In the modern world of Formula 1 we’ve got used to supreme reliability. But it was not so at the 2013 British Grand Prix – it was tyre roulette, gearbox roulette and some ruddy brilliant racing thrown in for good measure. It makes you proud to be British when your country produces a race with as much drama and controversy as a particularly absurd episode of EastEnders (but better, of course).

Perhaps the only uneventful part of the race was the start: Mark Webber got off to a bad start to his final Silverstone appearence, fell back and made contact with Grosjean, but other than that it was fairly standard stuff.

As an aside, Bottas-Cam (or can we call it Valtteri-Vision?) has to be one of the best inventions of recent F1 history – and we were treated to a classic Bottas cam version of the race start.

The Tyre Roulette Begins

On lap 8 disaster struck as Lewis Hamilton’s left rear tyre completely disintegrated. Too cruel. Especially given that it looked like the Mercedes had finally found it’s race pace. Hamilton made it back to the pits without too much damage and switched to the harder compound tyres.

Photo: Mercedes AMG F1
Photo: Mercedes AMG F1

Then Massa’s left rear tyre duly exploded on lap 10. Silverstone – high speed, high drama. After the early contact with Grosjean, Webber had his nose changed on the first round of pit stops.

Only 5 laps after Massa’s blow out, Jean-Eric Vergne had a left rear tyre blow out. Safety car called. Thankfully the blow out happened just before the pit lane entrance and Vergne was able to make a swift pit. Sadly though, he was forced to retire due to damage from the tyre incident.

Lap 32 saw Hamilton picking his way back through the field after his tyre explosion – and he had 7th place Brit Paul Di Resta in his sights. But, suddenly, it was Hamilton who was the sitting duck – in the course of lap 34 he was overtaken by not only Raikkonen, but also Alonso AND Webber.

“Well, that was crazy stuff”

We saw a truly great scrap between Di Resta and Hamilton on lap 37: Di Resta – Hamilton – Di Resta – Hamilton. Who knew? Great stuff. Lap 41 became even more eventful when Vettel’s car gave him a box full of neutrals. Bad for Vettel, great for the championship. Time for safety car No 2!

5 laps later the safety car came back in and, in the words of F1 legend Murray Walker, it was GO GO GO … until Perez’s left rear tyre duly exploded. Although he made it back to the pits, that was the end of his race.

Webber. This badger salutes you. Some scarily brilliant overtaking moves on Raikkonen for 2nd place. A very well deserved podium for the Aussie. Nico Rosberg won by a whisker from Webber. It’s good to see racing right up to the last gasp.

Given another couple of laps, Hamilton might have got himself on the podium instead of Alonso. But 4th place is not too shabby when you’ve had a massive tyre failure.

It was a classic podium for a classic race: Webber showering the grid girls with champagne (much to their annoyance), Alonso sporting a terrible three musketeers-esque beard and Damon Hill showing how fantastically bland he is at public speaking.

Race winner Nico Rosberg perhaps sums up this year’s British grand prix best: “Well, that was crazy stuff”. Couldn’t have said it better myself, Nico.

The Results – Because who knows who ended up where?!

Driver Car Team Grid Fastest Lap Race Time Points
1 Nico Rosberg 9 Mercedes 2 No time 1:32:59.456 25
2 Mark Webber 2 Red Bull 4 1:33.401 +00:00.765 18
3 Fernando Alonso 3 Ferrari 9 No time +00:07.124 15
4 Lewis Hamilton 10 Mercedes 1 No time +00:07.756 12
5 Kimi Raikkonen 7 Lotus 8 No time +00:11.257 10
6 Felipe Massa 4 Ferrari 11 No time +00:14.573 8
7 Adrian Sutil 15 Force India 6 No time +00:16.335 6
8 Daniel Ricciardo 19 Toro Rosso 5 No time +00:16.543 4
9 Paul Di Resta 14 Force India 21 No time +00:17.943 2
10 Nico Hulkenberg 11 Sauber 14 No time +00:19.709 1
11 Pastor Maldonado 16 Williams 15 No time +00:21.135 0
12 Valtteri Bottas 17 Williams 16 No time +00:25.094 0
13 Jenson Button 5 McLaren 10 No time +00:25.900 0
14 Esteban Gutierrez 12 Sauber 17 No time +00:26.200 0
15 Charles Pic 20 Caterham 18 No time +00:57.800 0
16 Jules Bianchi 22 Marussia 19 No time +00:36.000 0
17 Max Chilton 23 Marussia 20 No time +01:43.600 0
18 Giedo van der Garde 21 Caterham 22 No time +01:07.700 0
19 Romain Grosjean 8 Lotus 7 No time retired, 51 laps 0
20 Sergio Perez 6 McLaren 13 No time retired, 46 laps 0
21 Sebastian Vettel 1 Red Bull 3 No time retired, 41 laps 0
22 Jean-Eric Vergne 18 Toro Rosso 12 No time retired, 35 laps 0

 

Image: Octane Photography
Image: Octane Photography