Monthly Archives: July 2010

Ferrari were not given immediate order to allow Kubica through

In a complete contrast to Charlie Whiting’s evidence given a few days ago, it has emerged that Ferrari were not immediately ordered to instruct Fernando Alonso to allow Robert Kubica through at the British Grand Prix. Gazzetta Dello Sport has published the transcript of pit wall communications during the incident, which show that there was a long delay between the incident and Whiting advising Ferrari to let Kubica through.

Fernando Alonso battles with Robert Kubica, and cuts the next corner

Fernando Alonso battles with Robert Kubica, and cuts the next corner

According to Charlie Whiting, he immediately told Ferrari to let Kubica through. However, the radio transcript tells a different story:

13:31:05 The overtaking move takes place at Club and after one second Rivola calls Whiting, who replies after 11 seconds. Rivola asks: ‘Have you seen the pass? In our opinion there was no room to overtake.’

26 secs after the pass, Whiting asks to be given time to watch the TV footage.

13:33 Ferrari makes a second radio call – 1m55s after the pass. Alonso has completed another lap plus one sector, and is behind Nico Rosberg and Jaime Alguersuari, while Kubica drops further back.

Whiting tells Ferrari that the stewards think Alonso could give the position back. Rivola asks: ‘Is this the decision?’

Whiting replies: ‘No, but that’s how we see it.’

Rivola informs the team while Rosberg overtakes Alguersuari. On the GPS screen that shows the position of the cars, Ferrari sees Kubica dropping further back. Meanwhile, Alonso overtakes Alguersuari at Turn 2.

13:33:22 Ferrari makes a third radio call.

Rivola tells Whiting: ‘Alonso doesn’t have only Kubica behind. He would have to concede two positions now.’

While they discuss the matter Kubica is overtaken by Barrichello so Alonso would have to now give up three positions.

Whiting replies: ‘We have given you the chance to do it or not. Things being this way, the stewards will hear the drivers at the end of the race, but I understand your position.’

13:35:30 Kubica stops so Alonso can no longer give the position back.

13:45:31 The stewards investigate the Alonso/Kubica incident. The monitors then display ‘car number 8 under investigation’, 14m26s after the pass.

13:46:26 Just 55 seconds later the stewards decide that Alonso should have a drive-through penalty.

This shows that Whiting had a delay of two minutes of telling Ferrari to let Kubica through, not instantly like he had previously stated. Also, this would prove Ferrari’s claim that Kubica was dropping down the field too quickly to allow through, and it would have unfairly disadvantaged Alonso.

After a look at this evidence, I would have to question the drive-through penalty a little bit more. For sure, Fernando should have allowed Kubica through instantly, without his team telling him to, but it does seem strange that Charlie Whiting would have told the story incorrectly.

At the end of the day, while a drive-through penalty is still justifiable, the stewards’ time spent deliberating incidents must be looked at, as it had affected so many races this season.

Yamamoto to replace Chandhok for German GP

After the mess of Bruno Senna being replaced for the British Grand Prix weekend, it has now emerged that team-mate Karun Chandhok will be replaced by Sakon Yamamoto for the German Grand Prix. In their statement, HRT also implied that Chandhok may make way for Yamamoto several times more during the season.

Sakon Yamamoto will replace Karun Chandhok at the German Grand Prix

Sakon Yamamoto will replace Karun Chandhok at the German Grand Prix

After Bruno Senna’s seat being handed to Yamamoto in Silverstone for “disciplinary reasons”, as well as the financial benefits of Yamamoto, Karun’s replacement is certainly about the money and not the driver. However, the HRT team still tried to claim that Yamamoto was there because of more than money:

"After Sakon Yamamoto gave a very positive performance in 
Silverstone [sic], the team has decided to give the Japanese 
driver another opportunity to drive the car alongside Bruno 
Senna. Karun Chandhok is still part of the Hispania Racing, 
HRT F1 Team family and is likely to be in the car at some 
later races this season."

Where do we start? Yamamoto was last in qualifying, and was in last place in the race in Silverstone. Although Karun Chandhok was only 1 place ahead of Sakon, he had sustained bodywork damage at the start of the race.

Despite this, Sakon’s sponsorship was enough to convince Colin Kolles to replace Chandhok for the German GP. However, if you look at the team statement above, you can see that the team states: “Karun Chandhok … is likely to be in the car at some later races this season.” This heavily implies that Yamamoto will be taking more races out of Chandhok’s hands, purely so that HRT can survive on the extra sponsorship money.

In my opinion, this is a disaster. Even if HRT are gaining money from this, they are losing whatever fans they had, by juggling their drivers just to stay alive. I’m not annoyed at Yamamoto, it’s Kolles who is at fault here, as it is completely unfair to the drivers. They turned up in Bahrain to get into a car that hadn’t turned a wheel, struggled at the back for 4 months, then have their faith rewarded by being replaced by a worse driver with more money. Then, after one race, they find out that they will be replaced more times just for the team to stay afloat. This is an absolute joke.

Update: The BBC are reporting that Christian Klien is being considered to take part in a (or several) Grand Prix this year, at the expense of either Chandhok or Senna of course. Just brilliant.

2010 Mid-season review: McLaren

Unlike Ferrari, McLaren had the raw pace to take pole positions last year. This year, they have kept their development rate impressively high, so much so that, since Turkey, the team have looked unstoppable. Red Bull’s early falters have granted McLaren the lead in both championships, but can they hang on?

Unless Red Bull can sort themselves out, it seems to be a battle between Button and Hamilton

Unless Red Bull can sort themselves out, it seems to be a battle between Button and Hamilton

On the face of it, it certainly appears so. Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton are probably the best line-up of drivers on the grid, despite their different driving styles. Button’s wins in Australia and China were both thanks to excellent tyre management and strategy, while Hamilton’s faster raw pace gave him the advantage in Turkey and Canada, despite being much harder on the tyres.

The team itself has provided a car that is now well capable of matching or beating the Red Bull, and with their F-duct device still working the best, no other car can touch them on the straights. The reliability of the car is also perfect, the only retirement so far this year was when an engineer left an engine cover on Button’s car in Monaco, causing the car to overheat.

Fantastically consistent finishes have also been McLaren’s specialty this year, with ever single race finish being in the points so far this year (except Hamilton in Spain, who retired 2 laps from the end, so he was therefore classified).  In fact, the worst finish by a McLaren driver so far has been 8th place, which happened only once.

However, main rivals Red Bull have also had every race finish in the points, although they have had 1 more retirement. With this, we can conclude that both teams have extremely reliable cars, with drivers who are unlikely to crash (Turkey excluded).

Therefore, the only difference between the two teams is their drivers. Red Bull have been rocked by rumours of favouring Sebastian Vettel over Mark Webber, and this could well cost them dearly in the championship battle if their drivers fall out, like Alonso and Hamilton did in 2007.

While McLaren have also had their moments, they have dealt with it much more efficiently. Take Turkey, for example, with the radio discussion between Lewis Hamilton and his engineer, regarding Button overtaking him. While there was confusion and rumours after the race, Martin Whitmarsh quickly cleared things up, and the drivers were only confused with each other rather than annoyed. Compare this to Red Bull, who spent the days after Turkey blaming Webber for no evidential reason, then doing a u-turn and saying both drivers were at fault, and claiming that both drivers had forgiven each other about it.

It took a massive 3 races for both drivers to “forgive each other” again for a different incident. On the other hand, before the British Grand Prix, people were speculating that Button and Hamilton would fall out at Silverstone, and would hand the advantage to Red Bull. No such thing happened, and they performed above the car’s potential to get 2nd and 4th.

This is the sort of thing that could well win McLaren the championship. Lewis Hamilton has claimed that McLaren are “over-performing” with their current package, and later implied that another upgrade to the car was coming soon. If this new package can deliver performance equal to the Red Bull car, then the championship will be in both Button’s and Hamilton’s hands. It’s just a matter of which driver can take the opportunity, and at the moment, it’s too close to call yet.

Speculation over Petrov’s seat amid rumours of replacement

Recently, rumours have linked both Sebastien Buemi and Kimi Raikkonen to the second Renault race seat for 2011, which is currently being used by Vitaly Petrov. Amid speculation that Vitaly could be forced to make way for either of these two drivers at the end of the season, team boss Eric Boullier has said that Petrov’s future is in his own hands.

Vitaly Petrov has been the best rookie so far, but still needs to improve

Vitaly Petrov has been the best rookie so far, but still needs to improve

While Robert Kubica has signed a new 2-year deal to stay on at Renault, Petrov’s is believed to expire at the end of the season, and many drivers, particularly Raikkonen, have been tipped to take the seat off the Russian. However, Boullier has stated that he is happy with Vitaly so far, calling him the best rookie in the paddock, although he says he still needs to improve:

"His future is in his hands. We have not been disappointed by 
him - he clearly is the best rookie in the paddock.

He did some very amazing jobs sometimes [but] he's clearly today 
lacking some consistency to get the points he deserves. We 
definitely need to have both cars scoring points, so that's 
obviously creating some rumours surrounding his race seat.

But we are totally committed to him. We are happy to have him 
on board and we will do everyhting we can to help him take the 
final step to where we want him to be."

Since the rumours began, Sebastien Buemi has signed a new 1-year deal with Toro Rosso. While Kimi is still a possibility, there are many other drivers that Renault are believed to be looking at, although they are not yet known.

However, I would be very disappointed if Petrov were to be replaced, as his defensive driving has been excellent so far, with his battle with Alonso one of his best moments so far. Also, his driving in the wet in China was impressive, although he hasn’t scored a point since then.

At the end of the day, I would side with Boullier in the belief that he is the best driver on the grid, although I would also agree that improvements are needed if the team are to battle for 4th in the constructors’ championship.

Buemi and Alguersuari retained by Toro Rosso for 2011

Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost has confirmed that their drivers, Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi, will continue racing for the squad for the 2011 season. He also said that he expects improvements from both of the drivers as they gain experience, and as Toro Rosso challenge for 8th in the championship.

Both Buemi and Alguersuari have been kept by Toro Rosso for 2011

Both Buemi and Alguersuari have been kept by Toro Rosso for 2011

Tost said:

"I believe our drivers will be well prepared for 2011, which is why 
they are both confirmed for next year. It is also logical, because 
one key role of Scuderia Toro Rosso is to bring on young drivers 
from the Red Bull Young Driver programme and at the ages of 21 and 
20 respectively, both Seb and Jaime certainly still meet the right 
criteria.

Our drivers still lack F1 experience compared to the majority of 
their colleagues. Therefore, as they get more track time with every 
race, I expect to see an improvement in the final half of the season.
This is particularly relevant to Alguersuari, because from Hungary 
onwards, he will be able to rely on the knowledge he picked up after
making his debut there in 2009, knowing all the remaining tracks, with
the exception of Korea.

It is not just a case of their driving getting better, because it is 
also true that their understanding and engineering feedback improves, 
which is vital if we are to get the most out of our package."

He also explained how the team were going to continue developing this year’s car, while also creating their 2011 challenger:

"In terms of the car itself, we are introducing some updates over these 
next two races, starting with a new front wing in Hockenheim, then a new 
diffuser in Hungary. Other updates are in the pipeline and I am therefore
convinced that car performance will improve, starting with next weekend.

The design group has been split, with part of it already working on the 
2011 car, including starting wind tunnel work, which is a first, given 
that our Bicester wind tunnel was not fully validated this time last year 
and therefore was not able to contribute much to the basic design of the 
2010 car.

Another part of the design group is still working on developing new 
specifications for this year’s car. Of course, our resources are limited 
when compared to the teams ahead of us in the championship, but we have 
no plans to increase our manpower, as the F1 regulations are moving towards
capping the size of the workforce in the future and while our size might be
a disadvantage at the moment, it could become a positive factor in the future.

I expect a combination of car updates and improved performance from the 
drivers and indeed the whole team to bring us more points in what remains
of the season.

Why could we not do this earlier? It’s quite simply a matter of resources,
in that we are a small team and even in this high-tech age, without the 
people to generate and drive the technology forward, not just in terms of
production but also design and development, you cannot improve.

We have not fixed a cut-off date when development of the STR5 will stop 
and, while working on the STR6, if we come up with some solutions that we 
feel could benefit this year’s car and we have the resources and capacity 
to produce new parts, then we will introduce them on STR5. It would also 
mean we are effectively testing for 2011 this season."

Like last year, it’s a no brainer to keep both Buemi and Alguersuari. Neither of the two have enough experience in Formula 1 to be properly judged, although you could argue that Buemi has had his fair share of time. This also dispels any rumours of Sebastien being hired for Renault in 2011.

Alguersuari, on the other hand, has been in Formula 1 for slightly less than a year now, but still needs to up his game if he is to progress in Formula 1. Despite an impressive performance in Malaysia, he has only 3 points to his name so far, compared to Buemi’s 7.

While neither driver has been particularly poor or good, I would have expected Brendon Hartley or Daniel Ricciardo to have been considered for a drive for 2011 as well. However, there are rumours that Buemi and Alguersuari are being looked at for a Red Bull drive in 2012, particularly Buemi, so this could well open the door for either Ricciardo or Hartley at Toro Rosso.

Thoughts on the British Grand Prix

I would have been under the impression that the new developments to the Silverstone track, most notably the Club straight, would have created more overtaking opportunities than we had seen last Sunday. Despite a lack of a fight for the lead which we had expected, the British Grand Prix was still a reasonably good race.

The first lap gave us plenty to talk about, especially Sebastian Vettel’s and Felipe Massa’s punctures. Regarding Vettel’s incident, I don’t think that either driver was at much fault, although I feel that Sebastian should have been concentrating on Lewis more, as he was too busy fighting alongside Webber for the lead. As for Felipe, it was another racing incident, and I don’t think much more could be done about it.

Then we arrive at a surprisingly controversial incident – Alonso’s battle with Kubica. Put simply, both drivers were battling for position at the Vale corner, Kubica pushed Alonso wide, and Fernando was forced to cut the corner, overtaking the Renault in the process. However, he failed to give the position back, and was later dealt a drive-through penalty, as Kubica had already retired.

Fernando Alonso battles with Robert Kubica, and cuts the next corner

Fernando Alonso battles with Robert Kubica, and cuts the next corner

In my view, the penalty was well justified. It is perfectly fine to cut the corner to avoid a collision, but failing to hand the position back afterwards is blatant cheating, and Alonso should know this. These days, drivers should know better to just hand the position straight back, rather than keep going on and be ordered to hand it back later. But, since Kubica had retired, there was no driver to hand the position back to, so the only option for the stewards was a drive-through penalty.

Unfortunately, after this, the excitement died down, and didn’t ignite again until the safety car was deployed. This was for debris that came off Pedro de la Rosa’s rear wing. This safety car period allowed the field to get bunched up again, which helped the overtaking we saw in the second half of the race.

Sebastian Vettel’s recovery was hugely helped by this safety car, as he was able to leap back from 15th to 7th. However, this has been largely overshadowed by the controversy surrounding Red Bull favouring Sebastian over Mark, as the team removed an updated front wing from Mark’s car, and used it on Sebastian’s car for the race, leading many spectators to accuse Red Bull of bias towards Vettel.

This is the front wing that was taken from Mark Webber and given to Sebastian Vettel

This is the front wing that was taken from Mark Webber and given to Sebastian Vettel

At the end of it all, I was happy to see Mark Webber take the win, especially after the front wing switch. Apparently Webber’s mechanics started waving Mark’s front wing at the Vettel side of the pit after the race, which isn’t exactly sportsmanship at its best, but shows just how divisions in the Red Bull garage are growing. This could well be the reason why Red Bull fail to topple McLaren in the standings by season’s end.

The track itself, despite the poor slow corners added this year, are still an improvement in my opinion. We now have a great corner in the form of Abbey, and the Club straight gave us a few overtakes across the race. Also, the new 17-year deal in place means that the fans can enjoy Silverstone for years to come, which is certainly a change in outlook compared to last year.

Driver of the race – Mark Webber: Overcame bias from the team regarding the front wing, and still held the lead of the race fantastically well throughout. He said that he would not have signed a new deal until the end of 2011 if he knew how he would have been treated, so it’s great to see Webber fighting back.

Driver of the new teams – Jarno Trulli: Seeing as this high-speed track requires a good aerodynamic setup, nobody was expecting the new teams to challenge the midfield much, but Trulli did well to get past Kovalainen at the start, and held his advantage to the end.

Best rookie – Kamui Kobayashi: Got a better result here than in Valencia, but he was completely invisible in a solid drive to 6th from 12th on the grid. Nico Hulkenberg also deserves a mention, for getting his first points finish since Malaysia.

Best team – McLaren: This is about team results, and the crucial word in that first half of this sentence was team. Red Bull’s bias throws them straight out, so the best team in my opinion was McLaren, for overcoming massive setup difficulties in practice and qualifying to get 2nd and 4th places.

Least impressive – Michael Schumacher: He wasn’t too bad, but lacked the defensive skills to keep his rivals behind him. His only move against Sutil was the only one worth mentioning, as he got very close to pushing Adrian onto the grass. His only retaliation to Vettel overtaking him was to push him to the side as much as possible, which is perfectly legal, but I personally hate those kind of moves.

P.S: Did anyone watch the BBC F1 coverage after the race? I found myself singing along to Wonderwall when Lewis played it on the guitar, great fun :D

Ferrari were advised to allow Kubica through

FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting has revealed that he advised Ferrari 3 times to allow Robert Kubica through, after an overtaking incident with Fernando Alonso during the British Grand Prix. Alonso was handed a drive-through penalty during the race after he cut a corner battling with Kubica, overtook the Renault but failed to give the position back.

Ferrari were advised 3 times to hand the position back to Kubica

Ferrari were advised 3 times to hand the position back to Kubica

Under normal circumstances, after repeatedly advising Ferrari, this would have turned into an order to hand the position back, but since Kubica soon retired with unrelated mechanical issues, Alonso was unable to hand the position back. However, Charlie Whiting felt that Ferrari had plenty of time to instruct Alonso to let Kubica through, before the Renault retired.

Whiting claimed that, despite the penalty being issued many laps later, Ferrari were immidiately advised to hand the position back:

"We told Ferrari three times that in my opinion they should give the
position back to Kubica.

And we told them that immediately, right after the overtaking
manoeuvre. On the radio, I suggested to them that if they exchange
position again, there would be no need for the stewards to intervene.

But they didn't do that and on the third communication they said that
Kubica was by then too far back to let him regain the position.

It's not true at all that the stewards took too long to decide. For
us the facts were clear immediately: Alonso had gained an advantage
by cutting the track."

However, team principal Stefano Domenicali argued that, despite Alonso getting past Kubica, he didn’t gain an advantage:

"He tried to be aggressive to overtake, and we complained the 
drivers not to be aggressive and we complain about the lack of 
overtaking, and so at that stage, we felt as we normally do at 
that moment that we need to go on the radio with race control to 
check what is the position.

And normally, we take the right time to discuss with race control 
to make the judgement, and the moment when race control give us 
the instruction to give back the position to Robert, it was clear 
that Robert had already lost a lot of time - effectively he had a 
problem and he came back. That is the situation we analysed.

You can have a situation where immediately there is a possibility 
to give back the position to a driver if you feel that there is 
really an advantage that you gain. On our side we felt that was 
not the case otherwise we would have done it."

I was wondering after the race, why Ferrari didn’t complain loudly about the penalty being awarded, and this is clearly why. If Ferrari are pushing the rules that much just to gain one position, then they completely deserve any penalty that they get.

British Grand Prix in pictures

Apologies for the delay, but here are the pictures from last weekend’s British Grand Prix:

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British Grand Prix stats and facts

The British Grand Prix was Mark Webber’s 5th win of his career, and the 11th for Red Bull. Here are the stats and facts from the British Grand Prix:

  • This was Sebastian Vettel’s 10th pole positions of his career, which is as much as Jochen Rindt.
  • Mark Webber’s 5th career win puts him level with Michele Alboreto, Keke Rosberg, John Watson, Clay Regazzoni and Nino Farina. It was also his 150th Grand Prix.
  • Fernando Alonso took the 15th fastest lap of his career, putting him in 16th place overall. He now has as many as Clay Regazzoni and Jackie Stewart.
  • This was Red Bull’s 11th constructors’ win, putting them 1 ahead of Alfa Romeo, but well behind Cooper (16).
  • Ferrari’s 14th and 15th places were the worst for the team since the 1978 French Grand Prix, when Gilles Villeneuve and Carlos Reutemann finished 12th and 18th respectively.
  • In the lead-up to this race, there were rumours that the average lap speed record, currently held at Monza, could be broken. However, because the track turned out to be 10 metres shorter than planned, the average lap speed was actually higher than last year, leaving it 3rd overall in tracks with highest lap speed, behind Monza and Spa. The pole position speed in Silverstone this year was set by Sebastian Vettel, and it was 236.52kph, compared to 236.92kph last year.
  • Robert Kubica retired yesterday, meaning that no driver has completed every single lap this year now. However, Kubica is now the only driver to have out-qualified his team-mate in every race so far.
  • Red Bull have now led 433 of the 600 laps this year.
  • Mark Webber has become the first driver this year to score 3 wins.
  • Red Bull topped every single session this weekend, meaning Friday Practice 1 and 2, Saturday Morning practice (aka FP3), qualifying, and led every single lap of the race. Unfortunately there is no record of whether this has happened before in Formula 1 history.
  • This is the first ever time that Red Bull have won twice at any track.
  • Every single time that an Australian has won the British Grand Prix, they have gone on to win the world championship that year. This has happened in 1959, 1960, 1966 and 1980 previously.
  • Bernd Maylander has now been deployed in the safety car 100 times, since he was hired in 2000. He deserves a present, surely Mercedes could afford him a road-legal SLS?

As usual, if you have spotted any more, do leave a comment!

Webber wins as Vettel struggles in Silverstone

Mark Webber took the win today at the British Grand Prix today, as pole sitter Sebastian Vettel suffered a puncture on the first lap. There was more controversy for Fernando Alonso, as the stewards dealt him a harsh drive-through penalty. Here is the full race report:

At the start, Vettel made a mistake with the clutch, and span his wheels too much. This allowed Mark Webber to get alongside him at the first corner, and he pushed Sebastian wide. Also, Lewis Hamilton’s front wing was seen to clip the back of Sebastian’s car. This caused a puncture on Vettel’s rear tyre, and he crawled back to the grid to the pits. He switched his tyres, and emerged at the back, 63 seconds down on the leaders. Felipe Massa also suffered a puncture on Lap 1, as a slow-starting Fernando Alonso came into contact with the other Ferrari.

Mark Webber leads, after Sebastian Vettel runs wide after contact with Hamilton

Mark Webber leads, after Sebastian Vettel runs wide after contact with Hamilton

Robert Kubica made a fantastic start, getting up to third position by Lap 2. However, he was unable to keep the pace up, and fell into the clutches of 4th placed Nico Rosberg. Pedro de la Rosa’s good starting position was lost, as he fell to 11th, while Jarno Trulli was now 16th.

Massa was 20 seconds behind Sakon Yamamoto on Lap 5. But, by Lap 9, he had already got past the HRT driver. The Force India drivers were pressurising Trulli’s 16th place, but Jarno did well to hold them back. At the front, Mark Webber began to carve out a lead from Lewis Hamilton in 2nd.

Behind the front 2, a very large train of cars was beginning to form, from 3rd to 9th, with Robert Kubica, Nico Rosberg, Fernando Alonso, Rubens Barrichello, Michael Schumacher, Jenson Button and Kamui Kobayashi all in the mix. At the first stops, Ferrari tried to leapfrog both Rosberg and Kubica, but Nico managed to stay ahead and get past Kubica at the same time, after delaying their first stop.

On Lap 19, Alonso made a controversial move on Kubica. At the Vale corner, Kubica pushed Alonso, which forced Fernando to cut the corner. He emerged ahead of Kubica, but failed to give the position back. It took a long while before the stewards announced that they were investigating the incident. There was a twist, though, as Kubica retired into the pits on Lap 21, meaning that now no driver had completed every lap this season. Now, the stewards couldn’t instruct Alonso to give the position back.

Fernando Alonso and Robert Kubica battle at Vale

Fernando Alonso and Robert Kubica battle at Vale

Fernando assumed the matter was over, and proceeded to overtake Jaime Alguersuari for 6th, and then hassling Rosberg for 5th. Meanwhile, Jenson Button, who started from 14th, had a longer first stint, and when he pitted, emerged in 5th place.

On Lap 28, the stewards finally handed out their penalty: a drive-through penalty for Fernando Alonso, for cutting a chicane and gaining an advantage. However, it got even worse for the Spaniard, as the safety car was deployed a lap later, for debris on the track. It came from Pedro de la Rosa’s rear wing, which also caused the retirement of the Sauber car.

This safety car prompted Hulkenberg to make his first stop on Lap 29, as he had started on the harder tyre, and had banked on a safety car, like Kamui Kobayashi did in Valencia. It only worked to an extent, and he emerged in 11th. The debris was cleared soon, and the safety car pitted on Lap 30. This is when Fernando Alonso served his penalty.

The safety car gave a chance to Sebastian Vettel for some points. He was in recovery mode after his first lap puncture, and was now lying in 15th place, and was elevated to 14th after Alonso’s penalty. The bunched-up field gave him a chance to overtake them and get into the points. He, and Adrian Sutil, were the men on the attack. On Lap 34, Sutil dived down the inside of Michael Schumacher, and although he was squeezed a bit, got past for 7th place.

Sebastian Vettel was on fire, getting up to 11th place by Lap 37, and now harassing Vitaly Petrov for position. Ahead of the Russian was Nico Hulkenberg and Michael Schumacher, so points were definitely on the cards. Vettel got past Petrov and Hulkenberg within 2 laps, and muscled his way past Schumacher 2 laps later, getting him up to 8th.

Felipe Massa, despite being in 13th place, was still pushing hard, and spun at Club corner, flat-spotting his tyres. He pitted for a new set, but caught his team out, and lost even more time.

Within another 2 laps, Vettel was all over the back of Sutil, but the Force India’s straight line speed kept the Red Bull behind. Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso was caught up in a battle with the other Force India, Vitantonio Liuzzi. With 3 laps to go, Fernando finally got past, but got tagged by Liuzzi as he overtook, and was forced to pit again for repairs. Vettel finally got past Sutil with only 2 laps to go.

While all of this went on, Mark Webber was having a fantastic race keeping Lewis Hamilton well at bay, and he crossed the line first, with Lewis 2nd and Nico Rosberg hanging on against Jenson Button to take the final posium spot. Jenson had the pace to get past, but unfortunately had to conserve fuel near the end. Rubens Barrichello and Kamui Kobayashi impressed with 5th and 6th, Sebastian Vettel was 7th ahead of Adrian Sutil, and Michael Schumacher and Nico Hulkenberg finished off the top 10.

Mark Webber celebrates after winning the British Grand Prix

Mark Webber celebrates after winning the British Grand Prix

The Ferraris languished in 14th and 15th after their dismal afternoon, but oddly enough didn’t complain much about the stewards’ decision on Fernando Alonso. However, there wasn’t much focus on Ferrari, as much as Mark Webber. He had overcome the rumoured favouritism on Saturday, when the team gave Vettel a new front wing and left Mark in the cold. However, Mark wasn’t going to forget quickly about this, ending his race with a short message to the team:

“Not bad for a number 2 driver”.

The standings have been updated, you can view them here.

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