Mike Stevens | Apr 6, 2009

Mark Webber's wretched run of luck in Formula One has continued after the Australian came excruciatingly close to securing the third podium finish of his career in Malaysia.

The race, won by Britain's Jenson Button, was halted on lap 32 when the circuit was struck by monsoon-like conditions, forcing officials to red flag the event.

While stewards were hopeful of restarting the race, the downpour refused to subside before the two-hour time-limit lapsed, meaning the event was awarded to the leader of the last completed lap.

mark-webber_malaysia-2009 Photo by ahfong.

For BMW's Nick Heidfeld, this resulted in an unexpected second place finish, with the German benefiting from a decision to remain on intermediate tyres as the rest of the field mobbed pit lane to don full wets.

Webber, having charged into third spot midway through the race, lost his place in the field with his final pit stop.

Resuming his pre-stop pace, Webber began scything his way back towards a podium position, passing Heidfeld and Rubens Barrichello midway through lap 32, only for officials to immediately suspend the event.

Stewards then derived the final classification from the last completed lap, 31, where Webber sat sixth.

mark-webber

The 32-year old remained philosophical about the sequence of events despite the disappointment of missing a top three place.

“The guys made the best call to stop the race when they did. It would have been nice to have had some more laps to give us a crack at getting on the podium - but that's how it is, so I've got mixed emotions.

“It's dark now (7pm), so it was the right call not to make a re-start. I'm not so sure you can blame the time of day for today's conditions, as the weather was bad at 3pm too. It seems it was just one of those days. It's been the mistiest and coolest day I've ever seen in Malaysia for race day,” Webber said.

Toyota's Timo Glock claimed the final podium spot while Jarno Trulli, Barrichello, Webber, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg rounded out the final point scoring positions.

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