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Monday, November 28, 2011

Webber ends winless run

Mark Webber finally ended his victory drought by taking the final chequered flag of the 2011 Formula One season in Brazil.

Webber's first win for 26 races came at the expense of Sebastian Vettel as his Red Bull team-mate was forced to drive for the bulk of the 71-lap race with a gearbox issue. That did not stop Vettel from conjuring a one-two for Red Bull at Interlagos, appropriately so in a year they have dominated from the start in Australia to the finish in South America.

Behind them, Jenson Button continued his stunning end to the year by claiming his eighth podium in the last nine races, so finishing second in the drivers' championship.

However, it was a sorry end for McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton as he retired with a gearbox issue.

It sadly came at a time when the 26-year-old was squaring up for another battle with Ferrari's Felipe Massa - the duo have been magnets for one another this season, colliding six times. There was to be no seventh, though, as Hamilton slowed on the back straight before pulling over and out of the race at turn five.

All that remained was to see whether Button, who had lost third early on to Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, could reclaim the place. Button pitted for a third and final time on lap 53 and although Ferrari covered the move on the following lap, the Briton was just too quick for the Spaniard, passing him on lap 62.

That also deprived Alonso of third in the championship, instead losing out to Webber by a single point.

Massa finished a staggering 31 seconds behind his team-mate in fifth, and a remarkable 139 points adrift of the double world champion in the standings.

Adrian Sutil finished sixth for Force India, with team-mate Paul di Resta eighth - securing sixth in the constructors' championship for the team - with Nico Rosberg in his Mercedes sandwiched between the pair in seventh.

Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi was ninth, while Vitaly Petrov claimed the final point for Renault.

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