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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 May 2006, 14:27 GMT 15:27 UK
Webber rues poor Monaco fortunes
Mark Webber
Webber's Williams caught fire on lap 48 in Monaco
Williams driver Mark Webber took his disappointment on the chin despite pulling out with a flaming car while in contention for the Monaco Grand Prix.

The Australian was third and pressuring the leaders when his engine caught fire as he began lap 48 of 78.

"The first five minutes (after it happens) aren't good," said Webber.

"I'm very disappointed of course. I felt like I was on it and we deserved something today. All the hard work is invisible now."

Webber's withdrawal was also bad news for Kimi Raikkonen, who was also forced to pull out with an engine fire caused by the Mediterranean heat as the Finn slowed behind the safety car.

He was second at the time and McLaren's managing director Martin Whitmarsh revealed: "We were in a strong position with the race and Kimi had an opportunity to win.

"But the safety car period negated that advantage and exposed our Achilles heel with heat protection on the engine cover."

It was qualifying for an hour and then we just had a bit of bad luck
Mark Webber

Meanwhile, Webber admitted he nearly crashed at Ste Devote, the same spot where he eventually retired, on the second lap while trying to fend off Raikkonen.

"I braked a bit too late when Kimi was alongside me and lost a spot to Kimi and after that it was qualifying for an hour and then we just had a bit of bad luck," he said.

"It looks like something on the electronics or engine let us down."

But the Australian still felt he could have gone on to challenge for points, adding: "I was very quick in the slower stuff.

"Fernando was playing around a little bit I think in terms of controlling the race and looking after his tyres - I noticed some of the Michelin runners were having trouble with their rear tyres.

"But I was (running) longer than Fernando and Montoya wasn't a factor."

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