Nico Rosberg fended off Mark Webber to win a thrilling British Grand Prix littered with tyre blow-outs and featuring a late retirement for championship leader Sebastian Vettel. Rosberg’s Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton was leading until he became the first man to suffer a tyre blow, with Vettel then controlling the race until his Red Bull lost drive in the closing stages.
That set up a thrilling finale as Vettel’s team-mate Webber, who had fallen to 15th on lap one, hunted down Rosberg, while Fernando Alonso and the recovering Hamilton charged past Kimi Raikkonen into third and fourth.
Interesting comments from Kimi just now. “Absolutely wrong call not to pit behind the second safety car, not my fault” Clearly unhappy
The team screwed up (translated by Nicole)
KR: I asked the team during the SC if I can come to the pitstop. We had over half a lap to make a decision about it. There are ten people sitting and staring at all kinds of monitors. I can’t understand how they could make such a wrong decision. I lost an easy 2nd position right there. I have to ask the team why they did it. That’s why it bugs me so much. I would had come in earlier myself, but somehow you still believe that people who’s work it is to make these decisions would do right decisions. But what can you do. It bugs to lose so many important points because of something like this.”
Pos Driver Team Time 1. Rosberg Mercedes 1h32:59.456 2. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 0.765 3. Alonso Ferrari + 7.124 4. Hamilton Mercedes + 7.756 5. Raikkonen Lotus-Renault + 11.257 6. Massa Ferrari + 14.573 7. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 16.335 8. Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 16.500 9. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 17.993 10. Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari + 19.700 11. Maldonado Williams-Renault + 21.100 12. Bottas Williams-Renault + 25.000 13. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 25.900 14. Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari + 26.200 15. Pic Caterham-Renault + 31.600 16. Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth + 36.000 17. Chilton Marussia-Cosworth + 1:07.600 18. van der Garde Caterham-Renault + 1:07.700 19. Grosjean Lotus-Renault + 1 lap Fastest lap: Webber, 1:33.401 Not classified/retirements: Driver Team On lap Perez McLaren-Mercedes 47 Vettel Red Bull-Renault 42 Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 36 World Championship standings, round 8: Drivers: Constructors: 1. Vettel 132 1. Red Bull-Renault 219 2. Alonso 111 2. Mercedes 169 3. Raikkonen 98 3. Ferrari 168 4. Hamilton 89 4. Lotus-Renault 126 5. Webber 87 5. Force India-Mercedes 59 6. Rosberg 82 6. McLaren-Mercedes 37 7. Massa 57 7. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 24 8. Di Resta 36 8. Sauber-Ferrari 6 9. Grosjean 26 10. Button 25 11. Sutil 23 12. Vergne 13 13. Perez 12 14. Ricciardo 11 15. Hulkenberg 6
Kimi Raikkonen – 5th: “I tried to hold on at the end of the race, but with tyres that were maybe twenty laps older than the others’ it was impossible to keep them behind. It’s a shame as the race went pretty well until then; we had good pace and looked set for a pretty easy P2, but this is racing sometimes. It’s three races now where we haven’t had the result we maybe expect, but hopefully if we can have a bit more luck and also get rid of some of the mistakes we’ll be able to get back to the front.”
Romain Grosjean – 19th: “Towards the end of the race we lost quite a big part of the front wing meaning it became really difficult to drive, so in the end it was best to retire because of safety considerations. We don’t know if it was caused by some debris or something to do with the fact that it was a new part; we will be working to find out the root of the problem. Before that my race wasn’t going quite to plan and we were suffering with tyre performance. This was related to the front wing issue which started earlier in the race. The safety cars didn’t really go our way either so it’s a race I’d rather forget. Let’s go to Germany and have a better weekend.”
Eric Boullier, Team Principal: “The outcome of the race isn’t rewarding with the amount of work that has been done by the team recently. Most of the upgrades we brought here seem to be working which is a positive sign, although we did struggle a bit in qualifying to generate good grip from the tyres. Our strategy was great today until the last safety car when we should have called Kimi in to save at least one position and make the podium. Unfortunately, we made the wrong call for which we apologise to Kimi and to the team. This sometimes happens and it isn’t easy to manage when you have so many safety car periods. We will be in Germany in a few days’ time where we’re confident we will be competitive and aiming to make amends.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “We have mixed feelings today. We made some good places up during the race but in hindsight, we should have pitted Kimi at the final safety car. It wasn’t obvious at the time, but the benefit of hindsight is always enlightening. Romain had a front wing failure near the end of the race, the cause of which we don’t know yet. We weren’t affected by the tyres issues that we have seen today but warned our drivers to stay clear of the kerb at Turn 4 as there was a suspicion it might be the cause. Despite not being as good as it could have been, it was a better weekend for us than the last two. Further upgrades we have coming for Germany mean we fight on.”
Videos: Kimi on the drivers’ parade – Sky Sports interview, Team radio after second safety car, Post-race interview “not my fault”, BBC interview