Archive for the ‘Britain- Silverstone’ Category

h1

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.

h1

Vettel on Pole at Silverstone, While McLarens Struggle

July 10, 2010

For the British fans flocking to Silverstone this weekend, hoping to see the McLarens of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button in a British one-two, they were left disappointed after qualifying, as Red Bull locked-out the front row, and Button failed to get through to Q3.

Sebastian Vettel will start tomorrow’s race from pole, after scoring an impressive lap time of 1:29.615, with teammate Mark Webber, just over a tenth slower in second. Fernando Alonso qualified third, and will be joined on the second row by Hamilton, who was lucky to post such a fast time, after making it through to Q3 with just a three tenths of a second buffer from the drop-out zone.

His teammate, Button, was less fortunate, and after complaining that the he had no grip in the rear of the car during Q2, he failed to improve on 14th.

The Woking-based team had headed to Silverstone with new updates to the MP4-25, a blown diffuser, currently sported by the Red Bulls, that adds more downforce to the car. The updates, including a new front wing, unbalanced the car, and while the team continued to run the new wing, they scrapped the new diffuser for the weekend.

Hamilton managed fourth, an achievement he and the team were happy with, considering the lost hours in Friday practice, spent testing the new updates.

Nico Rosberg made the first ‘comeback’ for Mercedes, after their less-than-impressive run in Valencia two weeks ago, to qualify fifth, ahead of Robert Kubica in sixth, Felipe Massa in seventh, Rubens Barrichello in eighth and Pedro de la Rosa in ninth. Rosberg’s teammate, and seven-time champion, Michael Schumacher, will start tomorrow’s race from tenth.

Dropping out with Button in Q2 was Adrian Sutil in 11th, Kamui Kobayashi in 12th, and Nico Hulkenberg in 13th, with Button 14th ahead of Vitantonio Liuzzi in 15th, Sebastien Buemi in 16th, and Vitaly Petrov in 17th. In the dropout zone in Q1 were Jaime Alguersuari in 18th, Heikki Kovalainen in 19th, Jarno Trulli 20th, Timo Glock 21st, Lucas di Grassi 22nd, Karun Chandhok 23rd, and Sakon Yamamoto, replacing Bruno Senna in the HRT, in 24th.

Vettel will begin tomorrow’s race having won two races so far this season, as will Webber, Hamilton, and Button. And for win number three, so far it’s advantage-Vettel, heading into the tenth race of the season. Will he take his second successive British Grand Prix win in Silverstone, or will Webber steal it off him, or indeed, will Hamilton do what McLaren came to Silverstone to do? The race is live on BBC1 at 1pm.

h1

Vettel Victorious in Silverstone

June 21, 2009

Sebastian Vettel converted the perfect pole into the perfect win in a Red Bull dominated British Grand Prix at Silverstone this afternoon.

The young German driver produced fastest lap after fastest lap in the first stint to pull out a substantial gap to second place runner Rubens Barrichello, and eventually led home teammate Mark Webber for a Red Bull one-two, proving the high speed circuit works in favour of the RB5.

However, the British fans who descended on the Silverstone circuit to see Jenson Button make it seven out of eight wins, were left disappointed after a quiet race from the Frome-born driver. After starting from sixth on the grid, he lost three positions in the first few corners from Copse through to Becketts, but after chasing down fourth and fifth place finishers Felipe Massa and Nico Rosberg in the final stint, he managed to finish sixth.

Button, who complained of understeer throughout the race, said: “When I was on the soft tyres I had good pace. The pace in the last stint was phenomenal.” He added: “I could reel in Massa and Rosberg at the end of the race as if they were stood still”. However, Button had difficulty in passing Nico’s Williams and had to settle for sixth, proving that the new regulations put in place to increase the chances of overtaking are just not working.

Reigning champion Lewis Hamilton finished out of the points yet again, down in 16th. Despite giving fans something to cheer about by overtaking Fernando Alonso down the start/finish straight and through Copse on lap 30, he proved over the course of the race what a difference a year actually makes. It wasn’t long before Lewis was re-passed by his former teammate, and he later took a trip off the track after clipping the grass verge on lap 44. However, the Briton seemed in high spirits by the end of the race producing doughnuts for his home crowd. He said of his race: “I enjoyed it”, adding: “The fans gave me so much energy this year.”

20-year-old Roshni Mapara, from Leicester, watched the race from Hangar Straight, where Hamilton put on a show for the fans. She said: “The doughnut was amazing,” adding, “We had no idea what he was doing, he just randomly drove off the track.” As a Lewis fan, she said: “I was a bit disappointed with Hamilton, but the race was amazing.”

However disappointing it was for the fans, who turned out in their thousands hoping to see Jenson and Lewis produce good results, they still cheered Vettel to victory as he came through Luffield and Woodcote for the final time. For any driver, winning in Silverstone is something of a dream, given the track’s history, and for Vettel, victory certainly seemed sweet, proving Button needs to keep an eye in his mirrors for the second half of the season.

For some of the other drivers, the weekend was something to be forgotten. Heikki Kovalainen, who qualified in 13th in the McLaren, spent most of his race at the back of the field in 19th, and shortly after his first and only pit stop, the Finn was caught in a tussle with Toro Rosso’s Sebastian Bourdais, which resulted in the eventual retirement of both drivers.

The biggest gain came from Felipe Massa, who, having started from 11th, ran longer in both the first and second stints, and got his Ferrari up to fourth behind the Brawn of Barrichello. But despite putting on a charge off the grid in one of only two KERS equipped cars, Massa’s teammate Kimi Raikkonen had a quiet race and finished just inside the points in eighth.

For Red Bull, they leave Silverstone with their second win, and second one-two of the season. Team principle Christian Horner said after the race: “Seamless race by both of the drivers. They completely dominated it.”

Button leads the driver’s championship with 23 points over teammate Barrichello, and 25 over Vettel. Brawn continue to lead the constructor’s championship with 105 points over Red Bull’s 74.5.

With 100,000 fans turning out for the final British Grand Prix at Silverstone, the race is set to move to Donington Park next year. Rumours have been rife since last year’s British Grand Prix, where the switch was announced, that the future of the British Grand Prix would be in the balance if the owners of Donington could not come up with the goods before 2010, however, Bernie Ecclestone confirmed this weekend that there will be a British Grand Prix next year, if not in its new home of Donington Park, in Silverstone once again. So, has Sebastian Vettel gone down in history as the last ever winner of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone? Time will tell…

 

There will be a three week break until the next race in Germany. Qualifying is on Saturday 11th July, with race coverage on Sunday 12th on BBC One.

h1

Vettel Takes Silverstone’s Last Pole

June 20, 2009

Sebastian Vettel snatched pole position at the end of a tense quali three at Silverstone this afternoon.

In the closing stages Mark Webber, Rubens Barrichello, and Vettel all put in tremendous hot laps, with Vettel coming out on top, after teammate Webber failed to put in a faster lap to claim his first F1 pole position.

For the British fans, it was a tense afternoon, with Jenson Button almost missing out on making the top 10 shoot-out. For Lewis Hamilton fans, it was even bigger disappointment, after he failed to make it into quali two yet again, after Force India’s Adrian Sutil crashed out in the closing stages of quali one. Lewis had just started his final hot lap, when the session was red flagged with 24 seconds remaining on the clock, as marshalls helped Sutil from his wrecked Force India. Lewis will start from 19th behind Sutil in 18th.

For Button, he managed to make it into quali three, but was out-qualified by teammate Barrichello, and he’ll start tomorrow’s race from 6th on the grid.

Barrichello joins Vettel on the front row, with Webber and Jarno Trulli making up row two. Kazuki Nakajima put his Williams on the third row in front of Button in fifth.

For Ferrari, Felipe Massa will start 11th after he failed to make it into quali three, and Kimi Raikkonen will start from nineth alongside Fernando Alonso in tenth. Heikki Kovalainen continued the disappointment for McLaren and will join the grid in 13th.

For the British fans, they are certainly hoping for something special from Jenson tomorrow as Silverstone hosts what could possibly be its last race in F1, with the British Grand Prix set to be hosted by Donnington Park as of next year.

However the fight between the FIA and FOTA stands, the British fans will be descending on Silverstone for one thing: to see Button take victory in Britain, and make it seven from eight.