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New chassis for Webber in Japan
Mark Webber will have a new chassis for the Japanese Grand Prix, but will not have to take a new engine and gearbox after his car caught fire in Korea last weekend.
Webber retired from the race after he was hit by a spinning Adrian Sutil, puncturing his car's oil radiator which led to a fire. The marshals responded slowly to the fire, leaving the left-hand side of the engine charred and causing irrevocable damage to the chassis. Significantly, however, the engine and gearbox remained undamaged and will be used again this weekend.
"It's a new car," he said. "The engine and gearbox were fine, it's just a new chassis. It was actually damaged more by the impact that the fire, because the crash structure [at the rear of Sutil's car] was quite strong.
"I'm used to bush fires in Australia, so it was fairly straightforward. I used the extinguisher in the car but that didn't do it, the marshals had zero English so I couldn't talk to them ... what more could I do? I couldn't blow it out."
It was another dose of bad luck in a year of incidents and failures for Webber. He said the Korea issue could not be blamed on his team, but admitted some of the other problems were "surprising" for an outfit like Red Bull.
"I don't think Korea can be blamed on any technical issues," he said. "Obviously we got the puncture, which was the first issue with Perez's failure and then we had to pit again, we were out of position and Sutil creamed me at the hairpin. That was it really.
"All the other ones, Singapore was uncharacteristic, in Monza we still managed to get home but I think we've finished quite a few races with not many technical issues, but there was the gearbox in Budapest and that basically meant a ten-place grid penalty. If you don't have KERS or a singular shift, even though you've finished the grand prix your weekend is basically destroyed.
"There has been quite a few challenging technical issues, which have been difficult to address. And given that we're in quite a stagnant state of technical advancement, we're not exactly in the era of pushing the boundaries, there has been quite a few that have slipped through the net. And that's a bit surprising for a few of us."
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