Mark Webber secured his first victory of the season and the third of his career on Sunday when he cruised to a sumptuous triumph for Red Bull in the Spanish Grand Prix.
The 33-year-old Australian, starting from his third pole position, made the most of that advantage to hold his place in the crush on the opening lap, resisting all attacks at the first corner, and streaking clear of the field.
It was his first win since last year's Brazilian Grand Prix after he had become the first Australian victor since Alan Jones in 1981 when he claimed his maiden win in Germany - and will have injected priceless belief in his bid to challenge for the championship.
Webber came home 24 seconds clear of home hero two-times champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso of Ferrari, who profited from two dramatic late incidents to climb from fourth and give the big Catalan crowd good reason to celebrate.
Briton Lewis Hamilton of McLaren looked certain to finish second until he suffered a puncture on his penultimate lap of the 66-laps contest and crashed off the track, his front left wheel almost wrenched off his car.
This gave Alonso his second place and also enabled Webber's Red Bull team-mate German Sebastian Vettel to take third despite having to take an additional pit-stop in the closing stages after he had gone off into a gravel trap.
These late rare incidents were among very few to punctuate what turned out, predictably, to be a largely processional race at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Seven-times champion German Michael Schumacher, 41, came home fourth ahead of fifth-placed defending champion Briton Jenson Button in the second McLaren.
Brazilian Felipe Massa was sixth in the second Ferrari ahead of German Adrian Sutil of Force India, in seventh, Pole Robert Kubica who was eighth for Renault and Brazilian Rubens Barrichello, of Williams, who finished a solid ninth despite starting close to the rear of the grid.
Another Spaniard, Jaime Alguersuari, finished 10th for Toro Rosso to take a point.
Webber's win lifted him up among the leading contenders in the drivers championship still led by Button on 70 with Alonso now second on 67. In the constructors' title race, McLaren lead with 117 and Ferrari are second on 116.
It was a flawless exhibition drive by Webber at the front of the field, proving again that the Red Bull cars are the standard-setters this season, but several other men suffered frustrating afternoons.
German Nico Rosberg of Mercedes, who was second behind Button at the start of the day, slumped from eighth to 12th on the opening lap and then struggled to make any impact.
After taking an extra pit-stop for tyres, he was embroiled in the battle among the tail-enders among whom Italian veteran Jarno Trulli of Lotus finished as the best of the new teams.
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