DECEMBER 6, 2010
Mark Webber's late season slide due to broken shoulder?
Mark Webber has revealed that he drove the final four races of this year's F1 season with a broken shoulder.
In his new book, which was just released in Australia, Webber revealed that after the Singapore Grand Prix he sustained the injury in a mountain bike accident.
In Webber's book, "Up Front - 2010, A season to remember", Webber said, "On the Sunday morning before (the Japanese Grand Prix at) Suzuka, I got on a mountain bike for the first time since my accident in Tasmania at the end of 2008. I was riding with a great friend of mine. Suddenly, he crashed right in front of me an I had nowhere to go but straight through the ears of the horse!"
"I suffered what they call a skier's fracture to my right shoulder."
"Suzuka is a brutal track so it was a blessing that the Japanese weather gave me an enforced rest day on the Saturday (when qualifying was rained off), and a pre-race injection helped, too. In the end, we got through the weekend all right."
The fracture was too fine a crack to be treated and he only told his physio Roger Cleary and F1's chief medical officer Gary Hartstein about the injury - and kept the information secret from his Red Bull team.
At the time of the crash Webber was leading the championship by 11 points, but in the final four races he fell to third place, 14 points behind his team mate Sebastian Vettel.
While Webber says that the injury did not affect his performance in the title chase, one must remember that in November 2008 Webber had previously suffered a mountain bike accident, being hit by a car while competing in an adventure challenge in Tasmania, suffering a broken right leg and shoulder. At the start of the 2009 season he was unable to participate in pre-season testing and was hindered by the injuries and performed poorly through the early part of the 2009 season.
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