• NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 30: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP leads the field at the start of the British Formula One Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit on June 30, 2013 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
  • Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton leads after the start of the at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 during the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALLBEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images
  • Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton leads after the start at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 during the British Formula One Grand Prix . AFP PHOTO / TOM GANDOLFINITom Gandolfini/AFP/Getty Images
  • TOPSHOTS Red Bull Racing's Australian driver Mark Webber (C) drives past after colliding at the start of the at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 during the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / TOM GANDOLFINITom Gandolfini/AFP/Getty Images
  • Red Bull Racing's Australian driver Mark Webber drives after a light collision at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 during the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALLBEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images
  • Red Bull Racing's Australian driver Mark Webber (R) drives after a light collision at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 during the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALLBEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images
  • Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton leads after the start of the at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 during the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALLBEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images
  • The pack led by Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain, bottom, races during the British Formula 1 Grand Prix at Silverstone circuit, Silverstone, England, Sunday, June 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
  • NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 30: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP leads from Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Infiniti Red Bull Racing at the start of the British Formula One Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit on June 30, 2013 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
  • Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland leads ahead of Lotus driver Romain Grosjean of France during the British Formula 1 Grand Prix at Silverstone circuit, Silverstone, England, Sunday, June 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
  • Sauber driver Esteban Gutierrez of Mexico, bottom, rounds the track ahead of fellow Sauber driver Nico Huelkenberg of Germany during the British Formula 1 Grand Prix at Silverstone circuit, Silverstone, England, Sunday, June 30, 2013. Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg of Germany won the race, Red Bull driver Mark Webber of Australia finished second, and Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso of Spain,finished third. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
  • Sauber driver Nico Huelkenberg of Germany rounds Club Corner during the British Formula 1 Grand Prix at Silverstone circuit, Silverstone, England, Sunday, June 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
  • Marshals clear debrit from the track after three cars had punctures during the British Formula 1 Grand Prix at Silverstone circuit, Silverstone, England, Sunday, June 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Nigel Roddis, pool)
  • The track is cleared of debris during the British Formula 1 Grand Prix at Silverstone circuit, Silverstone, England, Sunday, June 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
  • Drivers follow the safety car at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 during the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER KLEINALEXANDER KLEIN/AFP/Getty Images
  • Mercedes' German driver Nico Rosberg wins at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 during the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALLBEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images
  • Lotus F1 Team's Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen drives at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 during the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER KLEINALEXANDER KLEIN/AFP/Getty Images
  • Force India's Scottish driver Paul di Resta drives at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 during the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATESANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images
  • Red Bull Racing's German driver Sebastian Vettel drives at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 during the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATESANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images
  • Ferrari's Spanish driver Fernando Alonso drives at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 during the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATESANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images
  • ScuderiaToro Rosso's Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo drives at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 during the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATESANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images
  • Lotus F1 Team's Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen drives at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 during the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATESANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images
  • Red Bull Racing's Australian driver Mark Webber drives at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 during the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATESANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images
  • Red Bull Racing's German driver Sebastian Vettel drives at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 during the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATESANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images
  • Red Bull Racing's Australian driver Mark Webber drives at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 during the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATESANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images
  • NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 30: Felipe Massa of Brazil and Ferrari has a left rear puncture on his tyre during the British Formula One Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit on June 30, 2013 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
  • Ferrari's Brazilian driver Felipe Massa enters the pit with a puncture at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 during the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / POOL / Nigel RoddisNIGEL RODDIS/AFP/Getty Images
  • Ferrari's Brazilian driver Felipe Massa shredded tyre is seen in the pits at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 during the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / POOL / Nigel RoddisNIGEL RODDIS/AFP/Getty Images
  • Red Bull Racing's German driver Sebastian Vettel drives behind the safety car at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 during the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATESANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images
  • Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany gets out of his car after failing to finish during the British Formula 1 Grand Prix at Silverstone circuit, Silverstone, England, Sunday, June 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
  • Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany's car is pushed into the pits by marshals after stopping during the British Formula 1 Grand Prix at Silverstone circuit, Silverstone, England, Sunday, June 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Nigel Roddis, pool)
  • Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany walks back to his pit at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 during the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / POOL / Nigel RoddisNIGEL RODDIS/AFP/Getty Images
  • Force India's German driver Adrian Sutil and Lotus F1 Team's Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen drives at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 during the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER KLEINALEXANDER KLEIN/AFP/Getty Images
  • Ferrari's Brazilian driver Felipe Massa drives at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 during the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER KLEINALEXANDER KLEIN/AFP/Getty Images
  • Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton races with a blown tyre at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 during the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER KLEINALEXANDER KLEIN/AFP/Getty Images
  • Ferrari's Spanish driver Fernando Alonso drives at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 during the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER KLEINALEXANDER KLEIN/AFP/Getty Images
  • Lotus F1 Team's French driver Romain Grosjean (L) and Lotus F1 Team's Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen drive at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 during the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER KLEINALEXANDER KLEIN/AFP/Getty Images
  • Force India's Scottish driver Paul di Resta and Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton drive at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 during the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER KLEINALEXANDER KLEIN/AFP/Getty Images
  • Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull Racing's Australian driver Mark Webber drive at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 during the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER KLEINALEXANDER KLEIN/AFP/Getty Images
  • Ferrari's Spanish driver Fernando Alonso (L), Mercedes' German driver Nico Rosberg drive at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 during the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER KLEINALEXANDER KLEIN/AFP/Getty Images
  • Red Bull Racing's Australian driver Mark Webber drives at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 during the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER KLEINALEXANDER KLEIN/AFP/Getty Images
  • Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton enters the pit with a puncture at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 during the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / POOL / Nigel RoddisNIGEL RODDIS/AFP/Getty Images
  • Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton enters the pit with a puncture at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 during the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / POOL / Nigel RoddisNIGEL RODDIS/AFP/Getty Images
  • Drivers race past broken down car of Red Bull Racing's German driver Sebastian Vettel at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 during the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / POOL / Nigel RoddisNIGEL RODDIS/AFP/Getty Images
  • Mechanics change tires on the car of Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton in the pit at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 during the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / POOL / Nigel RoddisNIGEL RODDIS/AFP/Getty Images
  • Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg of Germany celebrates after winning the Formula One British Grand Prix at the Silverstone circuit, Silverstone, England, Sunday, June 30, 2013. Red Bull driver Mark Webber of Australia finished second and Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso of Spain finished third. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
  • Mercedes' German driver Nico Rosberg (C) celebrates his victory on the podium beside second place, Red Bull's Australian driver Mark Webber (L) and third place, Ferrari's Spanish driver Fernando Alonso (R) at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 after the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / TOM GANDOLFINITom Gandolfini/AFP/Getty Images
  • Red Bull Racing's Australian driver Mark Webber celebrates on the podium at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 after the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATESANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images
  • Ferrari's Spanish driver Fernando Alonso celebrates on the podium at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 after the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATESANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images
  • Red Bull driver Mark Webber of Australia, right, who finished second, sprays with champagne Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg of Germany, left, who won the the Formula One British Grand Prix at the Silverstone circuit, Silverstone, England, Sunday, June 30, 2013. Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso of Spain, right, finished third. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
  • Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso of Spain, partially seen right, who finished third, sprays with champagne Red Bull driver Mark Webber of Australia, left, who finished second ath the Formula One British Grand Prix at the Silverstone circuit, Silverstone, England, Sunday, June 30, 2013. Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg of Germany, won the race. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
  • Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg of Germany, centre, celebrates after winning the Formula One British Grand Prix at the Silverstone circuit, Silverstone, England, Sunday, June 30, 2013. Red Bull driver Mark Webber of Australia, left, finished second and Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso of Spain, right, finished third. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
  • (L to R) Mercedes' race engineer Tony Ross, Red Bull Racing's Australian driver Mark Webber, Mercedes' German driver Nico Rosberg and Ferrari's Spanish driver Fernando Alonso celebrate on the podium at the Silverstone circuit in Silverstone on June 30, 2013 after the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATESANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images
The British Formula One Grand Prix wasn't things that go "bump" in the night, it was things that go "Pop!" on the track. Pirelli came into the sport with a mandate to spice things up, but now – unintentionally – the spice could be overpowering the flavor of the food. The general tire chatter, the tire test, the tire tribunal, tire compounds and constructions and a new tire contract for 2014 were joined by tire blowouts, five of them over the weekend, four of them in the race.

And who would have guessed that 1,000 kilometers of innocent, straight-line testing could have proved so beneficial?


Lewis Hamilton, who has lately complained that his Mercedes-AMG Petronas still isn't where he wants it and the tires just aren't right, put his car on pole with nearly a half-second gap to second place, teammate Nico Rosberg. Sebastian Vettel in the Infiniti Red Bull was another tenth back in third, the difference to teammate Mark Webber no more than the thickness of a coat of paint. Daniel Ricciardo continued to show his pace and that of the Toro Rosso, putting the STR8 into fifth behind Webber, the other Aussie also trying to show that he belongs in the vacant seat of the man in front of him come 2014. As usual in recent races, on one side of the Sahara Force India garage Paul di Resta gets punished in qualifying, putting the car fifth on the grid but being sent to the back for being underweight, while on the other side of the garage Adrian Sutil gets to show why the team is fifth in the Constructor's Championship, getting up into sixth on the grid after di Resta's penalty. Romain Grosjean performed the unusual feat of outqualifying teammate Kimi Räikkönen in the Lotus, Fernando Alonso nearly had a heart attack when he could only qualify his Ferrari in ninth, and Jenson Button in the McLaren he described as "just slow" was tenth.



For those who wondered whether Mercedes would fade in the race, which has been the case almost all season, the answer would be "No way." Webber had said he didn't think Mercedes would fall apart after the lights went out, and he was right, Hamilton pulling away from the field to get 2.1 seconds clear by Lap 6. Two laps later Hamilton was at the back of the pack, limping around the entire circuit when his left rear tire blew at the beginning of Lap 8. Hamilton – just being Hamilton – made his way through the field with the help of pace, other punctures and the safety car, to finish fourth.

That would be the story of the race, left rear tires exploding in the worst places and a couple of safety cars. After Hamilton, Felipe Massa suffered the same fate on Lap 9, then Jean-Eric Vergne in the Toro Rosso on Lap 14, then Sergio Perez – right in front of Alonso – in the McLaren on Lap 46. Some thought it was the kerbing at Turn 4 – other tires were found to have deep cuts on them – some thought it was tire pressures that were too high. Pirelli said this is a new problem, not related to the delaminations issues of previous races, but we'll have to wait for the results of Pirelli's investigation.



Vettel, who'd passed Rosberg on the Lap 1 to take second, inherited first place and looked like he'd keep it until the end, putting nearly two seconds into Rosberg behind him. A rare mechanical failure got Vettel on Lap 41, his gearbox imploding on the last corner and sending him into retirement on the front straight.

That brought out the Safety Car, which bunched up the field, but Rosberg – who'd been shadowing Hamilton and Vettel and had now inherited first place – didn't let anyone by for the last seven laps of the race, taking the victory ahead of Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso.



As one might say of Webber's entire career, it was a case of 'what could have been' for the man who announced his retirement from F1 just before the race weekend. In the American league in baseball, a player called a "designated hitter" can come in to bat for another player, like a pitcher, who isn't so adept at the plate. Webber might have been helped in so many races if F1 allowed a designated starter, because he got another terrible one, needing a new front wing when he turned in on Grosjean on the very first lap and dropping to 15th. Making the most of the RB9's pace and the safety car periods, almost everything else went right from there, Webber finding himself in second behind Rosberg with a handful of laps remaining. He got within a second of the German but there weren't enough tours for him to make the pass, a second-place finish an awesome recovery after the way things began.



The second Safety Car period was hell on Räikkönen, though, the Finn the only leader not to pit for new tires while track workers removed Vettel's car from the main straight, and telling his team he wasn't sure it was the right thing to do. Webber and Alonso were among those who ducked in for tires, losing positions in the process but storming back to the front on fresh rubber, leaving Räikkönen – who looked set for second place – in fifth at the finish, after Hamilton got him as well. His anger in the post-race interviews was the first emotion we've seen from him since he won in Australia.

Elsewhere, Alonso drove a strong, steady race to pick up third place after demanding "an impeccable strategy," Massa turned a weekend of Free Practice crashes and a sad qualifying effort into a sixth-place finish, Sutil held on for seventh, Ricciardo managed eighth, di Resta grabbed points in ninth after starting at the back, and Nico Hülkenberg gave Sauber something to smile about with one point in tenth.



Rosberg's win gets him up into seventh in the Driver's Championship, but the man who truly benefited from the race was Fernando Alonso, who climbed 15 points closer to Sebastian Vettel by finishing third. Vettel still leads the table with 132 points, with Alonso now less than a race win away at 118 points. Räikkönen also moved closer to the lead, but everyone at the black-and-gold will know he could have driven away from the British Grand Prix with more than the 98 points he currently has. In the Constructor's standings, Infiniti Red Bull sits on 219 points, Mercedes took a chunk out of the leaders and has 171 points, while Ferrari has 168.

Drivers and teams will have just a few nights to recover as the action resumes at the German Grand Prix next weekend. We'll see you then.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 14 Comments
      Kuro Houou
      • 1 Year Ago
      So glad to see luck, or lack there of catch up to Vettel. But the last 12 laps of racing was some of the best of the season! Loved watching this race!! Just hope the tire debacle is done!
      rocketmoose
      • 1 Year Ago
      Webber came like a bat out of hell. Love the guy and going to miss him in 2014!
      FWO
      • 1 Year Ago
      I don't know who they get to write these F1 articles, but every one of them has glaring mistakes. It was not "straight-line testing" as you assert. Do some research.
      Brodz
      • 1 Year Ago
      Onya Webber. Great stuff mate.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      mrbucket777
      • 1 Year Ago
      The tire shredding was from too low tire pressures allowing the inner sidewall of the tires to get cut from running over the curbing which was also causing shockwaves to form in the steel belts of the tires that the kevlar belted tyres of last year didn't resonate at. And also the 1,000 Km private Mercedes Pirelli tire test was anything but straight line, it was held at the Barcelona track the teams test at SIGNIFICANTLY in the pre season.
        Cayman
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mrbucket777
        I think F1 almost has to dictate a switch to the Kevlar belted tires that Pirelli proposed. The problem is that supposedly those were the tires that Mercedes tested with; which would be completely unfair for the other 10 teams. Maybe wait until after Germany, then give the other 10 teams access to the new tires and allow them to perform similar tests. Either way, Mercedes got off way to easy.
        TrippulG3
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mrbucket777
        Unless I missed something, Pirelli themselves have not yet released their findings as to the cause of the failures at Silverstone. Otherwise, this is all speculation on your part.
        mrbucket777
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mrbucket777
        I mean to say to allow shockwaves at certain frequencies to propagate in the steel belting of the tires vs last years kevlar belted tires.
      Revs29k
      • 1 Year Ago
      The arcane testing rules of the FIA have to be looked at. Pirelli needs to test with the current F1 chassis throughout the season with no penalty. Anyone know the reason Mark Webber said in the podium interview " I don't even know what country the next race is in.... Some knock against The GP of Germany and/or it's drivers Vettel, Rosberg, Sutil etc.?
        rocketmoose
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Revs29k
        The problem is there is no "current F1 chassis." The cars look very similar, but all take rather different approaches to aero.
        Cayman
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Revs29k
        Seemed to me like initially he was saying that he wanted to take the win over Vettel in his home country; but then kind of back tracked.
      fish4free
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm so over Eccelstone's meddling with tire supplier Pirelli to engineer 'drama' into the races. Let the damn boys race and the damn engineers 'engineer' to make the best damn race. Sheesh.
        Cayman
        • 1 Year Ago
        @fish4free
        The problem would be that you then wouldn't need pit-stops at many if not all tracks. Unless you mandate a pit-stop (which obviously they do now), but then you would have teams forced to pit with perfectly good tires just to meet the regs. Clearly F1 doesn't want either. And it's pretty standard stuff, many of the leagues mandate tires which are engineered to degrade.
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