Mark Webber became the second two-time winner in a expertly judged drive to win the British Grand Prix, passing Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso with only a handful of laps remaining to win for the second time at Silverstone in the past 3 years.
As with every race this season it seems, tyre strategy was the reason for an exciting finish to the race. With Alonso choosing to take the softer, option tyre in his final stint, it proved his undoing as Webber’s Red Bull turned up the pace on the harder Pirelli rubber.
Sebastian Vettel took the final podium position, coming out on top of a battle with a resurgent Felipe Massa taking his best result of 2012 in 4th. Both Lotus drivers of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean finished strongly in 5th and 6th, the Frenchman coming out more impressive considering he was running last at one point, after a first lap collision with home hero Paul Di Resta. The Scot would retire his Force India a few laps later.
The other Brits in the race – McLaren duo of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button – didn’t have the race pace to give the exuberant home crowd the result they so badly wanted. Hamilton’s alternate strategy of starting on the harder, prime tyre got him into the lead – and gave us a fantastic dice for the lead with Alonso – but faded to a lowly 8th behind the equally disappointing Michael Schumacher.
Button, starting down in 16th place, made up 4 places in the first lap, and spent an exciting afternoon fighting with the Williams of Bruno Senna and the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg. Senna would win the fight for 9th, with Button taking the final point in 10th.
In other notable events, Pastor Maldonado made the headlines for all the wrong reasons yet again, this time colliding with Sauber’s Sergio Perez. The Mexican was extremely outspoken after the accident, lambasting the Venezuelan for his driving in recent races.
Kamui Kobyashi also had an afternoon frought with danger. The Japanese driver lost control under braking for his second and final pitstop, missing his box and clattering his mechanics. Luckily, the only damage was an injured thumb and a cut leg, added to the pride of KK.
The afternoon belonged to Mark Webber though, who judged his overtaking move to perfection with only 5 laps to go. With the fans looking for something to cheer, maybe the Australian – who drives for a British-based team and is based in England himself – is the best alternative out there.
British Grand Prix – Result
1. Mark Webber, Red Bull-Renault
2. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari
3. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull-Renault
4. Felipe Massa, Ferrari
5. Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus-Renault
6. Romain Grosjean, Lotus-Renault
7. Michael Schumacher ,Mercedes
8. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes
9. Bruno Senna, Williams-Renault
10. Jenson Button, McLaren-Mercedes
11. Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber-Ferrari
12. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India-Mercedes
13. Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso-Ferrari
14. Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso-Ferrari
15. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes
16. Pastor Maldonado, Williams-Renault
17. Heikki Kovalainen, Caterham-Renault
18. Timo Glock, Marussia-Cosworth
19. Charles Pic, Marussia-Cosworth
20. Pedro De la Rosa, HRT-Cosworth
21. Nahrain Karthikeyan, HRT-Cosworth
Sergio Perez, Sauber-Ferrari (14 laps)
Paul Di Resta, Force India-Mercedes (3 laps)
Vitaly Petrov, Caterham-Renault (DNS)