Rosberg lucks in to victory as tyre failures wreak havoc with race

2013 British Grand Prix review

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It’s little over a week since Allan Simonsen lost his life in a crash a few minutes after the start of the Le Mans 24 Hours.

On the first day of running at Silverstone the Formula One community assembled beneath the podium beside a portrait of Mark Robinson, the Canadian marshal who died in the aftermath of the previous round while Esteban Gutierrez’s car was being recovered.

A few hours before the start of today’s British Grand Prix came the sad news that another driver, Andrea Mame, had suffered fatal injuries in another sports car race in France.

Despite the efforts of all involved in motor racing to make it safer there is and will always be a degree of risk for competitors, circuit workers and spectators. A spate of explosive tyre failures at high speed during today’s British Grand Prix rammed that message home, and the sport should consider itself lucky nobody was hurt.

Tyre drama

The first sign of trouble came on Saturday morning when Sergio Perez’s left-rear tyre failed during final practice. The rest of the day passed with a repeat.

Eight laps into today’s race came the first indication that Perez’s problem had not been a one-off. Lewis Hamilton had converted his second pole position into the lead and was edging away from Sebastian Vettel’s pursuing Red Bull.

But as he headed down the Wellington Straight, where speeds exceed 280kph (174mph), his left-rear tyre disintegrated, forcing Vettel to take avoiding action. The implications of Hamilton’s disaster were just beginning to sink in when, two laps later, Felipe Massa spun off the track at turn four, his left-rear tyre also destroyed.

Ferrari wasted no time summoning Fernando Alonso into the pits where they discovered one of his tyres was also on the verge of a potentially catastrophic failure. “For me it was the right rear that I think was new compared to all the other failures and if this happened like Felipe – that I think was in turn five when it happened – then I lose the race,” he said. “For me it happened in the last corner and I pit.”

Most drivers hurried into the pits by lap 12. One who didn’t was Jean-Eric Vergne, who was now running in sixth place ahead of the two Lotuses. Unlike most drivers he had started on the hard tyre, and those who had suffered failures had all been on the softer compound.

But on lap 14, as he touched 300kph at the end of the Hangar straight, Vergne’s left-rear let go. As the tyre tore itself to pieces it showered the pursuing Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean with debris.

This third failure drove race director Charlie Whiting to summon the Safety Car and neutralise the field. He later admitted he considered red-flagging the race to get the situation under control.

“You’ve got to stay off the kerbs”

While the drivers trailled the Safety Car the teams took the chance to report back on the condition of the tyres they had just taken off.

Red Bull told Vettel they had found cuts on the medium compound tyres he started the race on, which had also been used during qualifying. “You’ve got to stay off the kerbs,” urged race engineer Guillaume Rocquelin.

Behind Vettel was Nico Rosberg, who’d made a sluggish getaway from second at the start and fallen behind the Red Bull.

But that was nothing compared to Mark Webber’s troubles. Afflicted by another of his poor starts he had been swamped by his rivals. Glancing contact with Romain Grosjean’s Lotus left Webber’s front wing askew and it wasn’t fixed until his first pit stop. Before that he’d fallen as low as 14th, but had been able to pass both Saubers plus Jenson Button’s McLaren.

Behind Rosberg were Adrian Sutil and Alonso’s Ferrari. The latter had overtaken Grosjean on lap two then jumped the other Lotus of Raikkonen along with Daniel Ricciardo during his pit stop.

Heartbreak for Vettel

The race resumed on lap 22. By this time there had been three major failures in fourteen racing laps and it was hard to imagine there not being any more over the course of the remaining thirty.

The sense of foreboding about the potential for another failure was not eased by the obvious fact that several drivers were not keeping off the kerbs as instructed.

One of them, despite his team mate’s failure and his own near-miss, was Alonso. He was not convinced the kerbs were to blame: “It’s hard to believe that the kerbs were the problem because we’ve been racing here for 12 years with those kerbs”, he said afterwards. Besides which, he had Vettel in sight and was anxious not to lose any further ground.

Rosberg’s experience seemed to validate Alonso’s point of view: “I was staying off the kerbs and I got a tyre problem myself,” he explained. Mercedes had warned him the warmer temperatures of the race together with the kerbs might be causing the problem.

“But it worked out well,” Rosberg added. “I was able to pit before it broke apart because the safety car came out. I was a bit lucky there.”

He certainly was. Rosberg was just over three seconds behind Vettel when he felt his left-rear tyre going off. But he was saved on lap 41 by the only surprise of the race that had nothing to do with tyres.

Vettel looked untroubled in the lead of the race until his gearbox, in its third race, failed to select fifth gear. It then failed completely and the RB9 rolled to a stop on the pit straight.

The Safety Car was summoned for a second time so the car could be removed safely. This was a major relief for Rosberg, who dived into the pits as the race was neutralised and got a ‘free’ pit stop onto fresh tyres.

But had Vettel intended to time his retirement to cause maximum inconvenience to his closest championship rival he couldn’t have done better. Alonso had just made his final pit visit, and the field compression behind the Safety Car saw him drop from third to eighth.

Webber chases Rosberg home

The second Safety Car period dragged on while the rigmarole of letting backmarkers unlap themselves was performed.

That done, Rosberg resume in the lead chased by a trio of drivers who had not put fresh tyres on while the Safety Car was out: Raikkonen, Sutil and Ricciardo. Raikkonen queried the decision with his team on the radio but was told the opportunity had already been missed.

A well-timed second pit stop for Webber followed by a precautionary return visit under the Safety Car saw him occupy fifth. The two McLarens had stayed out and were sixth and seventh, followed by Alonso.

Having fallen to last place after his puncture, Hamilton had clawed his way back up to eighth with a 28-lap stint on hard tyres. He had changed his rubber just five laps before the Safety Car came out, so Mercedes elected not to bring him in again.

Over the final six-lap sprint those with fresher tyres swiftly dispensed with the cars in front of them. The tyre advantage alone was probably sufficient to tip the balance, and the two DRS zones served to ensure their rivals had no hope of defending.

Webber took Raikkonen, Sutil and Ricciardo on consecutive laps, so that with five laps to go he had Rosberg’s leading Mercedes in his sights, the pair separated by 1.3 seconds.

Alonso picked off Button at the restart. As they reached the Hangar straight he was lining up Perez for the same treatment when the McLaren driver suffered his second tyre failure of the weekend. It was a nasty shock for both drivers: Alonso swerved right to avoid the wounded McLaren and its tyre debris.

Hamilton arrived on Alonso’s tail and the pair easily overhauled Ricciardo, Sutil and Raikkonen. “We should have called Kimi in to save at least one position and make the podium,” admitted team principal Eric Boullier afterwards. “Unfortunately, we made the wrong call for which we apologise to Kimi and to the team.”

At the head of the field Rosberg and Webber traded fastest laps until the end. Webber set the best time on the final tour, but fell short of his rival by seven tenths of a second at the chequered flag.

Rosberg’s victory and the performance of Hamilton’s car would probably have attracted greater comment had it not been for the series of tyre failures. The team which finished 68 seconds behind the leaders in Spain, then conducted a controversial clandestine test for Pirelli at the track, were in much better shape on F1’s return to a ‘high aero’ venue.

Rosberg denied the team gained anything from the three days of running that contributed to his second victory of the year. His win was (which confirmed after an investigation by the stewards for speeding under yellow flags) and Hamilton’s fourth place moved the team ahead of Ferrari in the constructors’ championship.

Massa recovers to sixth

Despite spending 11 laps in last place at one point, Massa climbed to sixth at the finish after also pitting under the second Safety Car. But he believed his puncture had cost him a shot at the podium after a blistering start propelled him from eleventh to fifth on lap one.

Having been sent to the back of the grid after qualifying, Paul di Resta tangled with Nico Hulkenberg early in the race and had to pit to change his front wing. He recovered to finish ninth with Hulkenberg behind him.

The two Sauber drivers also experienced tyre problems: Hulkenberg had a slow puncture and Gutierrez had a left-front tyre failure which resulted in front wing damage. He slipped to 14th behind the two Williams drivers and Button. The McLaren driver lost tyre temperature after the final Safety Car period and was passed by six drivers in as many laps.

The Caterhams and Marussias were the last cars running. Grosjean picked up front wing damage – “we don’t know if it was caused by some debris or something to do with the fact that it was a new part” – and retired in the pits.

Time for action

The late appearance of the Safety Car meant a race that had been marred by a string of embarrassing and potentially dangerous tyre failures ended on something of a high. But the images of multiple drivers suffering tyre explosions will be of grave concern to those in the sport – above all Pirelli.

After the race Webber was not alone in expressing scepticism that anything will be done about the problem. “I think we’ve been trying to have input for the last three years and it’s deaf ears.”

“Anyway, we’re part of the package, part of the show. The show goes on by the looks of it.” Webber, who announced this weekend he will leave F1 at the end of the year, added: “It’s not December yet, so I’ll stay quiet.”

With the German Grand Prix coming up this weekend there is little time for those in charge to get to the bottom of what’s gone wrong. Formula One took a huge gamble at Silverstone and got away with it. Next time it might not be so fortunate.

To avoid further embarrassment and risk the teams, the governing body and Pirelli will need to work together and act swiftly. But these are two things they have demonstrated little capacity for in the preceding months of bickering and politicking over F1’s tyres.

2013 British Grand Prix

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Images © Daimler/Hoch Zwei, Red Bull/Getty, Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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77 comments on “Rosberg lucks in to victory as tyre failures wreak havoc with race”

  1. Nice review

    I think the race had lots of up and down moments. What really concerns me is that the german gp is next week and Pirelli doesn’t have much time in terms of investigating the tire troubles and how to correct them. Hopefully this doesn’t happen again.

  2. Sean Plowden-Wardlaw
    1st July 2013, 1:11

    Why on earth do the F1 officials and drivers, as there teams still use Pirelli???? Kick the sods out, the tyres are useless, and at some time or other going to cause a disaster! Let everyteam choose its own tyre manufactura, and after a couple of races we are going to see who can make the best tyres. As our former coment said. Pirelli are going to MURDER someone!!

    1. Let every team choose its own tyre manufacturer

      Because we never had a tyre row when there was a tyre war? Have we forgotten Indy ’05 already?

      1. Agree @keithcollantine

        We should avoid overreaction. Pirelli has hit the pot both in 2011 and in 2012, they went too far this year but we should not rush to multi-tyre suppliers.

        Just give any tyre supplier more time to test the compounds and preferably with current car.

        1. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1)
          1st July 2013, 11:22


          “hit the pot”

          What does that mean where you come from? ;-)

    2. Look up the definition of ‘murder’…

    3. As if that would solve anything really.

      The key point in getting a grip on the tyres is

      To avoid further embarrassment and risk the teams, the governing body and Pirelli will need to work together and act swiftly. But these are two things they have demonstrated little capacity for in the preceding months of bickering and politicking over F1′s tyres.

  3. As the famous saying goes, any publicity is good publicity..I cant see that being the case for Pirelli. They are in F1 to sell tyres, however, the product seems to be disintegrating in front of the very audience they are pitching to.

    Is it Pirelli’s fault? Or is it the incessant complaints from certains quraters that have stronghanded Pirelli to make these changes?

    This is pathetic. F1 is supposed to be the pinnacle of motorsport, at least we all have been led to believe it is, but they cant even get a bunch of tyres right? The likes of Indycar, WEC, etc must be laughing at F1 just now. F1 is better than this. There are too many issues like this that make a mockery out of this sport. Whats the biggest problem? The people that run the sport are only interested in money..thats why.

  4. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    1st July 2013, 1:28

    and Hamilton’s fourth place moved the team ahead of Ferrari in the constructors’ championship.

    That’s a huge boost for Merc.
    If they can keep this up for the rest of this year, then they’re going to get a handsome bonus for next year.

    1. IMO Hamilton can still win the WDC. He’s 43 points behind Vettel, sure, but Alonso came back from 47 points in 2010. Lewis only needs 3.6 points more per race to outscore Sebastian. Hell, even Rosberg is a solid bet for WDC outsider.

      Why? Because if Silverstone is anything to go by, Mercedes are capable of doing so. The MGP-004 is by far the best qualifying car on the grid, and is as fast as anyone out there on race day. It’s also solid in the rain, and has improved the tyre usage a lot.

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        1st July 2013, 5:45

        It’s pretty obvious that they’re down playing the success and knowledge that they gained from the Pirelli test. But the car has fundamental pace in it regardless.

        But yeah, I think both Hamilton and Rosberg are both legitimate title contenders.

      2. @kingshark

        Indeed. Lewis was unfortunate at home but he leaves Silverstone with positive sensations, he seems more comfortable in the car and showed incredible pace on Saturday giving no options to his closest rivals: Nico and Seb.

        If he manages to keep his quali form and Mercedes rear tyres deg is just fine on Sundays, he can win at least 4 races this year. Then he can add some solid podium finishes. Plus, Nico and Ferraris do can beat Red Bulls, preventing Seb from running away with consecutive wins.

        It might be soon for that, but it looks like a four drivers affair, and neither of them is Kimi… unless Lotus finds their mojo again. I think both Lewis and Nico will finish ahead of him.

      3. Don’t forget that Merc will miss the next test. And it’s quite likely that it won’t be the young driver’s test after all, but a full-on tyre test with current cars, current drivers and current tyres. So the advantage they have might suddenly disappear.

        1. It’s not an ‘advantage’.

          The deg problem was their own issue to resolve – it wasn’t a performance thing. Not running in the YDT/whatever will prevent them improving the car and trying out new things, but they certainly won’t lose any pace or tyre-management information they currently have.

          1. I personally don’t think LH and NR are WDC potential drivers this year. They obviously still have tire deg issues with LH’s blowout, and the fact that NR likely was saved by safety cars from having the same thing happen to him. Yeah I know other drivers had blowouts too, but not everyone, so I think relatively speaking, and in a more normal race without the attrition and the tire blowouts and safety cars, this would have been another SV win, with very possibly MW in second, and we wouldn’t be talking about Mercedes ‘gains’ from a tire test that many keep insisting means they are now top contenders. I think they still have big issues with tires and are only looking as good as they are because Ferrari and Lotus aren’t currently as big a threat as they should be right now, and appeared to be at the start of the season.

        2. Ah but if that were the case then why could they not test? After all, if they’re forced to miss the ‘Young Driver’s Test’…then why should they miss a full on test?

          1. @joshgeake, I was thinking the same thing. I wonder whether Ross Brawn has the cheek to suggest it.

            Depending on how Pirelli might act, there might not be any need for a test with regular drivers. It seems the teams are eager to sideline their young drivers, though, in favor of more running with their race drivers whether there is a need to or not. So it’s not only Sam Bird who is the victim of the Mercedes test, but all young drivers!

          2. So can we now agree that perhaps Pirelli and Mercedes were not trying something underhanded by using their primary drivers in 2013 cars for the Pirelli tire test, but were in fact doing something necessary, as Pirelli had stated was the case for optimum data gathering.

            Pirelli and FIA should have cited safety issues before all this. Imho it was always laughable for anyone to suggest that delaminations but no deflations equalled ‘safe’. If Pirelli had admitted safety concerns from the getgo, much less politics would have been there to overshadow the whole issue. That is why early on after we heard post-Monaco about the Pirelli tire test I assumed and argued the test must have been necessary and permissable due to safety concerns or Mercedes would not have done it. But FIA and Pirelli chose not to fall back on the word ‘safety’.

            And look where we are now.

  5. I would not have been surprised to see the race red flagged. Especially since it was not likely to discover the actual cause of the tire explosions during the race. Or, the remedy. Charlie Whiting said later he almost did red flag the race. Formula 1 has come too far with its safety measures over the years to now resort to luck during a running race or another race in the near future. It is very fortunate there was no injury or worse during the British Grand Prix. The FIA have requested Pirelli and the teams meet before the German Grand Prix next week. Hopefully more facts are known by then and a safe solution is available.

    The drivers showed a lot of courage to keep racing while knowing there was a danger beyond the usual risks taken every time they get in the car. My favorite race car driver of all time is Jim Clark. The racing world still misses him. All forms of racing have made great strides in safety to make a dangerous sport less dangerous. Real race fans don’t want to see injury and destruction. Eliminating known risks is the easiest way to increase safety. Formula 1 now has a known risk. What will be done?

    1. Formula 1 now has a known risk. What will be done?

      I suppose a serious look at the F1 tyre regulations and rules from top to bottom would be a start. If I were the CEO of Pirelli, I’d wake up every Sunday with a loaded pistol next to the tube. Pirelli is in an impossible no win situation with F1 desires and requirements.

  6. Rosberg’s had enough bad luck that he doesn’t need to feel sheepish about this win. However, he had amazing fortune in the race. And I’m sure he knows that this was a race where he was outclassed by Hamilton. It’s great to watch these two trade body blows from race to race. They are raising each others’ games. After a few races where people were wondering what’s happened to Hamilton, he comes back storming. I predict that Rosberg will dominate Germany.

    I think it’s also worth pausing to note a second consecutive goose egg for McLaren. When was their last consecutive non-points finishes? Sometime in the dark days of 2009? Maybe expectations for them are already so low that it’s not worth a mention even by those with F1 history omniscience like Keith.

    1. Actually I predict Lewis will be stronger in Germany.

      For the sake of the championship, I’d love to see a Mercedes 1-2 and Alonso P3 :)

  7. Had FIA got rid of that stupid rule with the backmakers, Rosberg’d have lost the lead.

    People want entertainment and FIA gives them delayed SC periods because Max Chilton has to do a whole lap and get back on the field to recover something he rightly lost…

    1. @fer-no65

      People want entertainment and FIA gives them delayed SC periods because Max Chilton has to do a whole lap and get back on the field to recover something he rightly lost…

      Couldn’t agree more.

    2. Yes, I think you’re right, Rosberg would have lost the lead. But I also think Alonso would have lost third to Hamilton.

    3. @fer-no65
      Completely agree with you. It’s changing the race in an artificial way.
      If for example the leader has lapped a car or two and they’re between the leader and 2nd placed driver, how does it make any sense that the 2nd placed driver won’t need to lap them since they’ll be allowed to unlap themselves during the SC period. It means that the leader has taken a risk lapping another car and lost time behind that car while the others don’t need to deal with that situation.

      I don’t remember in this situation where Chilton was, but this rule is just one big fail.

    4. But wasn’t everyone happy when the rule was reinstated because you say that Rosberg would have lost the lead, but of course, what if Chilton had bumped Webber off the road during the restart?

      1. It’s a risk that always there when you’re lapping a slower car, as a backmarker he should of course let whoever is behind through when the SC comes in. I always preferred the old SC rules, no unlapping and no delta times.

    5. Great comment, and I agree completely. Having the SC out for those extra few laps robbed the spectators in the stands and viewers at home of a lap or two more of fantastic racing, and for no real gain for anyone.

    6. @fer-no65 Couldn’t disagree more.

      For example, imagine Vettel was about to lap the whole field Schumacher-style, with Hamilton 2nd and Alonso 3rd in a close battle. Vettel laps Alonso and is just about to lap Hamilton but then the safety car comes out. The outcome? Hamilton will get to gain back a lap, Alonso won’t and instead of being one second behind Hamilton he will now be almost a lap behind. Would that be nice???

      1. @oel-f1 that’s not ideal but it hardly happens ! And if the entire field lost a lap, it’s their problem ! why are frontrunners kept away from a chance of victory because the slowest cars of thefield lost a lap and they are given way to recover them?

        That’s a helluva “more unfair” than what you propose…

        1. @fer-no65

          why are frontrunners kept away from a chance of victory

          Er what? With backmarkers between the leader and the second placed car it will surely mean than the leader gets an advantage, especially in the old days of lasting tyres because it will take longer to lap the backmarkers. Or it can easily affect things in another way, just remember Singapore 2010 when I think di Grassi held Webber up so Hamilton could attack him, was that fair?

          I know the current situation isn’t ideal as it takes a bit longer. But hell, one lap more or less behind the safety car, what difference does it make? Actually it might be a good thing as the leader will have one lap less to defend, as compensation of the big gap built up before the safety car came out (no guarantee that is the case of course).

          1. With backmarkers between the leader and the second placed car it will surely mean than the leader gets an advantage, especially in the old days of lasting tyres because it will take longer to lap the backmarkers. Or it can easily affect things in another way, just remember Singapore 2010 when I think di Grassi held Webber up so Hamilton could attack him, was that fair?

            exactly @oel-f1.

            Its not the ideal solution (would be easier to just let the back markers drop back – but then it would mess up the field as well and be unfair for them).

            Maybe if only we would not have to wait for these cars to catch up back to the back of the train, it would not take ages.

    7. Agreed as well: I don’t like backmarkers affecting the battle up front but honestly I think allowing them to unlap themselves affects the race more than just ending the safety car period a lap earlier.

      Not that I care all that much though considering the failures, as none of the top 3 should’ve won anyway…

  8. Over the final six-lap sprint those with fresher tyres swiftly dispensed with the cars in front of them. The tyre advantage alone was probably sufficient to tip the balance, and the two DRS zones served to ensure their rivals had no hope of defending.

    I get the feeling, @keithcollantine, that you’re somehow bored with how things are going at the moment. Tyre failures, enormous DRS zones, long Safety Car periods, and so on…

    You’re not switching to Le Mans next year, are ya?

    1. @fer-no65 Yet I’m sure a “Le Mans Fanatic” website would be most welcome ;-)

      1. LeMans Lunatic? :P

    2. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey)
      1st July 2013, 6:57

      @fer-no65 What is it with so many people talking about Formula 1 and endurance racing recently as if they are two opposing factions or something and that you can only be a fan of one over the other?

      Liking Formula 1 and liking endurance racing are not mutually exclusive, you know. You can be a fan of both at the same time.

      1. It’s like we have small hearts or mutilated minds!

        We can love F1, WEC, WRC, ATP, PGA, NBA, UCL, EPL all the same time, not necessarily the same amount though…

      2. @magnificent-geoffrey it was a joke in reference to Mark Webber’s decision :P.

        1. @fer-no65 Oh! I see! :P

          My original point still stands, though…

          1. @magnificent-geoffrey ;)

            Agree with you, btw :)

      3. Rui (@ruicaridade)
        1st July 2013, 11:47

        I believe F1 is appealing more to the causal racing fan.It reminds me of some video games of the 90’s where explosions looked like rainbows just to showcase and justify the investment on a 3d card. I am a fan of both Le Mans / F1. Less and less of F1 as time goes by. If teams like Williams and Macca decided to build LMP1 cars, F1 would be less and less appealing.

    3. @fer-no65 @guilherme @magnificent-geoffrey Don’t worry I’ll continue to watch both, much to the chagrin of Mrs F1 Fanatic :-)

      1. Practice sessions in particular show in the wee hours of the morning where I live, the look. Y wife gives me as I hop out of bed at 4 and 5 a.m. To watch P1 or P3.

  9. I think the kerbs were the reason for the tyre failures, but thats not to say the kerbs were defective… I think with the heat and heavy fuel loads, when the tyres hit kurbs at high speeds they just couldn’t handle it.
    With the Nurburghring coming up, which has it’s fair share of high speed corners and long straights i fear there will be failures yet again, but maybe less in number

  10. So I count 9 failures or near failures. Insane!

  11. Tyres, tyres and tyres. At the moment in da F1 everything is about tyres. I want racing back!!!

  12. “Over the final six-lap sprint those with fresher tyres swiftly dispensed with the cars in front of them. The tyre advantage alone was probably sufficient to tip the balance, and the two DRS zones served to ensure their rivals had no hope of defending.”

    The perfect description of the “good part” of the race. This race was not only a farce – it was dangerous.

    1. I don’t think you can complain about the end. It was a safety car everyone had the same options. There was a bit of luck and a bit of tactics. It wasn’t one of those stupid tyre moments

      1. I can complain about the ending and I have. Tyre concerns and the two DRS zones gave the sensation of a remarkable finish but I think the ending was actually rather shallow – not much racing but a lot of artificial advantages.

  13. As ever, it’s because there were unpredictable failures that the race became vaguely entertaining.

    It was bizarre in the opening stages when tyres kept blowing. Then it became predictable (which is fine) but also uncompetitve (which is not). Then a gearbox dies, a load of cars get new tyres and there’s a sprint to the finish. Thank goodness for the sprint, otherwise the only interesting thing really would have been those tyres blowing.

    Here’s an idea – why not have more sprints in F1? Oh yeah, they killed that when they took out refuelling. Could they do it on these tyres anyway? No. Are we just in for a repeat at the ‘Ring? Probably.

    I’ll put my name on the line now and say that apart from the unpredictable blown tyres, crashes and retirements, there will be nothing interesting next weekend.

    Oh and one last thing – since when has Silverstone been such a ‘great’ track? I remember it becoming near forgettable after those changes in ’87-’88.

    1. @joshgeake

      why not have more sprints in F1? Oh yeah, they killed that when they took out refuelling.

      In-race refuelling did not create the kind of circumstances we saw in the last six laps at Silverstone. it gave us processions of drivers not bothering to overtake because they were saving fuel to stretch their stint out a lap or two longer and jump their rivals at the next pit stops

      If anything the refuelling ban helped create the conditions we saw at the end of the race at Silverstone. Because of the two safety car periods drivers had a surplus of fuel – Vettel was told to burn off excess fuel during the first safety car period.

      Therefore drivers did not have to worry about fuel conservation towards the end of the race and could push flat-out. Had they been making stops to refuel there would have been an incentive to leave the cars light on fuel at the end of the race, so that six-lap sprint you enjoyed might not have happened.

      1. Good point, but what about mid-race sprints ala Hungary 1998?

        1. @joshgeake That was nothing like what we had at Silverstone – that was one driver doing a series of quick laps to jump ahead of a rival.

          1. I beg to differ the only real race in the last 6 laps was between Rosberg and Webber all others were just passing people on older tyres.
            I seem to remember you replying to my post when I said Mercs have made progress from the 3 day test that they used to @drop like stones in races” and you said Silverstone would be acid test are you ready to admit that now?

          2. I addressed that in the article.

  14. I’m getting concerned in the direction F1 is taking. It is clearly going for “entertainment value”, however, when does the sport turn from a serious sport into something akin of WWE, where everything is staged for entertainment value?

    Take the tyre delaminations aside for a moment, and I know I’m asking a lot, because in their own right they deserve a full investigation. However, the more I read on these forums, the more I’m starting to see that people want all races to come down to last 10 laps, and for 2 or more drivers to have a chance at the victory.

    My concern is, that I believe that sport is designed to show who is the best in their field, in F1, that has traditionally been the one with the best driver, engine, tyre, personnel, and development package, the fact that Schumacher, Ferrari, Bridgestone and Brawn were so dominant in the early 2000’s, well isn’t that deserved, through their sheer determination, whether you like them or not? Or the fact that Vettel, Newey, RBR are now so successful, isn’t that worthy of praise?

    Instead I read multiple posts about how finger boy has done this, or done that… Then rate the race we saw yesterday as a 9 or 10 because after a safety car period in the last 10 laps we had 2 guys going at it at the end, and why can’t there be more of this?

    Think about the core of what sport is about, it is sometime unpredictable, but it cannot always be unpredictable or that would in itself become predictable. There is nothing more boring in my eyes than watching NASCAR at Talledega, where they basically try and stay in the top 10 so that at the end, they have a chance of winning from 5 deep… It just doesn’t sit right with me.

    1. Yes I agree with you lots of fans get so caught up with controveries or which driver is better then the other. I sometimes get the feeling the biggest flaw with f1 is the FANS.

    2. @dragoll Awesome, awesome comment. 100% agreed with this.

  15. “Romain, Kimi is faster than you”- did I hear that correctly or am I hallucinating due to tyres exploding? I forgot which lap but it was right before Vergne’s tyre blew.

    1. Nope, you definitely heard that. I’m really starting to dislike Lotus right now: I’ve just been notified that they ran their car this weekend with the caption “#godsaveourtyres” on it. I hope everyone else realises this that is currently high on the Kimi hysteria.

      1. I’m surprised nobody else mentioned this in other discussion forums. It sounds like a clear team order.

  16. Looking beyond the tyre fiasco, I think two things stood out for me this weekend.

    Firstly, it seems that Mercedes have now sorted their race pace out. With Hamilton and Rosberg only 43 and 50 points behind respectively, I think they’ve both got a real shot at the championship.

    Secondly, Paul di Resta continues to impress this season. His lap on Saturday was excellent and his wheel-to-wheel racing with Hamilton on the Sunday very impressive too.

    1. Imho Mercedes has much work to do yet on race days. I realize that several drivers had tire blowouts, but the fact is LH was one of them, so his car was obviously relatively harder on the rear tires than some others. NR was also suffering tire issues and possibly only survived due to safety cars and their timing thereof. SV’s gearbox failure was an anomoly and was of the type of bad luck that FA mentioned a few weeks ago as was due him or his car. It likely won’t happen in the next race. And MW came back from a bad start, albeit he too may have benefitted from the attrition of others and the safety cars in order to do so. For me it is still RBR’s Championships to lose, and Mercedes are just lucky that Ferrari and Lotus aren’t being quite the forces to reckon with that they appeared at the start of the season, but I think they will have some strong days yet too.

      So for me, throw out SV’s DNF and the blowouts and the resultant safety cars, and I think we would have seen both Mercedes’ having their usual tire issues causing them to finish lower than they qualified.

      1. @robbie, cheer up mate, I thought you were a Mercedes fan, judging by your comments in the run up to the tribunal. There was nothing to suggest yesterday that the race pace of the Mercedes was less than that of Red Bull. Hamilton was a little slower than the front, but he had damage to his car from the tyre flapping around the bodywork, and he was usually on older tyres, and in traffic. Still, Hamilton was faster than Alonso at the end, despite the damage and tyres that had done five racing laps more. Finally, have a look at the lap times chart posted in the “fastest laps” article. Hamilton had very low degradation, despite doing a 28-lap stint (including first safety car). Rosberg was being caught by Webber at the end, it’s true, but we don’t know to what degree Rosberg was holding back by staying off the kerbs.

        If we would have the exact same competitive order for the rest of the races as we did yesterday, then it would be between Mercedes and Red Bull for both championships. Mercedes’ advantage would be their qualifying pace, while Red Bull still has a healthy lead in both championships courtesy of Vettel’s strong run in the races up to Britain.

        1. Yeah that’s fair comment. Partly I’m convinced that Ferrari and Lotus should start to have some more ‘normal’ (read higher) grid spots and race finishes and be in the mix with Mercedes more, while RBR seems to be unbeatable this year. Should be interesting to see where the tires go from here and how that will affect things. I just think that since LH was the first to have a tire blowout that might indicate he (his car) is among the most hard on rears, so to me race pace is all well and good but I just wonder if ultimately they still have to consider running delta times and pushing less, in order to not get themselves in real trouble.

  17. Ignoring all the tyres discussion I’ll talk about the World Championship. It was imperative that Alonso cut into Vettels lead, he did that, he has to keep chipping away if Vettel cant put this to bed early he may think what does he have to do to put Alonso away. He just keep gnawing away at Vettel keep outscoring him.

    1. Problem is Alonso didn’t beat Vettel on track here and also its not sure same may not happen to Alonso going forward.

  18. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    1st July 2013, 13:52

    Technically, we’ve had 5 tyre failures at Silverstone with 22 cars. That’s almost 25% of the cars being affected (yes, Perez was unlucky enough to be affected twice). It was very irresponsible of Charlie Whiting not to stop the race. Had anything happened, he would have been the one to blame because when you have dangerous conditions, it’s the race director’s responsibility to stop the race.

    As for the tyres they ruined Hamilton’s chances of winning the gp at his home race after a clinical qualifying. Hamilton has won it in 2008 but still that’s unacceptable.

    What makes the situation more complicated is the fact that it’s not solely Pirelli’s fault since they offered to change the tyres and some teams refused. It also appears that they have found a “bad” or “scapegoat’ kerb – we’ll never really know.

    I hope the failure doesn’t have WCC and WDC implications. To see Hamilton lead so many races in 2012 and now another in 2013 and not win for reasons totally beyond his control is very disheartening. When driving and racing become factors of little to no relevance, that means F1 is in trouble.

    What if Usain Bolt was hampered by the Olympic officials or his shoe manufacturer and had lost the Olympics twice or 3 times in a row?

    1. Considering that Hamilton’s main rival is Vettel this season, I think it’s even between the two this year in terms of luck.

      Sure, Hamilton had that puncture, but Vettel had a car failure while in the lead 10 laps from home. Also, it’s debatable whether Hamilton would have been able to hold Vettel off for the entire race.

      Not only that but the championship is skewed by Ross Brawn forcing Rosberg to stay behind Hamilton in Malaysia.

      Hamilton was incredibly unlucky last year (Vettel was in 2010 but still found a way to win the championship), but the Vettel deserved the championship. No-one was better when the pressure was on.

  19. Perhaps F1 ought to adopt a rule in that the whole “lapped cars may now pass” procedure is thrown out the window during the final 10 laps. I normally don’t mind it but this time it arguably robbed us of an even closer finish.

    1. @jackysteeg

      Perhaps F1 ought to adopt a rule in that the whole “lapped cars may now pass” procedure is thrown out the window during the final 10 laps.

      …and all the preceding laps.

      1. On the topic of safety car periods, I’ve wondered why the drivers don’t bunch up on the restarts to the degree Indycar drivers do, and certainly not to the degree NASCAR drivers do (even before double-file restarts were instituted). David Hobbs made mention of the drivers being spread out in the half lap before the last restart on the NBC telecast, and I certainly noticed that and wondered about it a bit. I was wondering if anyone could answer why.

    2. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
      1st July 2013, 16:41

      Has everyone forgotten that before the lapped cars may now pass rule was removed we had lapped cars getting in the way of the leaders ruining a good chance of racing at the restart?
      So long as they don’t wait for lapped cars to pass to restart then I have no problem with it. Start as soon as possible and if time allows, get the lapped cars to overtake.

  20. I remember Mark Webber saying before the start of the Australian GP this year that “F1 was now all about tyres, tyres, tyres, tyres, tyres”. On this, one of the commentators on ESPN-Star had taken a dig at him saying that for the last few years “F1 was all about aero, aero, aero, aero, aero” referring to the aerodynamic superiority of the RB.
    Now with all the tyre failures going around, it looks like Mark has had the final laugh on this tyre issue.

    1. I doubt he is laughing about it much really

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