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Webber drove with fractured shoulder
Aussie star saw title challenge fade after sustaining injury
Posted Dec 09, 2010 by Jeff Dawson
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It has been revealed this week that Aussie F1 star, Mark Webber, drove the final four races of the 2010 season with a fractured right shoulder after a mountain bike accident. What desire and dedication to the cause the driver has shown.
And this goes some way to understanding why he struggle to compete in the final few races, although he is adamant that the injury didn’t cause him a problem and that it didn’t affect his work.
Hi challenge faded after finishing second in Japan before crashing out in Korea in the subsequent race. He then finished second to eventual champion Sebastian Vettel in Brazil before a thoroughly disappointing race at the final meet in Abu Dhabi.
Webber wrote in his book, ‘Up Front – 2010, A Season To Remember’: “On the Sunday morning before (the Japanese Grand Prix at) Suzuka, I got on a mountain bike for the first time since my accident in Tasmania at the end of 2008. I was riding with a great friend of mine. Suddenly, he crashed right in front of me and I had nowhere to go but straight through the ears of the horse! I suffered what they call a skier’s fracture to my right shoulder. Suzuka is a brutal track so it was a blessing that the Japanese weather gave me an enforced rest day on the Saturday (when qualifying was rained off), and a pre-race injection helped, too. In the end, we got through the weekend all right.”
He has since gone on to explain, on his personal website, that if the injury had been more serious he would not have hidden it.
He wrote: “If I’d had any issues with it in the car, then of course I would have told the team. But that wasn’t the case. I’ve never missed a grand prix but of course if I couldn’t drive the car a) safely and b) on the limit, I would have notified the team.”
Now as much as I respect the man for not worrying about the injury and for carrying on regardless, I have to say I think it must have affected his performance somewhere along the line.
A fractured shoulder would hinder movement and would be painful dealing with the amount of force the drivers are subjected to during a race. There is no way he wouldn’t have felt the problem and it wouldn’t have been playing on his mind in corners that require full force and strength to get through them.
It goes some way to explaining why he faded away when most inside Formula One would have loved to have seen him walk away with the drivers’ championship. I just hope that next season he finds the same form and kick on and challenge for that world crown again.