Nico Rosberg Wins the British GP!

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Updated: July 1, 2013

Nico Rosberg has claimed victory in a chaotic race with Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso coming home  in 2nd and 3rd

Once again Mercedes managed a front row lockout with the 2 Red Bulls filling up the second row. In qualifying on Saturday Lewis Hamilton’s pole position lap actually broke the track record, with a 1:29.607

As the lights went out Mark Webber had his typically terrible getaway, but Felipe Massa had a storming start moving up to 5th by the first corner. Webber’s poor start did him no favours and he was side swiped by the Lotus of Grosjean going round turn 1, damaging his front wing. At this point Lewis was cruising in the lead, with the other Red Bull of Vettel close behind. A lap later and Fernando Alonso fights his way forwards through the field, passing Grosjean for 8th.

Lap 8 and disaster strikes for Hamilton and the home fans! Coming down the Wellington Straight his left rear tyre explodes dramatically. That’s a race ruiner right there and he knows it. Somehow he manages to get the car almost all the way round the lap and back to the pits, but all chances of victory are gone. He comes out of the pits and begins the fightback from last.

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And boom goes the race win

That tyre failure seemed like a random event until Massa has an identical failure at more or less the same part of the track. Unfortunately for Felipe his tyre went bang halfway through turn 5, so is sent backwards off the track. Luckily he doesn’t make contact with anything though, and is able to continue. But 2 tyre failures in as many laps? Surely this trend can’t continue.

Lap 12 and several drivers are into the pits to swap tyres, and in Webber’s case a new nose. A lap or so later and Webber is fighting fit, setting the fastest lap so far. Further down the track the 2 Lotus’ are having a battle, with Raikkonen just behind Grosjean. They’re coming down the Hangar Straight when suddenly the left rear tyre of Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso explodes. Debris showers Kimi, with pieces of metal, carbon fibre and rubber colliding with Kimi’s helmet. This is what helmets are for folks! But 3 tyre failures in barely a quarter of the race? Paul Hembrey must be preparing himself for a long meeting after the race.

Debris is all over the track and the safety car is deployed to assist the marshals. Over the radio Vettel is told to avoid the kerbs. Are they really the source of the problem? Something is causing the same tyre to pop but no-one is sure what at this point. Several laps later and we are back under racing conditions, with Vettel leading from Rosberg. Bad news if you’re a Mexico fan, both Perez and Gutierrez get overtaken on lap 22, by Webber and Hamilton respectively.

Vettel is soaring away at the front, with Rosberg unable to keep up. Hamilton is continuing his fightback, getting right up behind the other Sauber of Hulkenberg. Luckily for Hamilton he doesn’t have to wait long to pass as Nico pulls into the pits for a new set of tyres.

Several exciting laps later and Hamilton is struggling. His tyres are way passed their best and Raikkonen, Alonso and Webber all sweep past him in barely 3 corners. Lap 35 and both Vettel and Rosberg pit in for new tyres, they are so far ahead at this point that they retain their positions upon rejoining the track. It’s the Battle of Britain for 12th place as Paul Di Resta and Hamilton vie for position. They nearly touch at one point but both drivers keep it good and clean. Exactly what we like to see! Shame it’s so far down the order though.

Meanwhile further round the track Mark and Kimi are fighting over 3rd place, with Kimi just keeping his Lotus in front of the Red Bull. The damage the tyre explosion caused to Vergne’s Toro Rosso is clearly terminal, and he his team decides to retire the car. A real upset for one of Mark Webber’s potential replacements.

Incredible! On Lap 41 Vettel slows! His car has a problem finding 5th gear and in doing so, completely destroys the gearbox. The ever successful German stops on the start/finish straight. I’m supposed to be unbiased but I’d be lying if I said I was’t a little happy to see this! This promotes everyone up one place, and in turn grants Rosberg the lead. Due to the position of the broken down Red Bull the safety car must come out again.

Luckily not a long walk

Luckily not a long walk

With less than 10 laps to go the scene is set for a very exciting finale to the race. Raikkonen is irritated that his team didn’t bring him in for tyres, and they rightfully tell him ‘it’s too late now’. The safety car bunches up the field, but some cars have fresh tyres and some don’t. The guys with the fresher tyres are slightly further back than the guys without of course. With 7 laps to go the race is back on! Fernando and Webber are making sweeping gains through the field, their decision to change tyres has paid dividends. Sutil and Raikkonen are the losers of this, their worn tyres mean they don’t stand a chance.

Coming down the final straight and shock horror, the McLaren of Checo suffers a blowout right in front of Alonso. He does well to avoid the floundering McLaren but this is a disaster for Pirelli. McLaren take the decision to retire the car as the side pod is utterly destroyed, leading to the 3rd retirement of the day.

With but a few laps to go Webber and Alonso are scything through the front of the field, with both drivers up to 2nd and 3rd respectively. Webber clear has the faster car than Rosberg but unfortunately it seems like the Aussie is going to run out of laps.

And with that the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg crosses the line first, shortly followed by Mark Webber in 2nd, and Fernando Alonso in 3rd. It was a thrilling race, yet somewhat marred by the series of dangerous tyre failures. I hope Pirelli can come up with a solution by Germany, because I don’t want to see a repeat of Indianapolis 2005. Unfortunately at this moment in time, that seems like a very real possibility.

Final finishing order is as follows:

  1. Nico Rosberg-Mercedes
  2. Mark Webber-Red Bull
  3. Fernando Alonso-Ferrari
  4. Lewis Hamilton-Mercedes
  5. Kimi Raikkonen-Lotus
  6. Felipe Massa-Ferrari
  7. Adrian Sutil-Force India
  8. Daniel Ricciardo-Toro Rosso
  9. Paul Di Resta-Force India
  10. Nico Hulkenberg-Sauber
  11. Pastor Maldonado-Williams
  12. Valtteri Bottas-Williams
  13. Jenson Button-McLaren
  14. Esteban Gutierrez-Sauber
  15. Charles Pic-Caterham
  16. Jules Bianchi-Marussia
  17. Max Chilton-Marussia
  18. Giedo van der Garde-Caterham
  19. Romain Grosjean-Lotus-DNF
  20. Sergio Perez-McLaren-DNF
  21. Sebastian Vettel-Red Bull-DNF
  22. Jean-Eric Vergne-Toro Rosso-DNF

F1 Article by Harry Wright

Some handsome fellow

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twitter-@hazzwright

Email-hazz_wright@hotmail.co.uk

 

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