ABU DHABI F1 - A NEW MOTOR-SPORT ERA IN MIDDLE EAST
F1 Mercedes GP
Marc Webber wins British F1 GP ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg
Webber smoked his other F1 colleagues at Silverstone when he dominated Sunday's British Grand Prix from the start, and easily rebuilt his lead after a safety-car period that allowed team mate Sebastian Vettel to find back to the field in the game after a disastrous first corner had seen the German go off track after a light collision with Vodafone McLarenâ€™s Lewis Hamilton.
The puncture that he sustained from the first curve incident with the 2008 World champion sent him immediately to the final spot of the field.
Hamilton challenged Webber fiercely on that first lap, but it was soon clear that only a major drama could take this tasty success away from the Australian. He was a class of his own, as was the challenging Hamilton who maintained his world championship lead with a courageous run to second place on the podium in front of his home crowd.
As the German Red bull driver Sebastian Vettel was forced to make a pit stop, switching to hard tires at the end of the lap, Renaultâ€™s Robert Kubica ran comfortably in third place ahead of Mercedes GPâ€™s Nico Rosberg and Spanish Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso, whose killer-instinct this time hit Ferrari team mate Felipe Massa on the run through Copse in a friendly-fire manner, sending the Brazilian to a unplanned pit stop, to switch on fresh rubber.
When Robert Kubicaâ€™s Renault suffered a rare retirement-being the first this season- Mercedes GP dri
ver Nico Rosberg was always in striking distance for the final podium slot. 2009 Formula 1 World Champion and Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver, Jenson Button coined his great start combined with a long first stint on the soft Bridgestone tires, into being only a second away from him all the way home.
The turn of events came with a safety-car period coming on Lap 28 after Force India driver Adrian Sutil hit the back of Pedro de la Rosaâ€™s BMW Sauber on the pit straight after miscalculating the tail gaiting distance and overtaking maneuver, thus leaving debris on the track.
This was Sebastian Vettelâ€™s moment of truth. Being informed by his team to avoid doing anything silly, he gradually and consistently he made his way up the order, passing Nico Hulkenberg in the Williams and Mercedes GPâ€™s Michael Schumacher until he came stuck behind Adrian Sutil. The Force India driver kept him at distance lap after lap as Vettel struggled on increasingly worn tires.
The famous proverb stating, that mills of God grind slowly was implemented on Adrian Sutil, when the German Red bull driver finally passed the Force India driver after a robust move resulting in a minor brush, with both able to continue the race till the chequered flag. Adrian Sutil was fuming and described the overtaking as unfair after the race, as he lost the 7th place to the Redbull driver, but was paid in his own coin, resembling what he did to Michael Schumacher and Pedro de la Rosa, when passing them with the crowbar method.
But this was Webberâ€™s day, and he was seven seconds ahead of Hamilton before he wound things down to take the flag 1.3s to the good. Hamilton was in turn 20s ahead of Rosberg and Button. Behind them, Rubens Barrichello and Kamui Kobayashi drove great races to fifth and sixth for Williams and BMW Sauber respectively.
Behind Vettel, the German Force India driver Adrian Sutil finished eighth ahead of
7- time World Champion and Mercedes GP driver Michael Schumacher, who just fended off Hulkenbergâ€™s Williams to the finish line.
For Ferrari, it was a day to forget, as an overenthusiastic Alonso got it wrong again by passing Robert Kubicaâ€™s Renault at Club on the 17th lap after running wide into the right-hand section and cutting in ahead of the Renault.
Had he returned the place back, all would have been well and he would have been in a position later to challenge for final slot on the podium; instead his resultant drive-through penalty coincided with the safety-car period, and he was instructed by the team to perform it after the safety car was back in, which dropped him from fourth to 15th. For many laps he was unable to find a way to pass Vitantonio Liuzziâ€™s Force India, and when he finally made it they touched, requiring a late stop for a fresh set of tires.
As Liuzzi, Toro Rossoâ€™s Sebastien Buemi and Renaultâ€™s Vitaly Petrov filled the 11th to 13th places, Spanish Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso had to be satisfied with 14th place ahead of Massa, who also needed a late stop for tires after surviving an unnecessary spin. The two fastest laps of the race were no consolation at all for the troubled Scuderia Ferrari team.
Jarno Trulliâ€™s 16th place secured the new team honors for Lotus, after Timo Glockâ€™s Virgin had separated the Italianâ€™s T127 from team mate Heikki Kovalainenâ€™s for most of the time of the race. In the end, Timo Glock took 18th from the HRTs of Karun Chandhok and Sakon Yamamoto, but team mate Lucas di Grassi fell victim to hydraulic problems.
Toro Rossoâ€™s Jaime Alguersuari had a good race for a long time after a long opening stint flushing him as high as sixth, before ending up in the gravel late due to a brake problem. Pedro de la Rosa also failed to finish after his rear wing suffered further disintegration on the Hangar Straight.
Some harsh words were very remarkable and generated room for speculations about the tense relation within the Red Bull team which will be on fire, after Mark Webberâ€™s statement during his grid walk, that he â€œwill do his best today for the guys on his car, in addition to his radio transmission content to his team principal Christian Horner after finishing the race as the only Formula 1 driver to win his 3rd Grand Prix in the eventful 2010 season, when he posed a rhetorical question, saying â€?not bad for the number 2?â€?.
It was a way to let steam out, by harshly denouncing the favoritism of his team to Sebastian Vettel. In the constructorsâ€™ Formula 1 world championship, Red bull still trails Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, with 246 points to their 278. The Scuderia Ferrari is now in third with 165, with Mercedes GP in fourth with 126 points.
In the driversâ€™ equivalent, British Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Hamilton still leads, with 145 points to his teammate Buttonâ€™s 133, Red bull driver Mark Webber in third on 128 and Sebastian Vettel in fourth place 121.