Nico Rosberg brought his Mercedes home to glory at the British Grand Prix amid yet more tyre controversy.
Photo: Hertfordshire Mercury
Mercedes had locked out the front row in qualifying with the two Red Bull’s their nearest contenders. Lewis Hamilton started on pole and was looking to follow up his 2008 win at Silverstone.
Left rear tyre punctures plagued four of the drivers at Silverstone and Hamilton was the first to fall prey to it. His car coasted to the pits, quashing his dreams of victory at his home grand prix.
Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne and Ferrari’s Felipe Massa both suffered with the same problem, forcing the former into retirement whilst Massa did a sterling job to regain 6th.
McLaren were looking for a stronger race after a disappointing turn out in Canada. Both cars were set to finish in the points but Jenson Button only managed a 13th place finish after gear issues and Sergio Perez was forced to retire after suffering the same tyre deflation.
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel was predictably unstoppable until a gearbox failure left him unable to finish, leaving the lead open for Rosberg.
The German stole the win with Red Bull’s Mark Webber second by only 0.7 seconds. The Australian had announced in the week that he is to leave Formula One at the end of this season and his last British Grand Prix resulted in both a podium finish and the fastest lap.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso moved up to third in the last few laps to gain valuable points, closing the large gap between himself and Vettel in the Championship. 21 points separate the pair.
Further down the grid talk has been surrounding who will replace Webber in his seat at Red Bull. Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo currently looks like the strongest candidate, qualifying and finishing in the top ten in Silverstone. Brit Paul di Resta performed well at his home grand prix and is also in contention, along with Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen.
Despite this, the talk of the race was certainly the hazardous exploding tyres. These fiascos look set to keep dogging the sport until Pirelli find a solution to their failure. But with protestations from other teams over illegal testing (which didn’t seem to help anyone much anyway) it seems like a rescue could be far off. The tyres are not only ruining races for the drivers but they are also extremely dangerous for everyone out on circuit. As Hamilton declared, it is ‘unacceptable’ and seems that ‘only when someone gets hurt that someone will do something about it.’