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Rosberg rules in Britain as Vettel’s luck runs out

Jun 30, 2013, 9:40 AM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain - Race Getty Images

Nico Rosberg has won today’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone after a tenuous race that saw a series of large tire failures, forcing drivers to be extra careful if they were to keep it on track.

Mercedes have struggled with their tire wear so far this season and pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton suffered a puncture when leading in the early stages of the race. Despite inheriting the lead, Sebastian Vettel’s luck also ran out as he suffered a loss of drive with just eleven laps remaining, allowing Rosberg to lead home a charging Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso.

Off the line, Hamilton held his position well to lead through the opening complex from Sebastian Vettel as their teammates, Nico Rosberg and Mark Webber, both failed to manage a clean getaway. Webber’s cause was not aided by a side-swipe from Romain Grosjean, which left the Red Bull with front-wing damage and a battle to recover down in 15th place. Felipe Massa made a superb start from 11th to sit 5th behind Adrian Sutil, but his teammate, Fernando Alonso, failed to make his traditional good start and lost out to Jenson Button.

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Just as Lewis Hamilton began to create a gap at the front, his hopes of winning the British Grand Prix for a second time soon burst after a tire failure on the left-rear of his Mercedes caused him to drop down the order, with a similar failure on Felipe Massa’s car occurring just minutes later. This signalled to the rest of the field that it was time to pit as Vettel maintained his lead thanks to a slick stop. Jean-Eric Vergne was the leading driver not to have stopped, but he quickly paid the price as he too suffered a puncture, leaving debris on the entry to Stowe and bringing out the safety car. Webber was informed that Vettel had cuts in his rear tires, whilst Rosberg was told to avoid overheating his tires and running over the kerbs for want of preventing a similar failure to that of his teammate.

Once the clean-up had been completed, the safety car came back in and the racing resumed with Vettel leading the cars across the line. Webber’s fightback continued at the expense of Sergio Perez as his teammate was told to manage the gap to Rosberg, focusing on a progressive increase rather than an instantaneous one. Felipe Massa began to pick off the backmarkers, moving up to P13 come the second round of stops. Raikkonen was the first to pit, and he was quickly followed by Fernando Alonso and teammate Romain Grosjean. Hamilton worked his way back up into the points, tussling with compatriot Paul di Resta for 7th as Nico Rosberg began to close the gap to Vettel at the front. Raikkonen managed to leapfrog Alonso during the stops, with Webber also passing the Ferrari. Vettel and Rosberg both pitted and maintained their positions due to the huge gap that had been created, but Adrian Sutil fell from 3rd after staying out too long on his tires.

Lewis Hamilton may not have envisaged fighting for P11 after starting from pole, but both he and Paul di Resta showed great racecraft during their fight over the position which eventually went to Hamilton under DRS. The Briton then worked his way into the points by passing Romain Grosjean, following the example set by Jenson Button just one lap earlier. Just as Vettel appeared to have the race win secured, drama struck. His Red Bull lost drive and grinded to a halt on the pit straight, putting him out of the race and handing the lead to Rosberg, with the safety car being deployed to recover the stricken RB9. The front runners all decided to pit for fresh tires except for Kimi Raikkonen, who questioned the decision. This left Rosberg out in front having stopped, but Webber and Alonso both had to pass cars that had not stopped if they were to reach the podium.

On the restart, Rosberg began to pull away from Raikkonen as Alonso hounded the McLaren drivers for P6 and P7, eventually passing Button into Copse. Perez soon followed after his MP4-28 slowed into the pits, releasing Alonso into 6th ahead of Hamilton. The former McLaren teammates forced their way past Daniel Ricciardo, leaving Sutil as the next driver on their hit list. Webber and Raikkonen went wheel-to-wheel, with the Red Bull driver eventually making it through as Alonso took Sutil through the final complex of corners before catching Kimi Raikkonen after the Lotus driver lost out to Mark Webber. Fresh tires had clearly done the trick for the front runners, with Rosberg and Webber trading fastest lap times. Hamilton continued to follow Alonso’s example, disposing of Kimi Raikkonen down the Hangar Straight as Webber closed on Rosberg. However, it was not enough as the German driver kept it on track to win the third grand prix of his career.

  1. apexassassin - Jun 30, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    Hamilton robbed of a sure victory at his home race thanks to our joke of a tire supplier, such a shame.

    Kimi bests Shumi’s record of consecutive points finishes, but it’s an asterisk record as Schumi did it in time when points weren’t paid out to 10th.

    Last RBR to dnf Silverstone was DC in 2008 (he spun and collected Vettel too).

    A chaotic race with dangerous tire failures and race saving SCs… no way Webber, Massa, Di Resta, or Hami would have had the finish they did without them. Though it was good to see ol Webber have a good run at the end. Perhaps he should have announced his retirement every year!

    • texastifosi - Jun 30, 2013 at 4:35 PM

      on kimi’s record: its still a cool thing to have in your pocket. I wonder where he will be next year.
      he will be furious at the team for not pitting him for tires on the last SC. was in 2nd, finished like 7th or something.

  2. rijiboy - Jun 30, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    What the hell NBC were thinking, they are so stupid, first rob fans of live telecast by showing stupid tour de France, where we know we’ll hear of another doping scandal in few years, and then stupid jerks at NBC didnt start F1 PreRace at right time, instead it was someone updating about Tour de France and during that they ANNOUNCED F1 RACE RESULT BEFORE EVEN SHOWING IT TO FANS????????

    • indycarseries500 - Jun 30, 2013 at 5:00 PM

      It was live on CNBC so NBC did show the race live.

      • greenarcher2013 - Jun 30, 2013 at 9:14 PM

        due to my work and life schedule, I watch many of these races recorded. For Some reason the CNBC broadcast didn’t record on my system. NBC did screw this up by having an idiot producer allow the sportscasters to talk about the race and finish order right before the rebroadcasting of the race.
        And who the hell watches CNBC anyway. Must be the Network owners attempt at hooking more people to a crap network by default.

  3. foggycity415 - Jun 30, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    worst sports broadcasting i have ever seen. Announcing the result when the broadcast starts? And then switching to tour de france. cutting to commercials in the middle of overtaking moves. who is making these decisions? whoever it is you should ffire them. you guys should feel ashamed. bring back SPEED!!

  4. parrothead1970 - Jun 30, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    Unbelieveable! I couldn’t believe NBCSports had an update on who won the British Grand prix at 11:32am when the race was to be broadcasted at 11:30am. Who is running the show at NBC? I demand an apology!

    • greenarcher2013 - Jun 30, 2013 at 9:15 PM

      Made the same comment a few minutes ago. didn’t read yours first. you sure nailed it with this one.
      In my best “Comic Book Guy” voice. ” The worst Coverage Ever.”

  5. mikeyx13 - Jun 30, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    NBC Sports how can you have an update with the results two minutes before the west coast broadcast? Who is getting fired?

    • texastifosi - Jun 30, 2013 at 4:29 PM

      wasn’t just the west coast my friend. central time here & same thing. MORONS!

    • greenarcher2013 - Jun 30, 2013 at 9:17 PM

      These people think that the Northeast, and cycling and tennis are the center of the world.

  6. purplesectornet - Jun 30, 2013 at 3:05 PM

    Well that pretty much slams the door on who has better racing, doesn’t it? LOL. The best in the world at the pinnacle in a gunfight with 6 laps to go…it doesn’t get any better, any era, F1 just put on the show of the decade. BOOYAA! That my friends is why it’s the top of the sport. Game. Set. Match.

  7. 455olds - Jun 30, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    Thought I would voice my opinion about the stellar job of broadcasting done by NBCsports. Show the results before the race? What a moron in charge of programing! I think everybody that was as pissed about this (and having to watch the stinking bicycles) as me, ought to email Bernie and let him know what a fine job NBC is doing recruiting new F1 fans in the US. PLEASE bring back Speed coverage

    • indycarseries500 - Jun 30, 2013 at 5:02 PM

      Should’ve watched live on CNBC

  8. texastifosi - Jun 30, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    pretty frigging shabby NBC. this is not the first blunder you have made. an earlier race was moved in the programming, preventing dvr from picking up the entire race.
    jimmy Roberts should be FURIOUS about this, as he is the one who was made to look like an idiot for telling viewers the race result 2 minutes into scheduled timeslot for the race coverage.
    I want to hear from Jimmy.
    p.s. the ONLY reason I set up a login on this site was to vent this frustration. I’ve hated nbc for years & this is a great example why.

    • awdturismo - Jun 30, 2013 at 8:12 PM

      texas – I hear you….I jumped through the hoops to just to register my comment.

      I don’t care whether the race was on CNBC live or not…..

      NBC – GET YOUR HEADS OUT OF each others A$$E$ and keep your race summary until after your air the race on the same channel…..idiots

    • greenarcher2013 - Jun 30, 2013 at 9:18 PM

      Agreed. Hate them as well.

  9. hawaiiart69 - Jul 1, 2013 at 1:16 AM

    WHAT!!! I could not believe that they announced the results before the race. Perhaps they should do this before all events, then we won’t watch at all, NBC will go under entirely, and SPEED will get the coverage back. And, PLEASE, NBC is doing nothing original other than putting the boys in a studio with a big glass table. Calling the world feed with the same guys (other than Varsha)…Lifetime could do it. Oprah, maybe? STOP the insanity with the “updates”. Idiots.

  10. nbcfail - Jul 1, 2013 at 2:11 AM

    Wow. The Jimmy Roberts surprise was very poorly managed on NBC’s part, what a debacle, I’m still stunned.

    So what is CNBC? I now see it’s a business channel. Of course, why wouldn’t F1 fans look there??? What a joke.

    You search for F1 to record on nbcsports, record it, and get told the result a few minutes into the recording. Hey, NBC, just text us the results, we really don’t need to watch, supposedly. Unbelievable.

    And what a fantastically simple sign-in process this is to comment. Not.

    I love the guys on the coverage, but please manage it. This was VERY BAD. VERY BAD.

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