Webber Wins in Silverstone, Hamilton Edges Ahead in Race for Title

July 11, 2010

Mark Webber took his third win of the season in Silverstone this afternoon, while Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button finished second and fourth, respectively, a positive result in front of their home crowd, after struggling on Friday and Saturday.

The Red Bull driver had a message for his team after he crossed the line: “Not bad for a number two driver”. His message was clear: don’t rule me out yet.

Webber made a fast move off the start, squeezing up the inside of Sebastian Vettel, to quickly take the lead, while Vettel made contact with a charging Hamilton, on the move from fourth on the grid, his front-wing end-plate touching Vettel’s right-rear tyre. Vettel ran wide through Copse, but managed to hold on to Webber, as Hamilton came under pressure from Robert Kubica. Vettel then ran wide through Maggotts, which had been caused by a puncture, and from there it was damage-limitation for the pole sitter, fighting his way back through the field, as Webber kept his cool to take the win. Fernando Alonso, meanwhile, had problem after problem throughout the race, the first being a slow start off the grid, dropping back to sixth on the opening lap, and making contact with teammate Felipe Massa, that caused the Brazilian to suffer a puncture.

Massa and Vettel were forced to pit at the end of the first lap, and rejoined the track in 23rd and 24th, respectively. While the pair were unfortunate from the very beginning, up front, Hamilton maintained the gap to Webber, but the pair pulled out a 16 second gap to Kubica in third within 10 laps, and were catching Vettel by the first round of stops, looking to lap him.

On lap 13, Alonso, Rubens Barrichello, and Kamui Kobayashi pitted, while Kubica pitted a lap later. Jenson Button, who made his way up to eighth in the opening laps, stayed out longer in the first stint, making his way up to third. Hamilton pitted on lap 17, from second, and retained his position exiting the pits just ahead of Button who still had to stop. Webber was next to pit a lap later, maintaining the lead on his exit from the pitlane. Button then finally pitted on lap 22, and rejoined in sixth, ultimately gaining two positions.

At the same time as Hamilton pitted for the harder compound tyre, Alonso was busy trying to make a move on Kubica. While trying to avoid a collision, Alonso cut a corner, but refused to give the position back, gaining from the move. Within laps, Kubica retired from the race, but Alonso still received a drive-through penalty for not giving the position back. Within two laps of Alonso receiving the penalty on lap 27, the safety car was deployed, and he was unable to take the penalty until after the safety car came back in.

On lap 30, the race restarted and Alonso peeled into the pits to take his drive through, and found himself towards the back of the pack.

From then on, Webber had control of the race, while Vettel used the safety car to his advantage to make up some places in the closing laps. He passed Massa first on lap 33 for 12th, and by the penultimate lap he was still hunting Adrian Sutil for seventh. He finally made his move stick into turn 14, to finish the race seventh, making up a lot of ground after his disasterous start.

Webber and Hamilton crossed the line 20 seconds ahead of Rosberg in fourth, and Button in fifth. Barrichello scored his highest finish of the season in fifth, with Kobayashi in sixth, Vettel seventh, Sutil eighth, Michael Schumacher ninth, and Nico Hulkenberg rounding out the points-scorers in tenth.

In the drivers’ championship standings, Hamilton edges forward on 145 points, with Button retaining second on 133. Webber leapfrogs Vettel to sit on 128, with Vettel on 121. Alonso stays on 98 points, failing to score after finishing 14th, while Rosberg edges forward on 90 points.  Kubica, who retired on lap 20, remains on 83, while Massa remains on 67 points after finishing down in 15th.

In the constructors’ standings, McLaren edge forward on 278, while Red Bull sit on 249. Ferrari are beginning to fall behind on 165, with Mercedes on 126.

For Webber, victory was sweet this afternoon, after he was left fuming yesterday when the Red Bull team switched his front-wing update back to the old one, after Vettel’s broke in Practice three. The German was given the sole remaining updated wing because he sat ahead of Webber in the standings, meaning Webber had to go with the old version. Webber’s message for his team was clear after the race though, telling them over the radio his victory wasn’t bad for the number two driver. So it looks like it’s now advantage Webber heading into Vettel’s home Grand Prix in two weeks, as he sits ahead of Vettel in the drivers’ standings.

Qualifying for the German Grand Prix is on Saturday 23rd, with the race live on BBC1 on Sunday 24th July.


One comment

  1. […] The Red Bull driver had a message for his team after he crossed the line: “Not bad for a number two driver”. His message was clear: don’t rule me out yet… More […]

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