Mark Webber: Penalty didn't cause Le Mans 24 Hours defeat

Mark Webber does not believe the penalty his #17 Porsche picked up in the Le Mans 24 Hours played a role in his car missing out on victory

Mark Webber: Penalty didn't cause Le Mans 24 Hours defeat

Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard were in the thick of the lead battle on Saturday evening, but their car dropped away from the fight when they were given a one-mnute stop-go penalty for Hartley going too fast in a 'slow zone' earlier in the race.

Le Mans 24 Hours race report

By the time the penalty was issued Webber was in the car, and he served the drive-through one lap before coming in for a scheduled pitstop.

While the #17 car was only ever on the fringe of challenging for the lead after that, Webber believes the penalty was meaningless in the battle with the winning #19 car of Nico Hulkenberg, Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber.

"It doesn't help to lose half a lap, but I don't think it was going to make a difference to the victory - the #19 deserved it," said Webber after the race.

"I don't think that [time loss] was going to be enough. The guys in #19 did a great job - even if we didn't have a penalty.

"They were exceptional, especially in the night. They left the Audis and the rest of the Porsches behind."

Webber added that Hartley could not be blamed for earning the penalty, as it was one of the hazards of the Le Mans 'slow zone' yellow flag system.

"Slow zones are a heavy feature of the race," said the Australian. "It's easy to get them wrong on the way in and the way out.

"There's a lot of traffic, and it was just a small error - Brendon missed a light or something, which is super-easily done.

"It might look easy from the outside, but when you're in an LMP1 car visibility is extremely limited.

"We didn't come here to finish second - we know no one remembers second, of course.

"Winning is what it's all about and those guys have done the job so congrats to them.

"When you see the effort in this team over the last 24 months with this being the ultimate goal, you're still extremely proud because you know the toil and graft that goes into it."

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