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F1 2013

Nico Rosberg and Mercedes claim victory in incident rich British 2013 Formula 1 race

Nico Rosberg and Mercedes AMG proved the undeniable progress in preserving the tires by claiming a well-deserved victory in the 2013 Formula 1 Santander British Grand Prix at Silverstone this afternoon.

In a race highlighted by several spectacular tire blow-outs, Nico Rosberg held off a tremendous late full throttle pursuit from Australian Red Bull driver Mark Webber to score his second win of the season, whilst Scuderia Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso finished third place.
The retirement of German Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel due to a defect in the gearbox meant that the gap between the top drivers became smaller, consequently firing up the race for the Formula 1 drivers' crown.

Nico Rosberg’s team mate Lewis Hamilton comfortably led the race from the start from German Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel and Rosberg in the early stages, before becoming the first driver to suffer a left-rear tire blow-out on the Wellington Straight on the eighth lap. It was just the start of a series of tire blow-outs, which cast light on the reliability of the Pirelli tires. Two laps later Brazilian Scuderia Ferrari driver Felipe Massa suffered the same failure before Toro Rosso driver Jean-Eric Vergne made it a hat-trick on lap 15. Mexican McLaren Mercedes driver Sergio Perez was the final driver to suffer a blow-out, this time on the 46th lap.

The first safety car of the day started on the 16th lap as marshals cleared up the debris at Stowe corner caused by the tire of the Toro Rosso driven by Jean-Eric Vergne, by which time the teams were warning their drivers to avoid using the kerbs assuming that they were causing the tire blow-out.

When the racing resumed on the 22nd lap, German Mercedes AMG driver Nico Rosberg started the chase to minimize the advantage of Sebastian Vettel, the German having inherited the lead from Lewis Hamilton. Eventually they were only a couple of seconds apart as they started to lap traffic, but then the car of Sebastian Vettel came to a halt just past the pit entry on the 41st lap, causing another safety car deployment whilst the Red Bull of the German triple world champion RB9 was moved off the track. Several spectators wondered why the German Red Bull driver did not enter the pits with his RB9, instead of causing an unnecessary safety car period.

This reshuffled the leading cars, as German Mercedes AMG driver Nico Rosberg, Australian Red Bull driver Mark Webber and Spanish Scuderia Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso all pitted. Nico Rosberg selected the best timing, thus retaining the lead, but Mark Webber dropped from third to fifth, while Fernando Alonso dropped from fourth to eighth place.

As the race was continued, and the safety car went in at the end of lap 46, Australian Red Bull driver Mark Webber immediately closed on Daniel Ricciardo’s Toro Rosso for P4, then Adrian Sutil’s Force India for P3, before overtaking the Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen for second on lap 49. The Iceman also wanted to pit, but Lotus had missed the appropriate chance to pit and to be at mercy of his worn rubber.
Kimi Raikkonen stated after the race: "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.”
This not performed pit-stop by the Lotus crew made the Iceman lose 8 precious points, which are very crucial for the race of the Formula 1 World Championship crown.

Australian Red Bull driver Mark Webber set the fastest lap on the last tour to finish 0.7s behind the Mercedes, but it was Nico Rosberg’s race from the moment Sebastian Vettel stopped his car.
Kimi Raikkonen’s slump caused by the worn rubber continued as Fernando Alonso fought his way past Daniel Ricciardo, Adrian Sutil and the Finish Lotus driver, dragging the British Mercedes AMG driver Lewis Hamilton with him. The two former Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team mates finished 0.6s apart, as Alonso snatched a podium finish from one of Ferrari’s toughest races of the season. Like Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel, who were also warned by their teams of imminent tire problems, he was lucky, reaching the pits for fresh rubber before suffering the same fate as Brazilian Scuderia Ferrari Felipe Massa.

The Brazilian Scuderia Ferrari Felipe Massa, like British Mercedes AMG driver Lewis Hamilton, started a superb recovery, aided in part by the safety-car deployments, and despite clear floor damage, was able to climb to sixth by the end ahead of Force India driver Adrian Sutil, who just kept Daniel Ricciardo at distance to the finish line.

Force India driver Paul di Resta went into his home Grand Prix looking for the sort of hard-tire run from the back of the field that he had enjoyed back in Canada, but this one was much less straightforward. In spite of all obstacles and difficulties, he managed to score an honorable ninth place from 21st on the grid, as Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg grabbed the final point ahead of the dueling Williams duo of Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas. The Williams drivers should have scored a better result to celebrate with Sir Frank Williams the 600th Formula 1 Grand Prix participation.

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes had another unsatisfactory afternoon; Jenson Button was in the points when the second safety car went in, but dramatically fell back from seventh to a disappointing 13th place by the finishing line.

Mexican Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Sergio Perez had also been a contender for essential points, running sixth behind the safety car before suffering his tire failure as the race resumed, which eventually forced McLaren to retire his MP4-28. Spanish Scuderia driver Fernando Alonso stated after the race, that he missed running into the back of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes of the Mexican driver by a centimeter as his tire exploded.

Esteban Gutierrez finished 14th for Sauber as Charles Pic maintained Caterham’s qualifying form to head home Marussia’s Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton, and team mate Giedo van der Garde.

French Lotus driver Romain Grosjean was another candidate to have been in the fight for points, before parking his car in the Lotus garage close to the end to join Sebastian Vettel and Jean-Eric Vergne, whose Toro Rosso had suffered damage during its tire- blow-out, in retirement.

As mentioned before, the result of the 2013 British Formula 1 Grand Prix fires up the fight for the 2013 Formula 1 drivers' championship. SebastianVettel still leads on 132 points, to Fernando Alonso with 111 to Kimi Raikkonen on 98, then Lewis Hamilton on 89, Mark Webber on 87 and Nico Rosberg on 82.

In the 2013 Formula 1 constructors championship, Red Bull have 219 to Mercedes AMG's 171, Scuderia Ferrari’s 168, Lotus’s 124, Force India’s 59 and Vodafone McLaren Mercedes' 37.

Silverstone - Abu Dhabi - Cairo

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