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Webber ends long wait for maiden win

AUSTRALIAN Mark Webber shrugged off a drive-through penalty to win the German Grand Prix in Nuerburgring on Sunday and end his long wait for Formula One success.

His German teammate Sebastian Vettel finished second in a Red Bull 1-2 to cut Briton Jenson Button's championship lead to 21 points with eight races remaining. Ferrari's Felipe Massa was third, his first podium of the year.

Brawn GP's Button has 68 points, Vettel moved up to second on 47 and Webber third on 45.5.

Webber allowed all the years of pent-up emotion to pour out as he took the chequered flag, bellowing his jubilation across the team radio as he won for the first time in 133 starts.

"Mark Webber, you are a grand prix winner. Well done, brilliant drive," replied team boss Christian Horner once the driver had stopped screaming.

Watched by his proud father Alan, the Australian took a deep breath and soaked up the atmosphere as he heard his national anthem sound out for a grand prix winner for the first time since Alan Jones for Williams in Las Vegas in October 1981.

The 32-year-old triumphed despite a drive-through penalty for causing a collision at the start.

"It's an incredible day for me, I wanted to win so badly," said Webber, who started from pole position. The Australian also set a record for the longest gap between his debut and first win. The previous holder was Brazilian Rubens Barrichello, who had to wait 124 races before his first victory with Ferrari in 2000.

Barrichello, second on the grid, stole the lead at the start for Brawn but finished sixth to drop to fourth place overall on 44 points.

Nico Rosberg was fourth for Williams in front of his home crowd, his best result of the season.

Spaniard Fernando Alonso took two points for Renault while Finland's Heikki Kovalainen ended McLaren's four-race drought with a point in eighth place.

Force India failed to get its first point despite Adrian Sutil starting seventh as Kimi Raikkonen again acted as the German driver's bogeyman. Sutil, who ended 15th, was forced to return to the pits immediately after exiting after tangling with the Ferrari driver, who also was forced to retire as a result of the bump. Raikkonen knocked Sutil out of Monaco last year with nine laps to go and a points finish beckoning.

Britain's world champion Lewis Hamilton's hopes evaporated when his McLaren picked up a puncture on the first lap. He finished 18th, last of the runners, and lapped.


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