Mike Stevens | Apr 26, 2009

They say a week is a long time in sport, and nowhere is this more evident than in the case of Australian Mark Webber.

The Red Bull driver will start from 18th on the grid for tonight’s Bahrain Grand Prix after a disastrous qualifying session marred by bad luck.

Webber’s first attempt to post a strong time was stymied after he found traffic in the latter half of the lap, before he was blocked on his final flying lap by Force India’s Adrian Sutil.

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Photo by Wan Ah Fong.

Sutil’s actions weren’t ignored by stewards, who handed the German a three-place grid penalty, but it was Webber who paid the heavier price.

Team mate Sebastian Vettel managed to qualify third, despite boasting a heavier fuel load than any of the cars in the top seven, highlighting Red Bull’s pace around Sakhir.

Speaking after he was eliminated from Q1, Webber was furious after missing an opportunity to challenge for a debut race victory, having been consistently faster than Vettel throughout practice.

mark-webber

"Traffic. I had traffic on the last corner and therefore wasn't quick enough to go through," Webber said. "I don't usually get caught out with that problem and that was the worst place to get nailed, as it wrecked both my flying laps.

"I had nowhere to go in the last corner of my first lap and then Sutil slip-streamed past me for the start of my second, so it was a disaster.

"Q1 is the worst session to have had that problem, as now we're at the back for tomorrow - my race is screwed."

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