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Mark Webber given grid penalty at Belgian GP

Last updated 18:09 01/09/2012
Mark Webber
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PENALTY: Mark Webber at the Belgian Grand Prix.

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Mark Webber has copped a five-place grid  penalty for the Belgian Grand Prix following an unscheduled  gearbox change.

Red Bull Racing notified the FIA that Webber's gearbox would  need to be change midway through a soggy Friday practice run at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

The Australian goes into the Belgian race second on the  championship, 40 points behind Ferrari's Fernando Alonso with nine  races remaining.Webber's penalty will come as a boost to his teammate Sebastian  Vettel, who won from pole at Spa last year and is just two points  behind Webber on the title standings.

The news came on a tough opening day for the drivers at Spa with  heavy rain severely hampering the track time available in Friday's  three practice runs.

Webber finished fifth fastest in opening practice but didn't run  in the day's second session, with Kamui Kobayashi proving to be  both the bravest and fastest driver on the day.

Kobayashi's two minutes and 11.39 second best lap proved enough  to top the timesheets ahead of Pastor Maldonado, Daniel Ricciardo,  Jean-Eric Vergne and Webber.

''It's a shame because we love Spa and it would be nice to do  some more laps, but in the end you can't really learn much in these  conditions,'' Webber said.

''We some info from free practice one, but you can't race when  there's so much standing water on track and you probably wouldn't  qualify in this so in the end we just put the car to bed tonight  and come back tomorrow.''

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- Fairfax Media

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