Mark Webber brands 10-place grid penalty as 'comical'

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Mark Webber brands 10-place grid penalty as 'comical'

Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso landed themselves in hot water at the weekend when the Ferrari driver kindly gave the Aussie 'a lift' back to the pits following an engine fire in the RB9 race car.

Webber retired on the last lap of the race at Singapore this weekend when his car ran out of water and the engine caught fire. He sprinted onto the track to flag down a fellow racer to hitch a lift back to the pits.

The Red Bull driver, who announced his retirement from Formula 1 earlier this year, took to Twitter to express his outrage at the 10-place grid penalty handed to him by FIA officials.

"To receive reprimands for our actions after the race it is comical to say the least. Great moment, and fans loved it," he said.

"And while I'm at it, contrary to reports, there was no interaction at all with any track officials after we put the fire out."

Fellow racers, including Lewis Hamilton, had to take avoiding action in order to ensure Webber wasn't run over. ""If Mark had been walking across where I went then I would have run him over," said Hamilton after the race.

The move, which provided one of the biggest talking points following the weekend's race, echoed the moment Nigel Mansell stopped to give his biggest rival Ayrton Senna a lift back to the pits when the Brazilian's car ran out of fuel on the last lap at Silverstone in 1991.

But Britain's Derek Warwick, a former grand prix racer and one of the stewards in Singapore, argued that the reprimands were fully justified because of the potential danger posed.

"It is not health and safety gone mad," he told the Daily Telegraph.

"A driver could easily have been hurt. I hope we're not seen as killjoys.

"We have become a bit sterile in many ways in Formula One. But we cannot put drivers at risk. If it had been done in a safer manner then it might have been viewed differently. You can't have cars parked in the middle of a corner."

Webber received the automatic 10-place grid penalty because the latest reprimand added up to his third in the same season.His previous two reprimands were for a collision with Nico Rosberg in Bahrain and for failing to slow for yellow flags during first practice for the Canadian Grand Prix.