Rosberg wins chaotic British Grand Prix

2013 British Grand Prix summary

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Nico Rosberg, Silverstone, Mercedes, 2013Nico Rosberg took his second victory of 2013 after a chaotic British Grand Prix that saw Sebastian Vettel retire from the lead just eleven laps from the finish. But the race was marred by an unprecedented sequence of explosive tyre failures that saw four separate drivers suffer instantaneous left-rear tyre delaminations during the course of the race.

At the start, Lewis Hamilton led from pole as the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel took second from Nico Rosberg. After starting fourth, Mark Webber made a terrible start and fell down to 15th place after contact with Romain Grosjean, while Felipe Massa made a superb jump from 11th place from fifth on the grid.

Hamilton pulled away gradually at the front until Lap 8, when a sudden left-rear tyre delamination along the Wellington Straight left him cruising helplessly to the pits. Just two laps later, Felipe Massa suffered an identical failure after running over the kerb at the kink leading onto the Wellington Straight, forcing him to pit. That was followed on Lap 15 by yet another left-rear failure ?ǣ this time for Jean-Eric Vergne in the Toro Rosso along the Hangar Straight, ultimately putting the Frenchman out of the race.

The Safety Car was deployed to allow marshals to sweep the track for debris and the race resumed on Lap 22, with Vettel leading from Nico Rosberg. Kimi R??ikk??nen and Fernando Alonso used fresher tyres to easily pass Lewis Hamilton, who himself pitted before scrapping with Paul di Resta over 12th place.

With fourteen laps remaining, Rosberg began to slowly reel in Vettel at the front. But the Mercedes driver would not need to fight the Red Bull for the lead, as the triple world champion suddenly slowed at the exit of Stowe on Lap 41 with his car apparently suffering from a drive failure.

With Vettel stricken on the side of the track across the finish line and out of the race, the Safety Car was deployed for the second time. Rosberg, Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber all opted to pit for new tyres immediately, while Kimi R??ikk??nen stayed out on the circuit after the team left it too late to call him in for fresh rubber.

At the restart on Lap 45, Rosberg led R??ikk??nen, Adrian Sutil in the Force India, Daniel Ricciardo and Mark Webber. With fresh tyres, Webber quickly passed Riccardo and then Sutil, while Alonso was fortunate to pull out of Sergio Perez?s slipstream on the Hangar Straight just as the McLaren became the fourth left-rear delamination victim of the afternoon.

Webber then relieved R??ikk??nen of second at Copse, as Alonso and Hamilton – who was fighting back from his early set back – both passed Ricciardo. As Webber set about catching Rosberg for the win with the laps counting down to the chequered flag, Alonso jumped into the final podium position by passing the hapless R??ikk??nen in the DRS zone.

Webber?s efforts were enough for him to catch the Mercedes on the last lap, but it was not enough to allow him to snatch victory and Rosberg duly held on to take his second win of the season, with Alonso taking third. Hamilton recovered valiantly to finish fourth, with Raikkonen fifth, Massa sixth, Sutil seventh, Ricciardo eighth, Di Resta ninth from the back of the grid and Nico Hulkenberg rounding out the points positions in tenth.

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    Will Wood
    Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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    31 comments on “Rosberg wins chaotic British Grand Prix”

    1. paul hembery seen leaving the track in a black helmet

      1. I can picture Ross Brawn phoning Charlie and demanding a sit down ;)

    2. I’ve got an idea. Let’s have a 3 day test on the 2013 tyres

      1. I think, after this race, the teams should reflect on the fact that they voted against introducing the new, harder compound tyres that the teams themselves wanted to bring in.

        Pirelli will get a huge amount of criticism in the aftermath of this race, but they have been asked to make highly-degrading tyres, have minimal chance to test them with a 2013 car and then have the new tyres they want to introduce rejected.

        The teams and the FIA deserve to be criticised for this situation as much as Pirelli do, in my opinion.

        1. +1 someone needs to put their hand up and take on his problem, it’s not entirely Pirellis fault

        2. Pirelli said back in Bahrain the delaminations werent caused by soft compounds.

        3. They are getting tonnes of criticism – what will be more in tatters by the end of the season: Pirelli’s reputation or their left rear tyres?

    3. Let’s be rational. The fault here lies not with Pirelli. Ok, the tyres they came up with are rubbish, however, it was the teams themselves (Lotus and Force India I think?) who vetoed changed that would have certainly prevented these ridiculous failures. Something has to be done or the teams should not even bother going to Spa.

      Didn’t Alonso dive into the pits just as Vettel slowed though? That’s the impression I’ve got, and I don’t think he or Stella had such quick reflexes and a crystal ball to see that safety car coming… or Alonso’s stop happened one lap later and I’m just misremembering things.

      1. You remember right. Alonso’s stop was scheduled and not due to the SC

        1. @tmf42 Let’s hope he stop bragging about bad luck then. That was just unbelievable luck.

          1. @guilherme well he mentioned on the podium that it was basically just luck that brought them up there. But yeah, he could tone down the mind games.

        2. and that is why he lost a few positions during safety car. If it was not a scheduled pit stop they would have synced it with Rosberg and hence he could have held on that position.

          1. I don’t see how that was lucky. Had he stopped a lap later, like Webber did, the situation would have been the same for him, or even slightly better because his tyres would have been a lap fresher.

    4. I bet that after this race Kimi is willing to do a couple of extra PR days for RBR if they’ll hire him. That kind of strategy blunders are unacceptable.

    5. The strategies at Lotus have been the major issue that has prevented Kimi from more points since his return

    6. What a nail biter in the end ! Alonso you beauty ! Great drive from Webbo and Lewis . Was it just me being childish or did anyone else frantically wave the finger at their TV when Vettel lost his transmission :P . What is wrong with these tyres !!

      1. @hamilfan It was jus you being silly, not childish, my friend, for showin the finger to a tv set!!

      2. Silly, childish or whatever, it certainly was not just you

      3. According to reliable sources, there were several million spectators waving fingers at their TV sets in that moment. Yours faithfully included. Personally, I’m happy to rejoice with all the rest in our sillyness.

    7. What happened to Button? Just noticed he’s placed behind Williams.

    8. What is Pirelli going to do now? Do they simply go ahead and bring durable tyres that will just not break apart come what may or do they still seek all the teams consensus on tyre change

    9. In this choas everyone one missed Webber’s dig at Vettel on the podium interview. he said “I dont know in which country the next race is …. BUT I want to win it ” LOL

    10. BTW i did not understand why is Force India messing up the Pit Stop timings / Strategy for Sutil every time. He falls back in positions after every pit stop.

    11. Rosberg now under investigation for failing to slow down enough through yellow flag zones. The drama continues!!

    12. Besides the punctures… Anybody that still has the “brass” to say Merc learnt nothing from their “secret” test is just naive! Disgusting.

      1. Say the fan of the team that has made more of a sport getting “extra benefits” instead of the actual racing.

    13. At least you guys got to watch the race without KNOWING the winner! Those DUMB@SSES at NBCSPORTS showed the race tape delayed…then started THAT 10 minutes late by finishing up their Tour de France coverage and announcing the results of the race right BEFORE broadcasting it!!! I’m so ticked off at NBCSports right now, I can’t see straight!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    14. I just find the irony of Hamilton’s tyre failure truly hilarious

      1. One can think it was poetic justice, after the secret testing, but then Nico’s tyre would have also blown up. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy that Nico won. But I’m not quite certain that he deserved it.

    15. Anele (@anele-mbethe)
      30th June 2013, 18:49

      poor alonso not only does he have to contend with seb now merc are firmly in the picture with the best driver combo on the grid to boot. Inedible to think Ferrari started the season with the best overall package

    16. What a race! A lot of broken tyres, but Lewis Hamilton did an excellent job for driving the lead back at his sight. Lotus made an unbelievable mistake by not taking Raikkonen into pits at the moment the needed to. Rosberg drove sure, hard and did not make any mistakes. A great day for both German and Finnish people to celebrate his victory. We will see, what will Pirelli do next…

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