Mercedes records its second success of the season, but a tyre failure ruins Lewis Hamilton's chances of a dream home victory
Matt Burt
30 June 2013

Nico Rosberg won a thrilling British Grand Prix for Mercedes-Benz today, but a succession of dramatic tyre failures almost turned the race into a farce and scuppered the prospects of Rosberg's team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton and Rosberg had earned Mercedes a front row shut-out in qualifying, but with Sunday being blessed with sunny, warm conditions, it remained to be seen whether the Anglo-German team would maintain a competitive race pace or fall foul to their usual tyre wear issues.

Most of the leaders started on the softer of the two Pirelli tyre compounds. Hamilton made a perfect start, but Rosberg got too much wheel spin and lost second place to Sebastian Vettel. Adrian Sutil – the highest-placed Force India driver on the grid after team-mate Paul di Resta was disqualified from qualifying when his car was found to be underweight – slotted into fourth ahead of Felipe Massa and Daniel Ricciardo.

Mark Webber, starting from fourth, also made a sluggish getaway and sustained front-wing damage after getting clipped by Romain Grosjean, who in turn was kinking left to avoid Jenson Button as the field streamed through the first right-hander.

It was similar to the damage he picked up in the previous race in Canada, and the team opted to leave him out on track until the first pitstops, when they changed the wing. Up at the front, Hamilton got the hammer down to establish a gap over Vettel, ensuring that the German was too far behind to take advantage of DRS.

Just as the Briton was consolidating his position, however, the left-rear tyre of his Mercedes failed on the Wellington Straight. It left him with almost three-quarters of a lap to complete at low speed before his team could replace the ruined rubber and dropped him right out of contention.

Two laps later, Massa suffered a similar tyre failure on the left-rear corner of his Ferrari, and when Jean-Eric Vergne's Toro Rosso also had a high-speed deflation, it was clear that there was a widespread problem.

The safety car was deployed so that mangled tyre carcasses could be retrieved from the racetrack and the teams, organisers and Pirelli technicians could puzzle over what was going wrong.  It was suspected that a kerb on the one of the track's high-speed corners was causing the issues, which was of little consolation to poor Hamilton, who had dropped out of the points by the time he resumed.

After a round of precautionary pitstops from the leaders, Vettel was left leading Rosberg by about three seconds.

That situation remained until, with just 11 laps to go, Vettel's car suddenly slowed with a lack of drive. He ground to a halt near the start-finish line, in a dangerous place, so the safety car was put out to give marshals the opportunity to clear the stricken Red Bull.

Rosberg, Alonso and Webber – who had made steady progress up the order after his first lap dramas – were all called in for precautionary tyre changes, but curiously Lotus didn't instruct Kimi Räikkönen to pit.

Stopping for rubber cost Webber and Alonso track position, but when the race resumed for a manic seven-lap sprint, the drivers on fresher tyres were able to make rapid progress up the order.

Webber charged past Sutil and Räikkönen to take over second place and the chase of Rosberg. Alonso made short work of the cars ahead of him to move up to third. Although Hamilton didn't change tyres during the safety car period, he shrewdly remained on Alonso's tail and followed him past the likes of Ricciardo, Sutil and Räikkönen to assume fourth.

Up at the front, Webber got to within one second of Rosberg, meaning he was able to deploy the DRS on the run down the Hangar Straight on the final lap. But the leader was also flying, and Rosberg held on to earn earn Mercedes its first British Grand Prix victory as a constructor since the 1955 race at Aintree, which was won by Stirling Moss.

Alonso was satisfied with third place after a challenging weekend, while fourth-placed Hamilton was encouraged that his Mercedes had showed race-winning pace before his tyre failure. A disgruntled Räikkönen and recovering Massa rounded out the top six.

Sutil and Ricciardo both turned in solid performances to net seventh and eighth, while di Resta once again served notice of his talent by driving from the back of the grid to finish ninth, just ahead of Hulkenberg.

Results (provisional)

British Grand Prix, 30 June 2013

1 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)

2 Mark Webber (Red Bull)

3 Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)

4 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

5 Kimi Räikkönen (Lotus)

6 Felipe Massa (Ferrari)

7 Adrian Sutil (Force India)

8 Daniel Ricciardo (Toro Rosso)

9 Paul de Resta (Force India)

10 Nico Hulkenberg (Sauber)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments
7

30 June 2013

With your Pirelli, a surprise at the turning...

Buy Pirelli!

30 June 2013

The F1 "show" has found a new way to add uncertainty to the results.

Exploding tyres to add to the show.

It is as if "Who cares if the sport becomes more like Russian roulette for the drivers".

What inane bunch of idiots has created these circumstances that prevent the Tyre supplier from providing a safe tyre.  Instead the FIA "prosecute Mercedes and Pirelli for trying to find a solution to correct defective tyres.

Drivers your lives have been put at risk by the FIA and those Teams that denied Pirelli to change the defective construction of their tyres.

Sue the FIA.  

Sue Ferrari, Red Bull, Force India and other teams that voted to keep the defective Pirelli tyres in place.

Pirelli tried to persuade changes to be made - but idiots prevented the right decision.

Personally, I think the Pirelli tyres "stink" - but today's fiasco was not their fault.

Only the resignation of Jean Todt will make sufficent reparation.

Malo Mori Quam Foedari

30 June 2013

Drivers your lives have been put at risk by the FIA and those Teams that denied Pirelli to change the defective construction of their tyres.

30 June 2013

The FIA should be held to account for refusing to change rules that put drivers at unnecessary risk.

 

I'm a disillusioned former Citroëniste.

1 July 2013

Mercedes deserved victory ... after a weekend spent at a different result it was difficult to hope ... of course I really feel sorry for Lewis ... but this is racing! royal race ...

I love cars, love avtocar

1 July 2013

Five posts up,and only one praising the result!,did nobody listen to Gary Anderson's opinion?,did nobody hear Lewis saying that at that tyre test(?) they had a better tyre(?).There's two big clues as to what should be done........?!

Peter Cavellini.

1 July 2013

Great race, despite tyre gate continuing  it was actually good to see some hard racing..

This race really did show that the world class drivers Alonso, Hamilton/ Webber/ Raikonnen/ Roseberg are truly the best drivers in the world. Even with set backs such as tyre blow outs, safety car prieods etc.. they were true racers, fighting through the field with soem great but fair passes. Silverstone is a great track also.

Now to Tyre gate.. the whole reason the Pirelli test was done was to judge the current tyre for improvements deu to excessive wear experienced by some of the teams..red bull was complaining, Merc were complaining as were a few others.. but because of RB/ Ferrari etc.. anger at not being at the test the whole point of improving the tyre on safety as well as performance grounds was wiped out by the whole tribunal and everyone concentrated on trying to screw Mercedes and nail them to the ground.

FIA screwed mercedes- there own man Charlie 'chaplin' Witting said it was okay to do..end of story, he is part of the senior members of FIA he said it was ok. Yet to be honest FIA threw him under a bus too.. saying it Charlie not FIA that said it maybe okay! He bloody well works for you, so he is the FIA. I stil dont understand why Merc had to be the person to tell anyone thye were invited to do the test. They were invited, they didn't invite themeselves! If i am invited to party why do I have to tell others I am being invited it's my buisnesss and the job of the invitee (Pirelli) to tell others if they so wish! The main body FIA were  asked and informed of this test.

 Also how in gods name did no one notice a F1 car going around a full pelt for 3 days on international circuit.. come on! in 3 days no one outside of Merc and Pirelli got word that a F1 car was going around Barcelona..come on! please...just political games by Horner and Luca. Lets try and gain our own advantage and get Merc disqualified so we can gaurantee one of us wins WDC.

Anyway again as lewis said in his post race interview- The FIA need to do something, take some resposnibilty and sort this tyre issue out once and for all. FIA has become a weak joke since Todt took charge..all the drivers and teams complained yesterday yet still today no word from FIA as to any action..I am sure Pirelli will say the same thing- 'not our faulty' its the track! How can racing to look ater your tyres be called racing.. racing must be hard and aggressive, not a  sunday drive. The cars are so competitive this year interms of perfomance that imagine how good the racing could have been without the disintegarting tyre issue...

funny though the team that wanted  most to not change the tyre situation Renault, were affected the most yesterday.. Raikonnen went backwards quickly when his tyres went off..Hamilton and Alonson were on the same stratedgy yet they blitzed past Kimi at the end.

 

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