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.
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|