BRAWN GP'S Rubens Barrichello has claimed his second win of the season as Australian star Mark Webber suffered a near mortal blow to his title hopes in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
Starting from tenth on the grid, Webber made a solid start, navigating Monza?s notorious first chicane successfully before advancing on team mate Sebastian Vettel.
However, his race ended moments later as he became entangled with BMW?s Robert Kubica approaching the second chicane, with the Pole clipping Webber?s left rear tyre, sending the German GP winner into the sand trap and out of the race.
With only four races remaining, Webber only has a mathematical chance of overhauling Jenson Button?s points total, sitting 28.5 points adrift from the Brawn GP driver.
Webber was disappointed by the circumstances of his retirement, stating the car suffered no damage in the incident.
He said: ?We had contact which flicked the car into the air a little bit, then nosed it into the guard rail. The car was undamaged, but I couldn?t get it out and back onto the track. I couldn?t have done anything differently.
?It?s frustrating to retire through such a small incident, especially when all the guys have put so much effort into preparing the car. It?s not great for the Drivers? Championship, but this is my first DNF of the year. We will bounce back from this and do what we can in the final races.?
Barrichello meanwhile continued his charge towards a maiden world crown with a dominant performance, surging past his rivals during the pit stops to record his third win on Italian soil.
?My pace was there. My brakes were. It was pretty much like Valencia. The car was there all the time. It felt great and I have no big words for that. I just feel really good to see all this public. Obviously they are more in red than white but it still feels great,? Barrichello said.
The Brazilian led home team-mate Button and Ferrari?s Kimi Raikkonen, who profited from a last lap guff by Lewis Hamilton to clinch the last spot on the podium.
Force India?s Adrian Sutil came home fourth in a strong display, although the German arguably underperformed if his outright speed was any indication as he set the fastest lap of the race on route to his first ever F1 points finish.
Sutil has twice previously been poised to finish in the points only to be curtailed by an incident with Raikkonen, so it was perhaps quite poignant he was denied a debut podium by the Finn, despite harassing him incessantly for the race?s duration.
Fernando Alonso, Heikki Kovalainen, Nick Heidfeld and Sebastian Vettel rounded off the top eight.