Rosberg victorious at Silverstone despite tyre drama

Rosberg British Grand Prix 2013 winner

Nico Rosberg scored his third career Grand Prix victory in Formula 1, resisting the challenge from Mark Webber, to take the chequered flag at Silverstone.

The Mercedes driver benefitted from a non-finish from championship leader Sebastian Vettel in a race full of left-rear tyre blowouts.

Rosberg’s Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton was leading until he became the first man to suffer a tyre blow, with Vettel then controlling the British Grand Prix until his Red Bull lost drive in the closing stages.

That set up a thrilling finale as Vettel’s team-mate Webber, who had fallen to P15 on the opening lap, hunted down Rosberg, while Fernando Alonso and the recovering Hamilton charged past Kimi Raikkonen into third and fourth place.

Hamilton had established a two-second lead over Vettel, who jumped Rosberg off the line, by lap seven, when his left-rear tyre blew.

That was followed soon after by an identical failure for Felipe Massa. The Ferrari driver had thrust from P11 on the grid to fifth at the start and was pushing Adrian Sutil for third when his tyre gave well too.

When Jean-Eric Vergne’s left-rear tyre also exploded, the safety car came out for seven laps, with engineers urging their drivers to avoid the kerbs.

Vettel kept Rosberg behind him as the race restarted. Sutil ran third until leaving his second pit stop too late and being jumped by Raikkonen, Alonso and Webber.

The Australian was on a charge from 15th after a slow start and a first-corner brush with Romain Grosjean, and overtook Alonso going into the closing stages.

Just as the result seemed settled, Vettel ground to a halt with a loss of drive.

With the stranded Red Bull prompting a safety car, Rosberg dived in for a third tyre stop and rejoined still ahead of Raikkonen.

Webber and Alonso also went for tyres and dropped to fifth and eighth, elevating Sutil and Daniel Ricciardo to third and fourth.

Webber made great use of his fresh tyres to quickly pick off Ricciardo and Sutil, and then battle past Raikkonen.

By the final lap the Red Bull was within a second of Rosberg, who held on to win by seven tenths of a second.

Alonso also made rapid progress on his new set of Pirelli, dodging the McLaren of Sergio Perez as it became yet another tyre-blow victim, then fighting through to third.

The recovering Hamilton followed through, demoting Raikkonen – who had questioned the Lotus team’s decision not to pit under the late safety car – to fifth.

Massa climbed back to sixth after his puncture, with Sutil and Ricciardo pushed back to seventh and eighth ahead of Paul di Resta, who started from the back of the grid after his car was found underweight, and Nico Hulkenberg.

Jenson Button had been on course for points for McLaren until the final laps, when he was demoted down to P13.

So an eventful British Grand Prix, with the sudden tyre failures becoming the main talking point at Silverstone. In terms of the championship, the non-finish for Sebastian Vettel has made it exciting with Fernando Alonso now 21 points behind.

British Grand Prix race results, 52 laps:

1.  Rosberg        Mercedes                   1h32:59.456
2.  Webber         Red Bull-Renault           +0.765
3.  Alonso         Ferrari                    +7.124
4.  Raikkonen      Lotus-Renault              +7.756
5.  Hamilton       Mercedes                   +11.257
6.  Massa          Ferrari                    +14.573
7.  Sutil          Force India-Mercedes       +16.335
8.  Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +16.543
9.  Di Resta       Force India-Mercedes       +17.943
10.  Hulkenberg     Sauber-Ferrari             +19.709
11.  Maldonado      Williams-Renault           +21.135
12.  Bottas         Williams-Renault           +25.094
13.  Button         McLaren-Mercedes           +25.900
14.  Gutierrez      Sauber-Ferrari             +26.200
15.  Pic            Caterham-Renault           +31.600
16.  Bianchi        Marussia-Cosworth          +36.000
17.  Chilton        Marussia-Cosworth          +1:07.600
18.  van der Garde  Caterham-Renault           +1:07.700
19.  Grosjean       Lotus-Renault              +1 lap

Fastest lap: Webber, 1:33.401

Not classified/retirements:

Perez          McLaren-Mercedes             47 laps
Vettel         Red Bull-Renault             42 laps
Vergne         Toro Rosso-Ferrari           36 laps

World Championship standings, round 8:

1.  Vettel        132
2.  Alonso        111
3.  Raikkonen     100
4.  Hamilton       87
5.  Webber         87
6.  Rosberg        82
7.  Massa          57
8.  Di Resta       36
9.  Grosjean       26
10.  Button         25
11.  Sutil          23
12.  Vergne         13
13.  Perez          12
14.  Ricciardo      11
15.  Hulkenberg      6

1.  Red Bull-Renault          219
2.  Mercedes                  169
3.  Ferrari                   168
4.  Lotus-Renault             126
5.  Force India-Mercedes       59
6.  McLaren-Mercedes           37
7.  Toro Rosso-Ferrari         24
8.  Sauber-Ferrari              6

Next race: German Grand Prix, Nurburgring. July 5-7.

Hamilton takes Silverstone pole position in front of the home crowd

Lewis Hamilton British Grand Prix 2013

Lewis Hamilton achieved his 28th career pole position at his home race with a margin over his Mercedes team-mate of four tenths of a second.

The 2008 world champion overcame the challenge from Nico Rosberg to take the top spot at Silverstone, as the Silver Arrows once again made qualifying their own.

The first flying lap of one minute, 30.096 seconds set early in Q3 gave Hamilton the initial advantage by a tenth and a half.

Rosberg managed to beat that with a one minute, 30.059 seconds on his second run, but Hamilton was already responding with an ever quicker lap.

Hamilton came through in the final moments of Q3 with one minute, 29.607 seconds lap, taking pole position in front of his home crowd. This was his first at Silverstone since 2007.

Red Bull Racing was the only rival to Mercedes, but Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber had to be content with the second row. The pair were just only 0.009 seconds apart.

Paul di Resta also impressed with fifth for Force India. Two British drivers in the top six will give the home supporters to cheer.

His team-mate Adrian Sutil was up in seventh, behind the sensational Daniel Ricciardo, while second Toro Rosso of Jean-Eric Vergne was way back in P13.

Ferrari struggled badly with a lack of pace at Silverstone. Fernando Alonso was only tenth fastest, beaten by the Lotus pair as well as the others. Felipe Massa also failed to get of Q2 and will start in P12.

Despite predicting on Friday that Q3 would be impossible for McLaren, a mighty late-Q2 lap from Jenson Button almost got him into the top ten.

Unfortunately for the Woking-based team, Raikkonen squeezed ahead by 0.057 seconds, leaving Button P11. His team-mate Sergio Perez was fourth tenths and three positions further back.

One race on from his incredible Montreal qualifying result, it was back to reality for Valtteri Bottas. He was eliminated in Q1 and will start one place behind Williams team-mate Pastor Maldonado in P17.

Sauber’s year continued in the same disappointing form too, with Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Gutierrez P15 and P18.

Max Chilton was troubled to end up slowest in his first Formula 1 qualifying session at home, especially with Marussia team-mate Jules Bianchi 1.7 seconds faster.

But Chilton will not start last as Giedo van der Garde will drop back due to his penalty for tangling with Mark Webber in Montreal.

So a Silver Arrows front row at Silverstone with the crowd favourite on pole position. Can Lewis Hamilton achieve his first win of the year, in front of the passionate crowd? That would be a dream result for the 2008 world champion if he can repeat his impressive pace in the race.

Qualifying positions for the British Grand Prix:

1. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes             1m29.607s
2. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes             1m30.059s
3. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault     1m30.211s
4. Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault     1m30.220s
5. Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes 1m30.736s
6. Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m30.757s
7. Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes 1m30.908s
8. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault        1m30.955s
9. Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault        1m30.962s
10. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari              1m30.979s
11. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes     1m31.649s
12. Felipe Massa          Ferrari              1m31.779s
13. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m31.785s
14. Sergio Perez          McLaren-Mercedes     1m32.082s
15. Nico Hulkenberg       Sauber-Ferrari       1m32.211s
16. Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault     1m32.359s
17. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Renault     1m32.664s
18. Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari       1m32.666s
19. Charles Pic           Caterham-Renault     1m33.866s
20. Jules Bianchi         Marussia-Cosworth    1m34.108s
21. Giedo van der Garde   Caterham-Renault     1m35.481s
22. Max Chilton           Marussia-Cosworth    1m35.858s

107 per cent time: 1m37.364s

Vettel victorious in Canada

Sebastian Vettel Canadian Grand Prix 2013 winner

Sebastian Vettel scored his 29th Grand Prix victory in Formula 1 with a dominant performance at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

It was his first win in Canada and Red Bull Racing’s 37th victory in the sport.

Vettel’s latest triumph means he stretches the lead in the world championship to 36 points over Fernando Alonso.

The triple world champion was on a different zone to his rivals throughout the race.

He converted his pole position advantage to a two-second lead over Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes by the end of opening lap.

That lead built to twenty seconds before Vettel receiving team advice to cool his pace, though along the way he still had a brush with the Turn 4 wall and a trip across the grass at Turn 1.

Vettel’s victory was the Milton Keynes-based team’s first ever in Canada, and by the end of the race he had lapped all bar the top five.

Fernando Alonso clawed his way from sixth on the grid to second for Ferrari.

In the first half of the race he joined a battle for third with Nico Rosberg and Mark Webber, having passed qualifying star Valtteri Bottas early on.

The Williams had dropped from third to fifth behind the Mercedes and Red Bull off the line.

Rosberg was unable to keep his tyres alive as well as those pressuring him. After some very close calls, Webber got ahead on lap 30, with Alonso following on the next straight.

Webber then seemed able to keep Alonso at bay until Giedo van der Garde turned in on him at the hairpin while being lapped, taking a chunk from the Red Bull’s front wing.

The race stewards deemed Van der Garde was at fault for ignoring blue flag and so the Caterham driver was given a ten-second stop-go penalty.

With damage to his front wing, Webber’s pace slowed and that allowed Alonso to pass him before setting off after second-placed Hamilton.

Another long and close tussle ensued, and the pair spent much of lap 63 side by side before Alonso made it ahead.

Hamilton stayed within DRS range and tried to retaliate on the next lap, but the move failed and he had to settle for third ahead of Webber and Rosberg.

Jean-Eric Vergne drove a strong race to a career-best sixth for Toro Rosso, dropping away from the leading pack while keeping the rest of the field covered.

Paul di Resta converted P17 on the grid to seventh, not making a pitstop until lap 57.

His Force India team-mate Adrian Sutil survived a spin while trying to pass Bottas, a punt from Pastor Maldonado, and a penalty for ignoring blue flags to take tenth.

The Force Indias were split by the battling Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen.

McLaren simply did not have the pace to score, as Sergio Perez and Jenson Button struggled to P11 and P12 respectively.

This race result ends McLaren’s run of 64 consecutive point-scoring finishes and on the day the team won its first race back in 1968.

Romain Grosjean also tried a one-stop but ultimately had to pit again, dropping him from potential points to P13.

After the highs of qualifying, the race was a different story for Bottas, as he slumped to P14. Williams have yet to score points this season.

So a fantastic result for Sebastian Vettel. His third win of the 2013 season and this victory extends his lead in the world championship.

The British Grand Prix follows and it will be fascinating to see anyone can halt the triple world champion’s progress to another Formula 1 title.

Canadian Grand Prix, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve after 70 laps:

1.  Vettel         Red Bull-Renault           1h32:09.143
2.  Alonso         Ferrari                    +14.408
3.  Hamilton       Mercedes                   +15.942
4.  Webber         Red Bull-Renault           +25.731
5.  Rosberg        Mercedes                   +1:09.725
6.  Vergne         Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +1 lap
7.  Di Resta       Force India-Mercedes       +1 lap
8.  Massa          Ferrari                    +1 lap
9.  Raikkonen      Lotus-Renault              +1 lap
10.  Sutil          Force India-Mercedes       +1 lap
11.  Perez          McLaren-Mercedes           +1 lap
12.  Button         McLaren-Mercedes           +1 lap
13.  Grosjean       Lotus-Renault              +1 lap
14.  Bottas         Williams-Renault           +1 lap
15.  Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +2 laps
16.  Maldonado      Williams-Renault           +2 laps
17.  Bianchi        Marussia-Cosworth          +2 laps
18.  Pic            Caterham-Renault           +2 laps
19.  Chilton        Marussia-Cosworth          +3 laps
20.  Gutierrez      Sauber-Ferrari             +7 laps

Fastest lap: Webber 1:16.182

Not classified/retirements:

Hulkenberg     Sauber-Ferrari               46 laps
van der Garde  Caterham-Renault             44 laps

World Championship standings, round 7:

1.  Vettel        132
2.  Alonso         96
3.  Raikkonen      88
4.  Hamilton       77
5.  Webber         69
6.  Rosberg        57
7.  Massa          49
8.  Di Resta       34
9.  Grosjean       26
10.  Button         25
11.  Sutil          17
12.  Vergne         13
13.  Perez          12
14.  Ricciardo       7
15.  Hulkenberg      5

1.  Red Bull-Renault          201
2.  Ferrari                   145
3.  Mercedes                  134
4.  Lotus-Renault             114
5.  Force India-Mercedes       51
6.  McLaren-Mercedes           37
7.  Toro Rosso-Ferrari         20
8.  Sauber-Ferrari              5

Next race: British Grand Prix, Silverstone. June 28-30.

Vettel grabs Canadian Grand Prix pole in wet qualifying session

Sebastian Vettel Montreal 2013

Sebastian Vettel achieved his 39th career pole position in Formula 1 by beating Lewis Hamilton at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in a wet qualifying session.

And yet the star of qualifying was Valtteri Bottas. The Finnish driver produced a fantastic job for Williams with third.

The amount of rain played a significant part throughout each segment, and in the all-important Q3, the best opportunity for pole position came in the opening moments before the track conditions deteriorated further.

Vettel judged it to perfection and recorded a time of one minute, 25.425 seconds to take the top spot for Red Bull Racing.

Despite that lap time from the world champion, it was still beatable with his rivals going quicker in the first two sectors.

But with the rain becoming heavier especially at the final sector, a lack of grip made it difficult for the others to beat Vettel’s pole time.

Hamilton tried his utmost to continue the Silver Arrows pole streak but fell 0.087 seconds short, sliding over the chicane on a dramatic final bid.

Bottas was the hero of qualifying. Williams had not made it into Q3 at all this season until Canada, where the Finnish rookie flew throughout the session.

He beat Nico Rosberg, dominant in qualifying for Mercedes for the last three races, to third place.

Friday practice pacesetter Fernando Alonso could only manage sixth for Ferrari, behind Mark Webber’s Red Bull.

Toro Rosso managed to get both cars into Q3 with Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo claiming seventh and tenth, split by Adrian Sutil’s Force India and Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus.

As for Felipe Massa, he will start down in P16 after spinning into the Turn 3 barriers in Q2 and causing a red flag.

That triggered a two-minute dash on an improving track to try to secure the final Q3 places.

It was Sutil and Ricciardo who succeeded, but it proved painful for McLaren, winner of the last three Canadian Grands Prix.

Jenson Button was outside the cut at the time and mistimed his attempt to find clear track position, not making it past the chequered flag in time.

That left him P14, while team-mate Sergio Perez’s failure to improve meant he was pushed back to P14, alongside the Sauber of Nico Hulkenberg.

Pastor Maldonado’s Williams and Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez were the other Q2 casualties.

While Paul di Resta and Romain Grosjean did not even get that far as both were eliminated when the rain intensified in the closing minutes of Q1.

Grosjean, who already faces a ten-place grid penalty for running into Ricciardo in Monaco, had made a mistake on an earlier run, while di Resta lost time in the garage with gearbox issues.

Charles Pic looked like he might just replicate Caterham team-mate Giedo van der Garde’s Q2 heroics from Monaco as he sat P11 near the end of Q1. But after a spin at Turn 6, he slipped down to P18.

So a fantastic result for Sebastian Vettel. His hat-trick of pole positions at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Can Red Bull Racing break that non-victory in North America on race day? We shall find out on Sunday in Montreal.

Qualifying positions at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve:

1. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault     1m25.425s
2. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes             1m25.512s
3. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Renault     1m25.897s
4. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes             1m26.008s
5. Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault     1m26.208s
6. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari              1m26.504s
7. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m26.543s
8. Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes 1m27.348s
9. Nico Hulkenberg       Sauber-Ferrari       1m29.435s
10. Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault        1m27.432s*
11. Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m27.946s*
12. Sergio Perez          McLaren-Mercedes     1m29.761s
13. Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault     1m29.917s
14. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes     1m30.068s
15. Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari       1m30.315s
16. Felipe Massa          Ferrari              1m30.354s
17. Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes 1m24.908s
18. Charles Pic           Caterham-Renault     1m25.626s
20. Jules Bianchi         Marussia-Cosworth    1m26.508s
21. Max Chilton           Marussia-Cosworth    1m27.062s
22. Giedo van der Garde   Caterham-Renault     1m27.110s
22. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault        1m25.716s**

107 per cent time: 1m28.080s

*Two place grid penalty for failing to leave the pits in the order they arrived at the pit exit during Q2.
**Ten-place grid penalty for causing a collision with Daniel Ricciardo.

Kiefer Sutherland plays Snake in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Kiefer Sutherland Metal Gear Solid V

Actor Kiefer Sutherland will portray Snake, the hero of Konami’s upcoming ‘tactical espionage action’ game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Hideo Kojima has revealed.

As part of Konami’s pre-E3 briefing, the 24 star was revealed as having lent his acting abilities and voice to the lead role in The Phantom Pain.

“This time, with Metal Gear Solid V, the themes are a little different from previous games in the series,” said series creator Hideo Kojima in the video (shown below).

“We’re taking on some very heavy subjects such as race and revenge. I wanted Snake to have a more subdued performance, expressed through subtle facial movements and tone of voice rather than words.”

“Furthermore,” Kojima said, “the game takes place in 1984, when Snake is 49 years old. Therefore, we needed someone who could genuinely convey the facial and vocal qualities of a man in his late 40′s.”

Kojima also said that the open world game has a greater sense of tension than previous Metal Gear games, and that it would deal with themes like race and revenge.

Sutherland was considered ideal for the role because the game’s tone is much darker and it required a subtle, subdued performance.

He was “the perfect fit in terms of age and performance, so we made him an offer,” said Kojima. “We wanted to try and see just how far we could go in making a living, breathing Snake.”

He also promised more depth than ever before in terms of the new game’s storytelling and atmosphere.

As for David Hayter, who provided the voice of Snake since the first Metal Gear Solid game in 1998, he was disappointed by the news announcement but later tweeted that the game will “still be excellent” and yet different, just “like New Coke”.