Formula 1 | M for Melbourne, M for Minardi: Webber’s 5th place is history

M like MelbourneM like Minardi. It was the year 2002. At that time Australia he could count not on Daniel’s smile Ricciardobut on the less exaggerated sympathy of Webber. The good Mark had arrived at the wheel of the historic Italian brand after an exchange with Flavio Briatore’s Benetton, which saw Fernando Alonso leave. In that world championship the operation certainly smiled on the Australian who arrived in the small stable because the Asturian became a simple reserve, while he instead played as a starter after a season spent as a test driver. That Minardi gave great sensations to Webber, the rookie, right from the start. After free practice in qualifying he finished 18th, more than four seconds behind the Ferrari of Barrichelloin pole position, and Michael Schumacher, 5 thousandths away from the Brazilian teammate. On the other hand, his optimism, on a personal level, had torn him apart from his “neighbor” Alex Yoong, one of the most unacceptable pilots of the turn of the century. Among them the Jaguars of Irvine and De La Rosa, names not just, on paper.


It was Melbourne that tried to imitate Spa 1998. Delirium at curve 1, Ralf Schumacher and Barrichello immediately out, before the end of the world in curve 3. Retirement for McNish, Panis, Massa, Button, Fisichella and Heidfeld. To these was added a Mika Salo forced to stop in the pits with his Toyota damaged by that endless bumper car.


It didn’t end there. That it was a Grand Prix for “survivors” was immediately understood. And when the ball slides on an inclined plane it becomes impossible to stop its run. Coulthard then out due to gearbox problems on McLaren. Then Villeneuve, due to the detachment of the rear wing while occupying a good 6th position. The God of Motors, in that case, fell in love with Mark Webber and his Minardi instead and, albeit with differential problems, granted him the honors of the battle with the revived and surly Mika Salo, who spun in an attempt to get rid of the Minardi.


For Minardi came the best result since 1999. At that time it was Marc Gené, woooah, who scored points with sixth place on the Nurburgring. A joy then halfway, given the debacle of Luca Badour, who retired while he was in 5th place among tears. Those two points in Melbourne, in 2002, allowed Minardi to grab 9th place in the constructors’ classification of the Formula 1 World Championship, 3rd best result in history after 7th place in 1991 and 8th in 1993. This is because Thanks to those two points, Minardi kept Toyota behind them. The Japanese house managed to get only two sixth places, one with Salo in Australia, the other always with the Finnish but in Brazil. For Webber it was a season to remember, because that 16th place in the drivers’ standings, also the result of an 8th place in France and a 10th place in Japan, earned him a contract at Jaguar for the 2003 season and the continuation of his Circus adventure.… CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE LATEST NEWS OF TODAY’S FORMULA 1!


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