Rosberg wins British GP
Nico Rosberg has won the British GP by just 0.7 seconds over the Red Bull of Mark Webber in a race ruined by exploding Pirelli tire after tire.
It was the 2nd win of 2013 for Rosberg and third of his career.
Lewis Hamilton blew a tire early but recovered to chase Fernando Alonso home in 4th.
Alonso recovered from his 10th place starting spot to give Ferrari the final podium spot.
Kimi Raikkonen rounded out the top-5 for Lotus.
Hamilton's hopes of a win at the British Grand Prix exploded in a shower of rubber this afternoon.
The Mercedes driver was leading the race at Silverstone after starting from pole position ahead of Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel when his tire exploded after picking up a puncture as he powered down the Wellington Straight.
It put him more than half a lap from the pits so he was forced to limp back to the garage as the rest of the field swept past him.
He made it back to the pits where the tire was changed, but there was immediate concern about how much damage he had to the underneath of his Merc.
It dropped him down to 14th place.
Just a few laps later Ferrari's Felipe Massa suffered an almost identical problem at almost the same point on the track as Hamilton.
Incredibly, Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne then also had a left rear puncture, with his tire exploding at around 180 miles per hour.
At this point the stewards sent out the safety car, and teams told the drivers to stay off the curbs as fears grew that the much-criticized Pirelli tires simply weren't up to standard.
The tire supplier came under heavy criticism after the Spanish Grand Prix when the degradation caused the drivers to make at least four pit stops during the race, but with so many tires exploding at high speed at Silverstone there will be renewed questions about whether they are even safe enough to continue racing with.
After Hamilton had his tire issue Vettel took over the lead and appeared to be able to keep Nico Rosberg at bay until he lost power in his Red Bull with 10 laps to go.
A gearbox issue was the reason behind his retirement from the lead of Sunday's British Grand Prix.
The Red Bull driver, whose car ground to a halt on Lap 42 after losing fifth gear, had led the race ever since Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton suffered a left-rear tire failure in the opening stint, but the issue ended his hopes of a second straight victory.
Vettel explained after the race: "We had a gearbox issue, lost fifth gear, and when I shifted up to sixth, fifth said goodbye and damaged the rest of the gearbox. We just lost the race by a couple of laps but there's nothing I could have done better."
Although admitting to frustration, Vettel refused to apportion blame to his Red Bull team after his retirement, with his focus now turning to the German Grand Prix.
"It's always frustrating but I'm not blaming the team," he added. "These things happen but fortunately we've got the next race coming up next week so we can try again."
Rosberg led the rest of the way but Mark Webber was closing fast in his Red Bull but ran out of laps and came up 0.7s short. He set fastest race lap in the process.
Vettel holds a 21-point lead over Fernando Alonso heading into his home event.
Mark Webber (2nd): "What a day! I don't think any of us expected it to unfold like this. The start was pretty bad, we have to look into that as we had had a good run of starts recently. Then I had contact with Grosjean and the wing was damaged; the boys did a great job in the stop when they changed it, After that we got into the race. I was praying for a safety car, but not for the reason they were coming, as you knew you could be next. When you have something like that, it's Russian Roulette; when you see that many tire issues for the fellow competitors then it's never comforting. I made the most of those safety cars – and today the strategy was one of the best we've done. I think it worked very, very well. I worked hard to manipulate the pace when I had to and then it was Nico and I left at the end. It would have been nice to have had a few more laps, but that's how it was today. It was nearly a really special day, but it was still a nice day."
Sebastian Vettel (DNF, Gearbox): "Obviously it's quite disappointing to retire when we were only a few laps from the end. We had a gearbox issue, I think fifth gear broke and damaged the rest of the gearbox as well, so it was not possible to carry on. It's a shame because we were in a good position and it's a nice race to win here, so yeah I guess we have to come back next year and try again. It's good that it's only a short time until the next race."
Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "Obviously to get within 12 laps of winning the race and have a retirement due to a transmission issue is pretty painful, particularly at this venue, but Sebastian had done everything right today and it was a great shame. For Mark, after a difficult start and being hit at the first corner, he made a great recovery with a good nose change from the guys and his drive from then on was fantastic. He got his head down, charged his way back through the field and came pretty close to claiming the victory, but nonetheless second place was a great performance from him on a big weekend for the team."
Thierry Salvi, Renault: "In races like those, sometimes you have no luck and other times you make your own. We seemed to have both cases today. Mark drove a phenomenal race, coming back from down the field, and could have won for a third time at home if the race had been a lap longer. Seb deserved more, but sometimes that happens. We've got another race in one week so it's now back to work to keep the gap we have at the top of both championships."
Fernando Alonso (3rd):
Felipe Massa (6th):
Stefano Domenicali, Team Principal:
Luca di Montezemolo:
Jenson Button (13th): "I started on the Prime tire, but that quickly grained and gave me problems early on in the first stint. I was happier on the Option. Our pace wasn't too bad, but the last stint was particularly tough. After the final Safety Car, there wasn't a lot of tread left on my tires, so getting them up to temperature was very tricky – we struggle with that anyway. Into the closing laps, I was vulnerable. All the cars on fresher tires were fighting to get past, and as soon as I went offline to defend, it became even more difficult to get temperature back into the tire. For safety reasons, the reasons behind this weekend's tire failures need to be addressed. It's dangerous for the driver of the car, because he can lose control; but it's also dangerous for the driver of the car behind, because you can get hit by a belt of rubber. Hopefully, things can be changed for the next race. Finally, I want to say a big 'thank-you' to all the fans who have supported us this weekend. Every year, your support seems to grow bigger, and your passion for the sport grows deeper – it has been an honor and a privilege to race in front of such an enthusiastic bunch of people. Your support has truly made my weekend. So, thank you."
Sergio Perez (20th): "This was a big shame for the team – we needed this result. My race had been going well. I'd been running inside the top 10 for most of the afternoon when my left-rear tire suddenly exploded. I just felt an explosion along the Hangar Straight – there was nothing I could really do about it. The tires are a big concern. Luckily nothing too serious happened to anyone, but we need to sit down together, get an explanation and get something done. Overall, we made a solid improvement through the weekend. We made some useful improvements and showed that our pace is a step forward. Those are all positives to take away. We were just very unlucky today."
Martin Whitmarsh, Team Principal: "This was a character-building weekend for Checo, who, through no fault of his own, had to overcome a number of setbacks on both Saturday and Sunday. He drove fantastically well today, showing the steeliness and resilience that has marked him out as such a popular hard-charger. He drove well all afternoon, and was set for a deservedly strong points finish. To end his afternoon with another tire failure was extremely cruel luck. Nonetheless, I'm pleased with the way he has quickly dealt with the adversity; this weekend will make him an even stronger competitor. Jenson was unlucky, too. We opted to keep him out during the final Safety Car period. We knew it was going to be difficult to keep him ahead of all the freshly shod cars behind him, but we were reasonably confident that he could still salvage a good result. However, our confidence proved to be misplaced; he was unable to get heat into the tires for the last sprint to the finish and, as a consequence, was powerless to defend, slipping down the order and out of the points. I want to pay tribute to the tens of thousands of fans who have supported Formula 1 through all weathers this weekend. It goes without saying that the British fans are the greatest supporters we have, and their ongoing support for our team, even during a difficult weekend such as this, has been enormously gratifying. The fans have been absolutely fantastic. Overall, this has been a difficult weekend for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. However, we've learnt some useful lessons, and we'll be taking them into next weekend's race in Germany, where we'll be seeking a better result."
Kimi Raikkonen (5th): "I tried to hold on at the end of the race, but with tires that were maybe twenty laps older than the others' it was impossible to keep them behind. It's a shame as the race went pretty well until then; we had good pace and looked set for a pretty easy P2, but this is racing sometimes. It's three races now where we haven't had the result we maybe expect, but hopefully if we can have a bit more luck and also get rid of some of the mistakes we'll be able to get back to the front."
Romain Grosjean (19th, Retired): "Towards the end of the race we lost quite a big part of the front wing meaning it became really difficult to drive, so in the end it was best to retire because of safety considerations. We don't know if it was caused by some debris or something to do with the fact that it was a new part; we will be working to find out the root of the problem. Before that my race wasn't going quite to plan and we were suffering with tire performance. This was related to the front wing issue which started earlier in the race. The safety cars didn't really go our way either so it's a race I'd rather forget. Let's go to Germany and have a better weekend."
Eric Boullier, Team Principal: "The outcome of the race isn't rewarding with the amount of work that has been done by the team recently. Most of the upgrades we brought here seem to be working which is a positive sign, although we did struggle a bit in qualifying to generate good grip from the tires. Our strategy was great today until the last safety car when we should have called Kimi in to save at least one position and make the podium. Unfortunately, we made the wrong call for which we apologize to Kimi and to the team. This sometimes happens and it isn't easy to manage when you have so many safety car periods. We will be in Germany in a few days' time where we're confident we will be competitive and aiming to make amends."
Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer: "We have mixed feelings today. We made some good places up during the race but in hindsight, we should have pitted Kimi at the final safety car. It wasn't obvious at the time, but the benefit of hindsight is always enlightening. Romain had a front wing failure near the end of the race, the cause of which we don't know yet. We weren't affected by the tires issues that we have seen today but warned our drivers to stay clear of the curb at Turn 4 as there was a suspicion it might be the cause. Despite not being as good as it could have been, it was a better weekend for us than the last two. Further upgrades we have coming for Germany mean we fight on."
Riccardo Penteado, Engine Support Leader: "A positive Grand Prix on our side and we got the most we could from the engine performance. We decided not to run with new units to retain some flexibility for later in the season; this year it's very unpredictable so we need to keep as many aces up our sleeves as we can. Obviously we would have liked to end up on the podium, particularly after Kimi's performance, but a top five finish is important with our rivals scoring big this weekend. We'll try and redress the balance next weekend."
Nico Rosberg (1st): "This is a great moment for me and our team to win in the home of motor racing at Silverstone. We have such great momentum in our Silver Arrows team and I'm very proud to be part of it. This win is for every single person who has been involved in building our car. It was a shame for Lewis today, and I had also a problem with my tire but I was lucky because of the Safety Car. It was so special to win today, especially in front of fellow team members and their families as our factory is only ten minutes away from the track. The race was really exciting. I had to manage the tires really carefully, I was told to avoid the curbs. At the end, it was difficult to hold Mark and to look after my tires but I was able to keep the position, and take a great victory for us. Now we can look forward to another home race next weekend at the Nürburgring."
Lewis Hamilton (4th): "Of course, I'm disappointed by today's race and I would have loved to deliver the win this afternoon for all the British fans here at Silverstone. The race started so well for us today; I felt comfortable out in front and was managing my pace. The tire problem was such a shame and from then, it was just a case of giving it my all and battling as far up the field as possible. I had some good overtaking moves and, given another lap, I might have got Fernando and ended up on the podium. Everything considered, fourth place is pretty good after having been last on lap 10 and we'll take that. It's a great result for the team today, big congratulations to Nico who came through a tricky situation to take the win for us. We've now moved up to second place in the Constructors' Championship which is a nice reward for everyone at the factories just down the road from here."
Ross Brawn, Team Principal: "It is a very special feeling to win here at Silverstone and especially at the end of such a dramatic afternoon. Nico didn't put a foot wrong today: he drove extremely well, looked after the tires like he needed to and was in the perfect place to pick up the pieces when others ran into trouble. It got very tense in the final laps after the second Safety Car period, but Nico showed he had the speed to respond and the composure to bring the car home. It's his second victory in three races and really deserved. As for Lewis, he showed exactly what he's made of today. He was driving beautifully at the front of the field and slowing pulling away when he suffered the tire failure. Then he went from dead last on lap nine to fourth at the finish - and he was lapping incredibly quickly with a damaged car in the final laps. I am sure he will take a lot of encouragement for the rest of the season from the basic pace we showed today. But the biggest praise of all must go to our team. We have worked night and day this year to improve this car, solve our tire management issues and put ourselves in a position to take the fight to our rivals. Today, we took another big step in the right direction and perhaps we have turned a corner now. It's extra special to have done it here at Silverstone, in front of our colleagues, family and friends. Congratulations to the entire team."
Toto Wolff, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "What a great day for our team. The guys in Brackley and Brixworth have worked so hard in the past weeks and months to deliver this kind of performance, always with the total support and commitment of our board in Stuttgart. Today, we began to deliver on the potential we have shown this year. Both cars were right on the pace all the way through the race and, while we had misfortune with Lewis, we also enjoyed good fortune with the final Safety Car period, which allowed Nico to change a damaged tire without penalty. Nico drove beautifully and Lewis was full of fight and determination to come from the back of the grid to the edge of the podium. Most of all, this is a win for everybody who has worked so hard at our factories to pull us into contention at the front of the field. In a normal race, on a demanding circuit, we were right there in qualifying and all through the race, which is probably the best news from today. So thank you to Stuttgart, to Brixworth and to Brackley. Now we need to keep pushing because we still have a lot more to achieve this season."
Nico Hulkenberg (10th): "The race today was a lot of fun. I hade some good duels and was able to push to the limit. It was fun to drive the car on such a high-speed track like Silverstone. At a point in the race, I lost the overview of what was going on, with the two safety cars and lots of tire debris on the track. I had a slow puncture during my second stint, which is why we had to pit earlier. I think our speed was what we expected it to be, and overall was better than in qualifying yesterday."
Esteban Gutierrez (14th): "It was a crazy race, because a lot of things happened and I just tried to focus and make the best out of the situation. I had to pit because of a problem with my front left tire. This also damaged my front wing, which forced me to pit again two laps later. This is something that needs to be looked into for safety reasons and also to avoid having a race that is defined by the tires. The car was still a bit tricky to drive in the slow corners, but overall it was ok."
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: "A hard earned point. Nico did a good job and was unfortunately slowed down by a tire issue. Esteban dropped back due to two unplanned pit stops, also to tire problems. At the moment we cannot expect any miracles from the car, but this result will lift the team spirit."
Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering: "This must have been one oft the busiest days at the pit wall for quite some time. We had a slow puncture on Nico's car and a left front tire problem on Esteban's car, and both those resulted in the strategy being compromised. Esteban had to pit again two laps later, because his front wing had been damaged previously. However, from a very difficult situation Nico was able to get into P10, which gave us a very useful point."
Adrian Sutil (7th): "The start of the race was looking very good because we were always planning a two-stop strategy and I was up into fourth on lap one. It was a challenge to look after the tires and keep them going, but the main problem for me was the second safety car because the cars around me chose to pit. I stayed out and was third at the restart, but the cars behind with fresh rubber had a big advantage and were able to overtake me quite easily in the final few laps. It's disappointing to slip back so close to the finish, but seventh place gives us some good points so we can be happy with the result."
Paul di Resta (9th): "That wasn't the cleanest of races for me, but given everything that's happened this weekend I think we can feel satisfied with two points today. It was a bit of a scruffy race because I lost my front wing trying to get ahead of Nico [Hulkenberg], so we chose to change it when the safety car came out, which probably cost me a couple of positions. Towards the end of the race I had fresh tires, and was closing in on Ricciardo, but I ran out of laps and he was just out of reach. So a weekend of highs and lows, but it's definitely good to continue our points run and have another double points finish for the team."
Dr. Vijay Mallya, Team Principal: "Before the race we set the target of getting two cars home in the points, so I'm pleased that we managed to achieve this objective. It means we've scored points at the last six events. Adrian's race was very strong and for a while it looked like we might be challenging for a podium. However, the two safety car periods kept the pack close together and limited the benefits of his two-stop strategy. Paul's race was very busy, but once again he battled his way through to the points and showed the speed of the car. With eight points scored today we continue to strengthen our hold on fifth place in the championship and head to Germany determined to keep the momentum going."
Pastor Maldonado (11th): "It was a difficult race but our pace was consistent. We weren't quick enough but I was happy with the balance of the car and we had no problems with our tires. I am looking forward to continuing to improve, particularly in qualifying. We were close to scoring our first point today, but before the second restart I was on the inside when Hulkenberg went off the track and he made contact with me when he rejoined, which cost me two positions."
Valtteri Bottas (12th): "It wasn't an easy race for me because the car was quite difficult to handle. We didn't have the best set-up for qualifying and the race, and we also lost some time in the pit stops, so we need to improve in all areas moving forward. Points were certainly possible today but unfortunately we just missed out."
Mike Coughlan, Technical Director: "It was a tough race but both drivers did a good job for us today and deserved some points. Valtteri did well to overtake Button on the last lap for P12, and Pastor almost finished inside the top ten but lost two positions at the second safety car restart. Bothe drivers managed their tires well and overall made up a number of places from where they started on the grid. Thank you to all the Williams employees, our partners and fans who came out to support us on home soil today."
Laurent Debout, Renault: "Eleventh and 12th is our best finish so far this year, but I know the team would like to have scored points on home ground. While we would have hoped to finish on the right side of the top ten, it's a big improvement on our starting positions."
Daniel Ricciardo (8th): "That was a chaotic race, but for most of it I was in a reasonably strong position. I didn't get the best of starts, but managed to make up for that, however I then lost a bit of time at both pit stops. Towards the end of the race, I had a very good pace but I think we might have done better with a different strategy when the last Safety Car came out as prior to that I could match the Force India and the Ferraris. At the end we were on used tires and those who changed for a third time were able to pass me. Eighth is a good result, but I see it as a missed opportunity to score more points, because today we were quicker than the Ferraris so to finish behind them, particularly Massa who had a tire problem, is a bit disappointing. I don't know what was happening with the tires, as I kept seeing people going off the track and there was debris everywhere. It was a little bit dangerous and we need to look into it. For my part, I just had normal degradation."
Jean-Eric Vergne (DNF, Damage): "I got a bad start and that's something we must look at carefully, as it compromised our performance. But it would not have made a big difference today, because of the problem I had when my tire failed. I don't know what happened, I did not feel any warning signs and it just let go under braking. I did manage to come back to the pits, fit new tires and go out again, but the team immediately told me I had quite significant damage to the car, which in any case I could feel. The car was very difficult to drive from then on and in the end, the team took the decision to retire me, as there was no sense in carrying on. I did not feel in danger, but it's just a shame that this sort of problem can waste a whole weekend's work for the team. I am very upset about it and something needs to be done about it soon. So, from a results point of view, this is a race to forget, but I believe we showed the car was very quick and we can be in the fight in the coming races."
Franz Tost, Team Principal: "We had been hoping for better this afternoon. Both cars had poor starts which we need to investigate. After that, Jean-Eric had the tire problem fortunately, not too far from the pit lane entry, but as a result of that, his car was badly damaged and eventually we decided to retire him because of that. As for Daniel, we had three issues: he lost time at the first pit stop when we struggled to get one wheel off the car and that lost him track position, then at the second stop, we had to delay his release as another car was coming in, again losing about three seconds. Finally, with the last Safety Car we had a difficult choice to make, as his tires were old and we did not have others that were particularly new to put on, but the guys behind did pit for newer tires and inevitably they managed to get past. On the positive side, we can be pleased that in performance terms, the car has clearly continued to improve and now we only have a few days to wait before we can try and turn that improvement into a more significant number of points at the Nurburgring."
Charles Pic (15th): "I think that was a pretty good race, I'm pleased with how it went. We were managing the tire deg for most of the afternoon but just before the last safety car came out I was ahead of Bottas and looking at an exciting last few laps. We finally ended up 15th which is not too bad, and we were comfortably ahead of our nearest competitors so it's a reasonably positive result, despite losing a lot of the gains we'd made when the second safety car came out. For me this has been a good weekend, one where we've started to get a bit back to the performance levels we saw in Bahrain and Spain. The pitstops were good, we ran to a strategy that gave me a chance to fight the Williams cars until the flag and we have a lot more information about the updates we brought here, both from today and the aero work we did yesterday. Overall this puts us in a much better position than we were in when we left Canada so now we'll go straight to Germany and aim to continue this upward curve there."
Giedo van der Garde (18th): "That was a bit of a frustrating afternoon to be honest, but there wasn't much more I could do. We started the race running with a strategy we'd begun yesterday in FP3 and in quali which was all about managing the tire deg as long as possible so we could take advantage of anything that happened ahead. The plan was running ok and we were on target for managing the deg levels but then the first safety car came out and as we'd already boxed we effectively lost track time to everyone who hadn't stopped. With the position we were in then in the race there wasn't a lot more we could do so we continued with the plan and it was working ok for the last stint, but then we had the second safety car straight after I'd stopped again so it was back to where we'd been at the start. As we only had a few laps left and I was on new mediums I was able to push to the flag and had a good battle with Chilton right until we crossed the line, practically together. I did pass him with a couple of laps left, but it was very tight on track and I had to give the place back which is obviously a shame, but we had a clean fight and without the safety cars I think I'd have been clear of him. Even though we went into this weekend knowing we had a fight on our hands I think we've made a bit of progress, getting us nearer to where we want to be relative to our nearest rivals. Next it's Germany on a track I like racing on and, coming straight after Silverstone, we can keep pushing on. That's what this season's all about, keep learning, keep fighting and never give up."
Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal: "I'm certainly happier leaving our second home race of the season than I was when we left Montreal, but we must work continue to work, harder than ever. Seeing Charles towards the end of the race with clear air between him and the Marussia behind, and targeting a fight with Bottas and Gutierrez is a sign that we're getting back to the performance level we are targeting for this season. However, it is quite frustrating that with such an eventful race we weren't able to use this as an opportunity to record a more positive result. After a couple of particularly frustrating races with the repeated DNFs and the low point of Montreal, I see this weekend as a restart of the season. The team is now fully operational, between the track and the factory, between the drivers and the engineers, with our technical partners, to make the most out of the package available. We all feel that there is more performance to get out of it, and we must now switch to attack mode to see what we can deliver at tracks that are more suited to the characteristics of our car."
Jules Bianchi (16th): "Generally a difficult race, which began with quite a bad start. After that I just had to follow Charles, but it was a fight to stay with him as the Caterham was a bit stronger today. We decided to pit early but then the first safety car period followed and so that didn't work out for us. For the rest of the race it was the same story until the last safety car, which could have been another opportunity to get past, but although the gap was narrow we were unable to get by. It has not been a straightforward weekend and we have just a couple of days to get to grips with that before we head to Germany, where we hope for better things."
Max Chilton (17th): "Today has been a day that I will never forget. I was really psyched on the grid and got a great start, which helped. I got past Jules and Pic at the start, they passed again and then I took back position and we had a really close tussle for the first few laps. They just had a little bit better pace for a few laps and I dropped behind Van Der Garde. I got passed him again right towards the end and we would have been fine but then the safety car came out and he had just pitted, so that worked out really well for him. He had the final 10 laps on new tires and I was on old tires, so we had a great fight, but I managed to keep him behind me at the end. All in all, an eventful weekend with so many experiences to take away with me."
John Booth, Team Principal: "We came into today with fantastic weather for our home event, which was great news for the fans. The strategy for this race was always going to be difficult as, similar to Canada, we saw a big shift in track conditions between the long runs we completed on Friday and the race. Overall I think we handled both tires well. The engineers and pit crew worked well together today to execute pretty much the plan that we intended to start the race with, but unfortunately we lacked the pace to be able to allow Jules to challenge Pic. Max had a race-long battle at various stages with Giedo but ultimately came out on top, which is great news for him considering he was quite disappointed after qualifying yesterday. Overall we are slightly disappointed that we have slipped back a little, but already we have some good ideas on how we can make immediate improvements to the set-up for Germany to put us right back where we have been."
Fastest lap: Webber, 1:33.401
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