Mercedes’ driver, Nico Rosberg had a surprising end to the FIA Formula One 2013 British Grand Prix as he took the chequered flag as the winner. Rosberg’s unexpected result came after race leader; Sebastian Vettel retired from the race on lap 42 due to a gearbox failure on his Red Bull car.
Vettel’s team mate, Mark Webber, seemed to pick up the pace as the race was coming to a close and he gradually climbed his way up to a podium spot and grabbed second place. Webber did suffer damage to the front wing end plate on his car early in the race but his performance was not affected by this. The Australian’s race result will be welcomed after his announcement in the lead up to the weekend, that he will be leaving the sport at the end of the season and had a good end to his last race at the circuit.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso managed to turnaround his performance from yesterday’s disappointing result at the end of qualifying. The Spaniard delivered when it mattered on race day and picked up the third and final spot on the podium.
Pole sitter, Lewis Hamilton had an unfortunate start to his race when the left rear tyre on his car suffered delamination on lap eight. The Englishman was forced to pit for a tyre change and carried on racing to the delight of the home crowd. Hamilton had a lot of work to do to catch up with his Championship rivals and he just missed out on a podium finish as he crossed the line to take fourth place.
Lotus Renault’s Kimi Raikkonen had a mixed race as he appeared to be off the pace at times. The Finnish driver managed to redeem himself as he completed the 52 lap marathon and picked up fifth place for himself.
Alonso’s team mate, Felipe Massa shared the same tyre problem as Hamilton experienced early on in the race. The Brazilian driver overcame the wobbly start to his weekend after his crash in the practice session on Friday and not making it through to Q3 yesterday. Massa made his way through to field to secure a sixth place finish.
Force India’s Adrian Sutil seemed to quietly creep into a top 10 spot during the race and remained there when the chequered flag waved. The German driver pipped his Scottish team mate, Paul Di Resta in terms of his position at the end of the race and brought his car to the finish line in seventh place and Di Resta had to settle for ninth place.
Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo was the sole car flying the flag for the team when his team mate, Jean-Eric Vergne suffered right rear tyre failure. Vergne did initially carry on racing after visiting the pits for a tyre change but the problem appeared to be terminal when his car was spotted in the garage on lap 37 and this marked the end of his race. Ricciardo drove well in the absence of his team mate and was rewarded with an eighth place finish.
Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg was another of the midfield drivers who seemed to keep out of the limelight in the race but came to the forefront afterwards when he claimed the final top 10 point scoring position. Hulkenberg’s team mate, Esteban Gutierrez did not have quite as smooth a race due to having a damaged front wing on lap 28 which led him to make a pit stop but he carried on in the race and finished out of the top 10.
Gutierrez was joined by McLaren’s Jenson Button who also finished outside of a point scoring position. Button, who is one of four British drivers in the field had hopes of pleasing the home crowd and was running in seventh place prior to Vettel’s retirement from the race which led to the deployment of the safety car for the German’s car to be moved to safety.
The safety car also made an appearance when Vergne had his tyre problems and he was still out on track.
Button’s team mate, Sergio Perez also suffered tyre problems on his car like the select few already mentioned. The Mexican driver did visit the pits but soon retired from the race on lap 46 as he had damage to the left side pod on his car due to the tyre delamination.
The final driver who failed to make the grade was Lotus Renault’s Romain Grosjean on the last lap of the race. The French man emerged from his car which was parked up in the garage and this spelt the end of his race.
The sport is known for being unpredictable and today’s race certainly proved that with the events the unfolded including the safety car periods, tyre issues, unexpected retirements and the surprising winner. Rosberg’s well-deserved victory for Mercedes at Silverstone is the first one for the team since 1955 and maiden one at the circuit for the German himself.
Vettel may still be leading the way in the battle for the Drivers’ Championship, but with the likes of Rosberg unexpectedly stealing the show at times during the season it is certain that he is another one to watch in the running for the ultimate accolade at the end of the season.
The drivers and teams now just have one week to get ready for their next test when they compete in the German Grand Prix. For Vettel and Rosberg it will be particularly special as it is their home race and both drivers will certainly set their sights on the victory.