Webber charges through to take victory at Silverstone

Mark Webber scored his second Silverstone victory after chasing down and passing Fernando Alonso in a final few laps in a dramatic and completely dry British Grand Prix.

By winning the race, the Australian has reduced Alonso’s lead in the championship to 13 points.

Sebastian Vettel completed the podium and almost managed to make it a Red Bull one-two as he gained on Alonso’s tyre-troubled car at the end.

Alonso pulled out a five-second lead over Webber in the first stint and maintained it for the majority of the race.

But while most of the field used soft tyres early then switched to the harder compound, Alonso waited until his final stint to try the softs, and could not keep up his previous pace.

Webber caught up rapidly and was on the Ferrari’s rear wing with seven laps to go, trying several moves before deploying his DRS on the run towards Brooklands on lap 48 out of 52.

Alonso defended the inside and yet Webber went around the outside, and after attempting to retaliate at Luffield, the Spaniard had to let the Australian go and concentrate on staying clear of Vettel.

The defending world champion had run fifth in the opening stint before a slightly early first stop helped him jump to third, unable to catch Alonso in the end.

Felipe Massa spent the opening laps trying ever-more creative attempts to overtake Michael Schumacher’s Mercedes for third, finally managing at Stowe on lap 11. The Ferrari lost out to Vettel in the following pit sequence, and then resisted the fast-closing Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen to take fourth.

Lotus managed to get both cars in the top six despite Romain Grosjean breaking his front wing in a brush with Paul di Resta on the opening lap. The resulting puncture and associated damage ended the Force India’s race, while Grosjean charged back from last to sixth.

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button could only finish eighth and tenth in the McLarens. Hamilton had his moment in the lead and enjoyed a spirited dice with Alonso as he ran a very long first stint on hards, but then did just a handful of laps on softs before switching back to harder Pirellis. Hamilton’s pace then faded and he lost seventh place to Schumacher late on.

Although Button jumped to P12 at the start, his progress was less dramatic thereafter. In the closing laps he was in the thick of an epic dice for ninth with Bruno Senna and Nico Hulkenberg, won by the Williams. Force India’s Hulkenberg ran wide at Copse in the heat of battle and dropped out of the points.

The other major incident of the race involved Pastor Maldonado and Sergio Perez. Running seventh and ninth in the first stint, they pitted together on lap 11 but then collided at Brooklands on their out-laps. The furious Perez sustained terminal damage to his Sauber, while Maldonado dragged his Williams back to the pits for repairs and finished P16.

Completing a nightmare race for Sauber, Kamui Kobayashi hit several mechanics at his final stop. At least there were no serious injuries and the Japanese driver was able to continue to finish in P11.

Nico Rosberg had a less dramatic bad pitstop during what was already a low-key midfield race, which ended with his Mercedes P15.

British Grand Prix, race results after 52 laps:

1. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1h25:11.288
2. Alonso Ferrari +3.060
3. Vettel Red Bull-Renault +4.836
4. Massa Ferrari +9.519
5. Raikkonen Lotus-Renault +10.314
6. Grosjean Lotus-Renault +17.101
7. Schumacher Mercedes +29.153
8. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes +36.463
9. Senna Williams-Renault +43.347
10. Button McLaren-Mercedes +44.444
11. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari +45.370
12. Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes +47.856
13. Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari +51.241
14. Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari +53.313
15. Rosberg Mercedes +57.394
16. Maldonado Williams-Renault +1 lap
17. Kovalainen Caterham-Renault +1 lap
18. Glock Marussia-Cosworth +1 lap
19. Pic Marussia-Cosworth +1 lap
20. De la Rosa HRT-Cosworth +2 laps
21. Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth +2 laps

Fastest lap: Raikkonen, 1:34.661

Not classified/retirements:

Perez Sauber-Ferrari 14 laps
Di Resta Force India-Mercedes 3 laps
Petrov Caterham-Renault 1 lap

World Championship standings, round 9:

1. Alonso 129
2. Webber 116
3. Vettel 100
4. Hamilton 92
5. Raikkonen 83
6. Rosberg 75
7. Grosjean 61
8. Button 50
9. Perez 39
10. Maldonado 29
11. Di Resta 27
12. Schumacher 23
13. Massa 23
14. Kobayashi 21
15. Senna 18
16. Hulkenberg 17
17. Vergne 4
18. Ricciardo 2

1. Red Bull-Renault 216
2. Ferrari 152
3. Lotus-Renault 144
4. McLaren-Mercedes 142
5. Mercedes 98
6. Sauber-Ferrari 60
7. Williams-Renault 47
8. Force India-Mercedes 44
9. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 6

Next race: German Grand Prix, Hockenheim. July 20-22.

5 thoughts to “Webber charges through to take victory at Silverstone”

  1. Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber thought victory at Silverstone was out of reach. Autosport.com has the details.

    Mark Webber admitted that he thought he was going to have to settle for second place in the British Grand Prix as he did not believe he had any chance of beating Fernando Alonso until the closing laps.

    Polesitter Alonso edged away from Webber’s Red Bull early on, but his Ferrari could not sustain its pace on soft tyres in the final stint and lost the lead to Webber with four laps to go.

    “I have a few wins now, but this one is taking a little bit to sink in,” said Webber. “I think it didn’t look like a spectacular race with Fernando initially but it was on. There was a little bit of strategy involved, particularly pacing stints on tyres.

    “I knew he was running a different way, and I thought after first stint he was in very good shape to close the win out, but it came our way in the last stint and I am absolutely over the moon.”

    The result saw Webber reduce Alonso’s points lead from 20 to 13, but the Australian said he was not thinking about its significance in the title battle at this stage.

    “We have a lot of races this year, every single one is important – Melbourne was, as will Brazil be,” Webber said. “I have a couple of wins now. I need some consistent results. We know how tight it is, we see Kimi [Raikkonen] finished 10 seconds behind.

    “Sometimes I have had bad medicine and it’s hard to come back from there. You have to grab what you can. I had a single opportunity to pounce and wasn’t going to let it slip.”

    But he acknowledged that he was feeling in good shape at present.

    “I am not low on confidence at the moment, it is going well,” said Webber. “We will enjoy today’s result, really soak it up, that is what is important. We have to remember how hard we have to work to get these results and tomorrow morning it’s [effectively] Hockenheim.

    “That is what it has to be about and it is a long, long season and I am not getting too fired up with any particular championship positions at the moment.

    “What is for sure is I have a nice haul of points to keep going with – I am not sitting on 20 points trying to start my campaign.”

  2. After starting on pole position and leading the first stint, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso had to settle with second following an overtaking move by Webber on lap 48. Autosport.com has the news.

    Fernando Alonso said he was happy with second position in the British Grand Prix, despite having led for most of the race.

    The Ferrari driver started from pole and stayed in first place until he was passed by Red Bull’s Mark Webber with a couple of laps to go, the Australian’s pace much stronger than Alonso’s.

    The Spaniard had to settle for second in the end, but said he was not too disappointed.

    “I am happy with second place,” said Alonso, the winner of the previous race in Valencia. “Now 10 minutes after having finished and having led the race there is a strange feeling for losing victory.

    “I am sure in one hour I will be much happier.”

    Alonso was encouraged to see Ferrari was strong on a high-speed track like Silverstone, but insisted the team still needs to take a step forward to match Red Bull.

    “The car was good in Valencia and here, in a completely different track, it seems to perform very well, so I’m happy with the improvements in the car. We still need that last step to close the gap to these guys. We need to be quicker in some conditions.”

    The two-time champion saw his championship lead reduced from 20 to 13 points over Webber, but he said it was still a good weekend in terms of points.

    “We are still there, that is the main target for us and today we lost seven points to Mark but we gained some extra points on the rest of the field,” he said. “So it was good Sunday in terms of the championship.”

  3. Pastor Maldonado downplayed his collision with Sergio Perez in the British Grand Prix, despite the Mexican calling on the FIA to take action against the Venezuelan.

    The duo made contact when fighting for position early in the race, with Maldonado losing control of his Williams when driving down the inside of Perez’s Sauber at Brooklands.

    Perez was forced to retire and he slammed Maldonado afterwards, saying the FIA needed to act on someone he thinks is a dangerous driver.

    “I really hope the stewards can make something because the last three or four races he has done something to [other drivers],” Perez said.

    “It is not the first time he has damaged my weekend. He did the same with Lewis [Hamilton] in Valencia, and they gave him a drivethrough, which I think is not enough. This guy will never learn if they don’t do something, because he is a very dangerous driver and he can hurt someone.”

    But after finishing 16th, Maldonado said that he was not expecting any action against him, as he felt the clash was simply a race incident.

    “I don’t think much will happen. It was a racing incident,” said Maldonado on Spanish TV. “I was coming out of the pits, with cold tyres, I was trying to defend my position. Perez tried to close the door and we were very close to each other.

    “At that point I lost the rear of the car a bit and unfortunately we made contact and we compromised both of our races.”

    The Venezuelan, the winner of the Spanish GP, said he is hoping to return to having positive races after a run of poor results and incidents.

    “This part of the championship is one to forget. There are still races left and I hope we can recover well in the second part of the championship.”

    Source: Autosport.com

  4. Lotus driver Romain Grosjean was left feeling philosophical after his first-lap accident during the British Grand Prix. Autosport.com has the news.

    Romain Grosjean believes his first-lap incident with Paul di Resta in the British Grand Prix was a simple Formula 1 start misunderstanding where no one was to blame.

    Contact between the Lotus and the Force India in Silverstone’s tight Arena complex left Grosjean with a broken front wing and sent di Resta spinning off the road with a puncture.

    The Force India suffered too much damage to continue by the time it had got back to the pits, but Grosjean charged through to sixth after repairs.

    “There was a little bit of confusion at Turns 3 and 4, and I was on the outside at Turn 3. The Force India came from the inside and just touched my front wing with his rear wheel,” said Grosjean.

    “It was a shame but there’s nothing you can really do in these situations. I think the best thing is to qualify on pole or second place and then it’s easier in the first corners…”

    Grosjean said he was surprised and delighted with how well he was able to recover after the incident.

    “The result itself is not fantastic, but the way the race went, from 22nd to sixth is very good,” he said. “To come in the points after a change of nose is quite unbelievable, but the team did a great job to give me a car which was fantastic.

    “The strategy with only one stop in the middle was quite risky, but it worked well, and there were some good battles on track with Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. It was very enjoyable.”

  5. Sergio Perez has called on the FIA to take action against Pastor Maldonado, after the pair of them collided during the British Grand Prix.

    The two were battling for position in the early stages of the race when Perez tried to go around the outside of his Williams rival at Brooklands.

    Maldonado appeared to lose control of his car as he turned through the left hander and ran into Perez – with the pair of them spinning on to the grass. Perez retired on the spot, while Maldonado was able to return slowly to the pits for repairs.

    A furious Perez hit out at Maldonado afterwards – claiming the Williams driver was a danger to his rivals and calling on the FIA to teach him a lesson.

    He said the spate of incidents that Maldonado has been involved in – including one with him in practice in Monaco and one with Lewis Hamilton in Valencia – showed that his rival needed to calm down.

    “Pastor is a driver who doesn’t respect other drivers. It’s just a matter of fact,” Perez told the BBC. “I was already in front, and if not he should have given me enough space not to crash, but he tried to push me all the way to the outside. I don’t understand the way he is driving.

    “I really hope the stewards can make something because the last three or four races he has done something to [other drivers].

    “It is not the first time he has damaged my weekend. He did the same [to Hamilton] in Valencia, and they gave him a drive-through, which I think is not enough. This guy will never learn if they don’t do something, because he is a very dangerous driver and he can hurt someone.”

    Perez said he was not alone in feeling concern about Maldonado’s driving – on the same weekend when drivers were told by the FIA not to defend positions too harshly.

    “Everybody has concerns about him,” he added. “He is a driver who doesn’t know we are risking our lives and has no respect at all. It is not a matter of close or not. He has no respect at all.

    “The way he is driving I think the stewards really have to do something because it is not the first time he has done something. He affects a lot of drivers; I am not the only one.”

    Source: Autosport.com

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