missed the race, despite texts from Jamie Hibbard from Top Gear saying that ‘I think you should turn it back on again’.

I told him I wouldn’t be watching it and would record it… But also that I was thinking about never watching bloody Formula One again, that the sport was completely knackered, that the FIA had no control over its idiotic stewards, bla bla bla.

It just seemed inconceivable that Mark could come back from that and I thought the penalty was desperately unfair – even if it was deliberate, which Webber later said it wasn’t, it’s motor racing, not under-8 girl’s softball. A terrible decision.

But… He got lucky, for once. With some of the quicker runners held up behind the Ferrari, Mark was able to run in clear air. So while I tramped around Selfridges looking at evening dresses (for my wife, I should point out) Webber drove a great race, fast and consistent as usual, and put the others in the shade.

It meant a lot to me, Webber’s win, and I’ll admit to having a lump in my throat listening to his brilliant reaction over the radio after he crossed the line.

It was excellent seeing his old man taking a photo of him on the podium… Disregarding the obvious fact that his son’s face would be on the sports pages of tens of thousands of major newspapers and websites all over the world within 24 hours.

It was a very Australian thing to do, and now, one of the sport’s true gentlemen has got what he deserved. Let’s hope it’s the first of many.

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