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.

11 thoughts to “Rosberg victorious at Silverstone despite tyre drama”

  1. After taking victory at Silverstone, Nico Rosberg stays cool over the Mercedes team’s Formula 1 title chances following the non-finish of Sebastian Vettel. has the news story.

    Nico Rosberg says it is still too early to start thinking of the 2013 Formula 1 title despite taking his second win of the season in the British Grand Prix.

    The Mercedes driver benefitted from the problems that hit team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel – who both retired from the lead – to clinch his second victory in three races, having also won in Monaco.

    The result left Rosberg 50 points behind Vettel in the standings.

    Rosberg was delighted with the progress Mercedes has made with its tyre management issues, but reckons it is too early to get carried away.

    “I wouldn’t talk about that yet,” said Rosberg when asked about his championship hopes.

    “The team has already done such a fantastic job over the winter to come up with such a quick car in qualifying, and now we’re progressing with tyre management too and it’s giving us a car quick enough to win races.”

    Rosberg felt Mercedes had a car that was at least as quick as Red Bull, and admitted the victory had been very special for him.

    “It feels fantastic, it’s a very, very special day. What makes it most special is that our factory is so close,” he said.

    “The team has done such a fantastic job. We have such momentum at the moment.

    “We’re making progress all the time. We’re massively quick in qualifying and we’re getting faster and faster in the race. I think today we had the equal fastest race car as well.”

    The German said he felt sad for team-mate Hamilton, who suffered a tyre blow-out while leading from pole.

    “With Lewis I definitely feel sorry for all the British fans as it would’ve been a great race for Lewis in front of his home crowd.”

  2. Red Bull’s Mark Webber wants a probe on his starting problem that affected his opening stint of the British Grand Prix. has the story.

    Mark Webber said Red Bull needs to investigate why he is prone to poor starts after he tumbled down the field off the line again at the British Grand Prix.

    The Australian was back in 15th on the first lap, partly due to first-corner contact with Romain Grosjean, but primarily because he crawled away from his fourth place on the grid.

    He ultimately managed to recover to second.

    “I didn’t have a clue what happened off the line,” said Webber.

    “We’ve had two or three good starts in the last few races and then the lights went out and we were back to our normal form…

    “We need to have a look at why those pop up from time to time.

    “Then I had Grosjean take my front wing out at the first corner.

    “The boys did a fantastic job to replace the wing at the first stop and then my race could start from there.”

    Webber finished the race just 0.7 seconds behind winner Nico Rosberg.

    “I would’ve liked more laps to catch Nico but he deserved the win,” said the Australian. “He was strong all day.”

    Webber announced at the start of the British GP weekend that he would leave Formula 1 to join Porsche’s new LMP1 programme after 2013.

  3. Despite a lack of speed in qualifying, Fernando Alonso was very happy with the end result in the race. Although he was still worried about Ferrari’s pace. has the details.

    Fernando Alonso said his satisfaction over third place in the British Grand Prix was tempered by concern over Ferrari’s lack of pace during the weekend.

    Although the two Ferraris showed strong race pace, they had only been 10th and 12th in qualifying.

    While Felipe Massa recovered from a tyre blow-out to finish seventh, Alonso battled through to third.

    “Overall I think it was a very lucky race for us,” said Alonso.

    “Looking at the problems with tyres for some of the drivers, the drivers who didn’t have any problems have to feel lucky.

    “I have mixed feelings. I’m happy for the points because we reduced the gap a little in this race, but we saw this weekend that the pace is not good enough.

    “I trust the team. There is a lot of work to do, but we are united.”

    Alonso admitted it was a better day than other races where Ferrari had been potentially competitive but hit trouble in the grands prix.

    “There were some other Sundays when we lost some points when maybe I’d been more optimistic. Today we got some points,” he said.

    He also felt fortunate to have escaped several incidents in the race, including being right behind Sergio Perez’s McLaren when its tyre blew in the closing laps.

    “I had two moments. In that one with Sergio, I was so scared and I was lucky because I missed the contact by maybe a centimetre,” Alonso said.

    “At the start I locked the tyres and nearly lost the front wing.”

  4. Both Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez were not impressed by the left-rear tyre failures saying it was “unacceptable”. has the news story.

    Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez declared Pirelli’s British Grand Prix tyre problems as “unacceptable”.

    The pair were among four drivers to have dramatic tyre blow-outs during the Silverstone race, with Hamilton’s coming while his Mercedes was leading on lap seven.

    Several other drivers reported tyre troubles during the event.

    “The safety is the biggest issue,” said Hamilton. “It’s just unacceptable.

    “We had that tyre test to develop and improve the tyres to stop that from happening and after that tyre test they didn’t do anything.

    “Someone could’ve crashed. I was thinking behind the safety car that it’s only when someone gets hurt that something will be done about it.”

    McLaren driver Perez echoed Hamilton’s forthright comments.

    “This is unacceptable, we are risking our lives and we shouldn’t wait until something happens to all of us,” he said.

    “If it happens at 250km/h it will be a big shame so Pirelli has some work to do.”

    When asked if he would talk to Pirelli or the FIA about the events of Silverstone, Hamilton said any such conversations would be pointless.

    “I think it’s a waste of time talking to any of them at the moment,” he said.

    “They can see what happened today. They have to react to it.”

  5. Championship leader Sebastian Vettel was feeling philosophical about his British Grand Prix retirement. has the story.

    Sebastian Vettel remained calm about retiring from the British Grand Prix lead with victory in sight.

    The Red Bull driver stopped with a gearbox problem while leading on lap 42 out of 52.

    “We had a gearbox issue, lost fifth, and when I shifted up to sixth, fifth said goodbye and damaged the rest of the gearbox,” Vettel explained.

    “We just lost the race by a couple of laps but there’s nothing I could have done better.

    “It’s always frustrating but I’m not blaming the team.

    “These things unfortunately happen but fortunately we’ve got the next race coming up next week so we can try again.”

    Despite losing what would have been his fourth race win of the 2013 Formula 1 season, Vettel retains a 21-point lead over main rival Fernando Alonso, who finished third.

  6. Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said the tyre blow-outs in the British Grand Prix were a previously unseen issue.

    But he declined to be drawn on the nature of the problems until a full analysis was complete.

    Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa, Jean-Eric Vergne and Sergio Perez all saw their left rear tyres blow in dramatic fashion during the Silverstone race.

    “Obviously today wasn’t foreseen,” said Hembery.

    “We’ve seen something new, a different type of problem.

    “We’re currently performing our analysis. We’ve got to go away and understand what’s happened today.

    “When we’ve got the facts we can understand what’s happened and get to the core of the issues.

    “We take these things seriously and when we have the answers I’ll let you know.

    “It’s pointless me adding anything else until we have all the facts.”

    Hamilton and Perez both described the tyre problems as “unacceptable” after the race.


  7. McLaren’s Jenson Button admits he was “a sitting duck” in the final laps of the British Grand Prix. has the news story.

    Jenson Button said he was “a sitting duck” in the final laps of the British Grand Prix as he tumbled from sixth place to 13th in his home grand prix.

    The McLaren driver and team-mate Sergio Perez had come through to sixth and seventh places as others pitted during the safety car for Sebastian Vettel’s stranded car.

    But Button said the combination of a late restart and cars behind on newer tyres was a worst-case scenario for McLaren’s current issues.

    “When the safety car came out at the end, I had quite old tyres and was just a sitting duck,” he said.

    “I couldn’t get any tyre temperature. That’s one of our issues anyway and when you’ve got no tread you definitely can’t get tyre temperature.

    “I was just waiting for people to pass me. It was tough.”

    Button was also confused by the McLaren’s tyre behaviour earlier in the race, when he struggled with graining on the harder Pirellis then found the softer medium option far better.

    “The first stint we went for the primes because nobody else in front was on them, but that was actually the one that grained – front and rear – for me so we had big problems in the first stint,” he said.

    “We just had to wait until a lap we could pit and put the other tyre on.

    “I was much happier on that tyre – strong pace and no graining… work that one out…”

  8. Nico Rosberg has been given a reprimand for failing to slowing sufficiently for yellow flags during the British Grand Prix, but his win is unaffected.

    The Mercedes driver had been called up by the officials when he was reported for not taking proper heed of yellows in the Loop section mid-race.

    As Rosberg’s margin of victory over Mark Webber was only 0.7 seconds, any penalty risked costing him his second win of the 2013 Formula 1 season.

    But with the stewards opting to stick to a reprimand, Rosberg’s win is now fully official.

    Rosberg picked up the lead when Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull stopped with gearbox trouble 10 laps from the end.

    The second Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton had led at first, before becoming the first of five cars to suffer a tyre blow-out.


  9. Ferrari’s Felipe Massa says Formula 1 had a lucky escape following tyre drama at Silverstone. has the details.

    Felipe Massa believes Formula 1 drivers were lucky to escape more serious accidents after what he labelled a dangerous situation with the tyres in the British Grand Prix.

    Ferrari driver Massa suffered one of the five blow-outs seen on track, with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and McLaren’s Sergio Perez saying the situation was unacceptable.

    With all incidents occurring at high-speed, Massa reckons the consequences could have been much worse.

    “I think we were lucky that in all the accidents the driver was able to carry on without crashing,” Massa said.

    “But if that happens in a corner you can have a big accident and this is really not nice.”

    The Brazilian agreed with his rivals that the situation was unacceptable and that something needed to be done immediately.

    “I think what happened today is unacceptable, because we are not talking about safety,” he said. “What happened today was very dangerous for us, for me and for all drivers racing.

    “It’s not the same race that we’ve had this kind of problem. I had already had two tyre problems in Bahrain, and another problem here.

    “Many other cars had problems before, so it’s not the first track. Many people say it’s because of the kerbs or the debris, but it’s not the first time, so for me it’s unacceptable and we need to do something for our safety.”

    Massa said he felt he had not been particularly aggressive when attacking the corners, despite suggestions that it could have been the kerbs causing the problems.

    “No, I didn’t hit the kerb very hard. The only debris I passed was the one from Lewis, because he was the first one to have this problem, but I don’t remember being too aggressive over the kerbs.”

  10. Tyre manufacturer Pirelli rules out new bonding process for British Grand Prix tyre dramas. has the news story.

    Pirelli has ruled out the possibility that the new tyre bonding process introduced for the British Grand Prix was responsible for the blow-outs that hit the race.

    After suffering tyre delaminations in the early races of the season, Pirelli originally planned to solve this problem by switching from the current steel belt to the Kevlar belt used in 2012.

    But it shelved its plan to use this construction at the British GP, instead changing the adhesive process used to attach the tread to the tyre structure.

    Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery admitted after the race that it has yet to get to the bottom of the tyre problems but is certain this change was not to blame.

    “We can exclude that the new bonding process, which we introduced at this race, is the cause for the tyre failures we have seen today,” he said.

    “There might be some aspect to this circuit that impacts specifically on the latest version of our 2013 specification tyres.

    “But at this point we do not want to speculate but will now put together all the evidence to find out what happened and then take appropriate next steps should these be required.”

  11. Formula 1 race director Charlie Whiting has revealed that he came close to red-flagging the British Grand Prix in the wake of the multiple tyre failures.

    With Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa, Sergio Perez and Jean-Eric Vergne all suffering major blow-outs in the early phases of the Silverstone race, Whiting says it had crossed his mind to stop the race on safety grounds.

    “It was quite close to being red-flagged; it did occur to me to do that,” explained Whiting after the race.

    When asked if just one more failure in that phase of the race would have been enough, Whiting replied: “I’m not going to give a specific number. Obviously to clear up all that debris was putting marshals at risk, and it is not satisfactory.

    “We haven’t seen a failure like this before; we have seen other types of failure – and that is what has been addressed. So we need to analyse it very carefully to see if we can establish the cause.”

    Whiting said the FIA needed to get answers from Pirelli about what it believes caused the incident before it could establish a way forward.

    “It is too early to draw any conclusions,” said Whiting. “They have a lot of analysing to do, including the tyres that didn’t fail – because maybe we will find something there that was on the verge of failing that will give us a better indicator of what happened.

    “It is too early to say what will happen, so it’s too early to say what needs to be done.”

    The tyre safety issue has been added to the agenda of next week’s Sporting Working Committee meeting that was already scheduled to take place at the Nurburgring ahead of the German Grand Prix.

    However, Whiting believed that the tyre situation needed to move forward before then – so solutions could be put in place.

    “We will be on it first thing in the morning,” he said. “Pirelli have got to analyse it, to try and find the cause. We need to make decisions earlier than Wednesday.”


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