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?!

DriverCarTeamGridFastest LapRace TimePoints
1Nico Rosberg9Mercedes2No time1:32:59.45625
2Mark Webber2Red Bull41:33.401+00:00.76518
3Fernando Alonso3Ferrari9No time+00:07.12415
4Lewis Hamilton10Mercedes1No time+00:07.75612
5Kimi Raikkonen7Lotus8No time+00:11.25710
6Felipe Massa4Ferrari11No time+00:14.5738
7Adrian Sutil15Force India6No time+00:16.3356
8Daniel Ricciardo19Toro Rosso5No time+00:16.5434
9Paul Di Resta14Force India21No time+00:17.9432
10Nico Hulkenberg11Sauber14No time+00:19.7091
11Pastor Maldonado16Williams15No time+00:21.1350
12Valtteri Bottas17Williams16No time+00:25.0940
13Jenson Button5McLaren10No time+00:25.9000
14Esteban Gutierrez12Sauber17No time+00:26.2000
15Charles Pic20Caterham18No time+00:57.8000
16Jules Bianchi22Marussia19No time+00:36.0000
17Max Chilton23Marussia20No time+01:43.6000
18Giedo van der Garde21Caterham22No time+01:07.7000
19Romain Grosjean8Lotus7No timeretired, 51 laps0
20Sergio Perez6McLaren13No timeretired, 46 laps0
21Sebastian Vettel1Red Bull3No timeretired, 41 laps0
22Jean-Eric Vergne18Toro Rosso12No timeretired, 35 laps0

 

Image: Octane Photography
Image: Octane Photography