Red Bull were back to winning ways as Mark Webber took victory at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in what turned out to be a dry race after Friday and Saturday’s wet sessions. Much of the race was led by the pole-starting Ferrari of Fernando Alonso but fading grip on the softer tyres towards the end of the race meant Alonso could not fend off Webber’s attack and could only manage to finish second. The second Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel finished third.
Felipe Massa scored his best finish of the season in fourth place ahead of the two Lotuses of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean. Mercedes had Michael Schumacher bring home some points in seventh place ahead of the McLaren of Lewis Hamilton in eighth. Williams’ Bruno Senna finished ninth and Jenson Button salvaged a sole point in tenth place in what has been a wretched run of form for him.
It was an exciting but kinda predictable race, the weather never threatened and the happenings might have spiced up a little if the rain did arrive. However it was the familiar story of tyre wear/management that proved to be the decisive factor. Having started on the harder tyre, Alonso managed to fend off Webber and the rest of the pack for the initial laps and even stayed out in front after the second round of pit stops – when Webber, having stopped earlier, was hoping to get the under-cut. But Ferrari’s gamble to have the soft tyre only for the last stint didn’t quite pay off as Alonso was powerless to fend off Webber on the harder rubber. Maybe if Ferrari had gotten the soft tyre out of the way in the middle stint, it would have translated into a second successive win for Alonso!
The race also had the inevitable dodo move from Pastor Maldonado as he took out the Sauber of Sergio Perez while he was attempting an overtake. We also had the second Sauber of Kamui Kobayashi run into his pit crew and injuring them – hopefully not too badly. Overtaking was prevalent up and down the order and not only in the DRS zone but at some of the slow-fast corners as well.
For me, it was an opportunity lost for Ferrari to consolidate Alonso’s lead at the drivers’ championship with a victory but second place is still not too shabby. Thankfully there was no repeat of Canada where Alonso dropped like a stone in water on fading tyres. Massa’s good result was also a positive, which sees Ferrari get into second place in the Constructors’ table behind Red Bull.
Next race is at Hockenheim in two weeks’ time – the scene of the infamous “Fernando is faster than you” message from Ferrari to Massa. Can’t see that happening this time around. Well, would Red Bull dare to tell Vettel a similar message if he was ahead of Webber?