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Aussie Webber enjoys ‘greatest day’ at Monaco Grand Prix

Mark Webber said it was “the greatest day of my life” following a faultless Monaco Grand Prix victory.

As last season's winner Jenson Button remarked last week, it is the first race every driver wants to win, the glittering jewel in Formula One's crown.

And Webber emulated his feat in Spain a week ago with a lights-to-flag triumph, meaning the 33-year-old has led for a total of 144 consecutive laps.

More importantly, Webber is now in possession of the championship lead by virtue of two victories to one over Red Bull Racing team-mate Sebastian Vettel (right), with whom he is tied on 78 points.

In taking the chequered flag he became the first Australian to win in Monte Carlo since three-times champion Sir Jack Brabham in 1959.

In adding his name to the role of honour of winners such as six-times king Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher and 'Mr Monaco' Graham Hill, who won five times, Webber said: “To win here is a very special day. It is absolutely incredible, the greatest day of my life. To win in Monaco is a dream for any Formula One driver.

“Every Formula One victory is special, but to win on the streets here fair and square off pole, no attrition again, it's fantastic.

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“And to join such great winners here, like Ayrton and those guys, is a real special moment for me.

“I was also reminded yesterday Jack Brabham won here in 1959, so it has been a while for the Australians.”

In celebration of their one-two, Red Bull's second this year that has also lifted the team into the lead in the constructors' championship, Webber and Vettel jumped in Monaco harbour.

There were four safety cars in total during the race, the first at the end of lap one when Nico Hulkenberg ploughed his Williams into a concrete wall in the tunnel at 180mph due to a component failure on the front wing.

On a bad day for Williams, Rubens Barrichello suffered an issue with the rear of his car that resulted in him hurtling into a barrier at 150mph going up the hill through Beau Rivage.

The Brazilian rebounded across the track and hit the opposite barrier before coming to rest in the middle of the circuit facing the wrong way, minus his front and rear wing.

The third safety car came in bizarre circumstances due to a loose drain cover at turn three, Massanet, highlighting the unpredictability of driving on public roads.

Then four laps from home a foolish overtaking manoeuvre from Lotus' Jarno Trulli on Karun Chandhok at Rascasse resulted in the Italian bouncing up, over and landing on top of the HRT.

When the safety car pulled in after the final turn on the closing lap, Webber and Vettel finished just 0.4secs apart, with Renault's Robert Kubica third.

Meanwhile, Michael Schumacher suffered another dose of Monaco misery after being handed a 20-second penalty for a passing move after a safety car had peeled into the pits on the final lap. The penalty pushed him down from sixth to 12th. His team Mercedes plan to appeal.

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