NICO ROSBERG WINS A PIRELLI SHREDDING BRITISH GRAND PRIX! AS Hamilton, Massa, Vergne and Perez all suffer punctures…
Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg claimed victory in a hugely dramatic British Grand Prix overshadowed by four major tyre failures and which witnessed a retirement for Sebastian Vettel which has breathed unexpected new life into the 2013 title battle.
On lap eight, when polesitter Lewis Hamilton hopes of a second home victory – and the hopes of the packed Silverstone crowd – were dashed when the left-rear tyre spectacularly blew in a firework display of rubber as he came onto the Wellington Straight.
But rather than proving an isolated incident, over the next seven laps repeat failures were seen on the left-rear tyres of first Felipe Massa, and then most scarily of all at 190mph on the run to Stowe, Jean-Eric Vergne to put the spotlight more than ever on the safety of Pirelli’s tyres.
While the exact reason for the left-rear tyres – the final one of which claimed McLaren’s Sergio Perez late on for the second time this weekend – are unknown, drivers were subsequently, and almost unprecedentedly, told by their concerned race engineers to stay away from the circuit’s multitude of high-speed kerbs with teams also increasing their cars’ tyre pressures at their subsequent stops to guard against further blow-outs.
Vettel, having run second to Hamilton in the early laps, seemed on course for his fourth win of the season but ten laps from home his Red Bull RB9 started crawling around the end of the lap and ultimately gave up the ghost as he make it onto the pit straight.
With another caution period, the as, with Mark Webber, after a disastorous start from fourth, racing back through to the back of the winning Mercedes with Fernando Alonso third and Hamilton, having at one point dropped to the back, fourth ahead of Kimi Raikkonen.
The British Grand Prix Silverstone, Britain; 52 laps; 306.198km; Weather: Sunny. Classified: Pos Driver Team Time 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 + 16.500 9. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 17.993 10. Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari + 19.700 11. Maldonado Williams-Renault + 21.100 12. Bottas Williams-Renault + 25.000 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: Driver Team On lap Perez McLaren-Mercedes 47 Vettel Red Bull-Renault 42 Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 36 World Championship standings, round 8: Drivers: Constructors: 1. Vettel 132 1. Red Bull-Renault 219 2. Alonso 111 2. Mercedes 169 3. Raikkonen 100 3. Ferrari 168 4. Hamilton 87 4. Lotus-Renault 126 5. Webber 87 5. Force India-Mercedes 59 6. Rosberg 82 6. McLaren-Mercedes 37 7. Massa 57 7. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 24 8. Di Resta 36 8. Sauber-Ferrari 6 9. Grosjean 26 10. Button 25 11. Sutil 23 12. Vergne 13 13. Perez 12 14. Ricciardo 11 15. Hulkenberg 6