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Red Bull were expected to struggle heading to Spa-Francorchamps because of their deficit in straight-line speed - and Mark Webber ended the race with the same mindset. Although Sebastian Vettel made the most of his situation to finish second, the Australian was stuck further back in the pack and took the chequered flag in sixth place.
Having been passed by Vettel in a strong move at the Bus Stop, Webber was unable to make any inroads into a podium finish of his own. He now fears a similar situation this weekend at Monza – a circuit also made up predominantly of long straights.
“The start was pretty wild, which can happen at La Source,” he said of the drama caused by Romain Grosjean, who has since been handed a one-race ban. “We settled into a race, but it became obvious quite early on that it was difficult for us to overtake. Obviously Seb and I had a little battle, which was fine – but after that, it just wasn’t possible to fight other people on the straight line, so that made it tough.
“We tried to undercut some people and roll the dice... I had Petrov on the out-lap, which is fair play to him as he’s just doing his thing, but we lost time there. We had a bit of luck at the start, but after that we didn't get the most out of the situation.”
Although Jenson Button won for McLaren, Lewis Hamilton’s third non-finish of the campaign has allowed Red Bull to extend its championship lead to 54 points with eight races to go. For drivers’ honours, Webber falls back behind Vettel to third overall.
|2.||S. Vettel||Red Bull||+13.624|
|4.||N. Hulkenberg||Force India||+27.843|
|6.||M. Webber||Red Bull||+31.244|
|8.||J. Vergne||Toro Rosso||+58.865|
|9.||D. Ricciardo||Toro Rosso||+1:02.982|
|10.||P. di Resta||Force India||+1:03.783|
|25 May||Vettel confident of fighting for victory|
|23 May||'No pecking order surprises' – Webber|
|21 May||Video: Mégane Red Bull RB8 limited edition|
|17 May||Video: Mark Webber's Formula 1 dream|
|2012 Belgian Formula 1 Grand Prix|
|7 Sep '12||Hamilton puts Spa Twitter controversy aside|
|5 Sep '12||Grosjean apologised to Alonso with text message|
|5 Sep '12||F1 video: Alonso speaks after Spa crash|
|4 Sep '12||Alonso fully recovered after Spa crash|
|15 May||Tost: Drivers need to perform exceptionally|
|15 May||Video of the Day: Alonso, Webber on careers|
|6 May||Watson: Red Bull has shown weakness|
|1 May||Marko 'not worried' about 2014 line-up|
|25 May||Latest F1 photos: Saturday in Monaco|
|25 May||Alonso: Fighting for victory very unlikely|
|25 May||Wolff confirms engine talks with Williams|
|25 May||Alonso picks up €1,000 speeding fine|
|More Mark Webber photos|