Mark Webber spoilt the British party as he stormed to a victory at the British Grand Prix. With a record crowd attending Silverstone, the majority were looking for a British win from either of the McLaren drivers, Lewis Hamilton or Jenson Button.
Nevertheless, Webber had a great race and showed that, even though Red Bull seem to have picked their ‘favourite’, Webber is by-no-means the second best driver behind Sebastian Vettel.
After Vettel had started on pole, with Webber behind him, many expected another Red Bull one-two finish. The race, though, could not have been more thrilling.
The excitement started on Friday. In the third practise session Jarno Trulli desperately tried to improve on the previous day’s efforts, after the Lotus driver only managed three full laps out of two practice sessions, with the Italian recording the lowest score of twenty-four drivers. Trulli, though, could only manage a lap time of 1:36.098, putting him twenty-first after the final practise. The English pairing of Hamilton and Button, who currently occupy first and second place in the Driver’s Championships respectively, had poor practises on Friday, with Hamilton in eighth and Button in thirteenth. The two Brits were frustrated once again in the final session on Saturday as they could only watch as the Red Bull pairing of Vettel and Webber in first and second correspondingly. The McLaren team recorded the seventh and twelfth fastest times.
Red Bull’s persistent problems, though, were again evident in the final session before qualifying. The nose cone of Vettel’s car came loose on the entry to the 170mph Abbey corner late on.
It was Vettel at the top once again after the first qualifying session, with Webber in second. Alonso followed him, with Hamilton in fourth and Button in seventh. The McLaren cars were again having problems out on the Silverstone track, with Hamilton going off-track going into a corner and Button struggling to keep up with the front-runners on the grid.
It got even worse for Button, who couldn’t manage a top-10 finish in the second qualifying session. Hamilton made it through in seventh, with the Red Bull team again sitting at the top, not only after the second qualifying session, but after the third also, giving Red Bull yet another pole position in this year’s Driver’s Championships. Vettel started on pole for Silverstone, with British hopefuls Hamilton in fourth and Button in fourteenth.
The race itself had a fantastic start. The two Red Bull cars went wheel-to-wheel right from the start, with Vettel being forced off-track and Webber steaming clear at the front. After the first lap, Felipe Massa and Vettel were forced to pit with punctures, giving Hamilton the chance to go second, behind Webber. Massa clashed with teammate Alonso at the start to damage his back tyre, with Alonso struggling to keep up with the rest of the pack. Button forced his way to eighth before the end of the second lap.
Hamilton pitted after lap sixteen and exited just in front of teammate Button, and Webber pitted on the next lap. The Australian, though, was so far ahead of anyone that he came out of the pit lane still in first place. Webber was in control throughout the race and simply could not be caught, with Hamilton, Niko Rosberg and Button all trailing behind him. Vettel, though, was still struggling to make his way towards the front of the grid, although he did make his way past Michael Schumacher, who disappointed once again. Schumacher still hasn’t obtained a podium finish since he returned to the sport this season. Vettel then barged his way past Adrian Sutil to go seventh.
It was Vettel’s teammate, though, who stole the show. Webber was at the front from the first lap and deserved the victory after obtaining fastest lap after fastest lap, giving Hamilton no chance, who was five seconds behind the Red Bull driver. Hamilton, though, remains at the top of the Driver’s Championships, twelve points ahead of Button, with Webber now five points behind Button.