Formula One driver Mark Webber won the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix in São Paulo, Brazil, on Sunday after Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel struggled with an intermittent gearbox problem.
While Webber started in the number two position, Vettel started from pole and quickly built a healthy lead until lap 29 when the gearbox problem forced him to cut his pace and let Webber pass him. Red Bull told Vettel on lap 14 that data from his car showed the problem and asked him to short shift when in second gear, according to the Associated Press. The problem then got worse and the team later said Vettel had to short shift in every gear, considerably slowing his lap times.
Yahoo Sports reports that Vettel managed his gearbox problem efficiently, despite the team admitting later that they were amazed he had made it past half-distance in the race. He, despite the problem and having already secured the Formula One title, still finished second after letting Webber pass him almost halfway through the race at the 2.6-mile Interlagos track.
Webber, by virtue of winning the race, his first victory this season, finished third in the Formula One championship standings. It was his seventh overall F1 win, and the second Brazilian Grand Prix win after winning the same race in 2009. Vettel, who was last year's winner in Brazil, won 11 races this season, garnering him 392 points, 122 points ahead of McLaren-Mercedes' Jenson Button, who finished second in the standings.
Button finished third, while Ferrari's Fernando Alonso finished fourth and crowd favorite Felipe Massa, in his 100th race for Ferrari, was fifth.
Ironically, McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, who won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix two weeks ago, also had a gearbox problem and eventually retired on lap 48, even though he was running fifth. It was the 2008 champion's first retirement due to mechanical problems in over a year, according to Yahoo Sports.