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British Grand Prix: Webber storms to British GP win

British Grand Prix

Highlights - British Grand Prix

By Andrew Benson
BBC Sport at Silverstone

Red Bull's Mark Webber cruised to a dominant victory in the British Grand Prix from McLaren's Lewis Hamilton.

The Australian took the lead at the start after making a better getaway than team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

Vettel's attempt to retain the lead around the outside of Copse led to a puncture that ruined his race.

Hamilton seized second after a poor start by Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, while Mercedes' Nico Rosberg was third ahead of McLaren's Jenson Button.

Webber said over the team radio: "Not bad for a number two driver."

Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber

Frantic start to British Grand Prix

That was a reference to his unhappiness over the team's decision to take the only remaining new front wing off his car and give it to Vettel ahead of qualifying on Saturday.

The result extends Hamilton's lead over Button in the world championship to 12 points, the equivalent of a fourth place.

Webber is third, 17 points behind Hamilton, with Vettel - who finished seventh - fourth in the title race a further seven adrift of his team-mate.

The race - held in front of a crowd of 115,000, with 305,000 turning up over the three days of the weekend - was decided by Webber's brilliant start from the inside, more slippery side of the grid.

Vettel squeezed him as they ran towards Copse corner and the German then tried to sit it out with Webber around the outside of the 180mph bend.

His right rear tyre was nudged slightly by Hamilton as they went through the corner and Vettel ran off the track over the kerbs over the outside, one of the incidents causing a puncture that put him to the back of the field.

ANDREW BENSON'S BLOG

The stop to change tyres was his only pit stop and Vettel recovered well to finish seventh, passing Force India's Adrian Sutil with just over a lap to go.

Informed of Webber's "number two driver" comment, Vettel's response hinted at tension between the two team-mates.

"Obviously I focus on myself and so does he I guess," said Vettel.

"Especially after what happened in the past people have different opinions. I have opinions, I have my experiences and sometimes, good and bad, you get to know people a little better and see their true faces. So I think I have learned my lesson and focus on myself."

Hamilton stuck within two seconds of Webber for the first six laps, but the Red Bull driver than began inexorably to draw away into the lead, setting a succession of fastest laps.

Mark Webber

Webber cools talk of Red Bull 'rift'

"There's a bloke upstairs every now and again," Webber said. "I did the best job I could today and it worked out OK.

"I made a good start and was very keen obviously to make it my corner and it worked out OK for me.

"It was a good fight with Lewis. It was enjoyable, particularly the first part of the GP.

"It's very special for me to win here - it's been a special track for me and to win here and be alongside these guys (Hamilton and Rosberg) is amazing."

Hamilton added: "I don't think it's a miracle result, it's a reflection of all the hard work the team put in. The car was nice to drive. It wasn't as quick as these guys, but we did the best job with the package we had.

"The Red Bulls are just so fast. I knew I wouldn't be able to outpace them. I tried hard in the first few laps, I was flat out, but he just kept on creeping away."

Webber and Hamilton quickly pulled away into a race of their own as Kubica, who had moved up from sixth to third at the start, held up Rosberg and Alonso, who made a poor start from third on the grid in the race's second fastest car.

Within five laps, Williams's Rubens Barrichello, Mercedes's Michael Schumacher, Button and Kamui Kobayashi's Sauber joined them in the queue behind the Renault.

Nico Rosberg

Rosberg like 'psychic octopus'

Button was able to move up the field after deciding to stay out for longer than most of the other leading drivers on his first set of tyres, with the world champion up to fifth after the pit stops were completed. That became fourth after a controversial penalty for Alonso.

The Spaniard had a terrible race that was a huge blow to his title chances.

His poor start - which was caused by a faulty clutch - dropped him to fifth on the first lap behind Webber, Hamilton, Renault's Robert Kubica and Rosberg.

He was then given a drive-through penalty for overtaking Kubica while off the track and gaining an advantage.

He had tried to overtake Kubica around the outside of Brooklands corner, but the Pole ran his car to the outside of the track, putting Alonso off the circuit.

He passed Kubica as he rejoined the track at the next corner, Luffield. The stewards initially decided to order Alonso to give the place back to Kubica, but before he could the Renault retired and the penalty was changed into a drive-through.

British Grand Prix - Top three drivers

British Grand Prix - Top three drivers

The timing of the penalty meant he had to serve it immediately after a safety car period, which was called on lap 27 to remove debris on the track, and it dropped him to 16th.

He eventually finished 14th after a late-race puncture caused when he was touched by Force India's Vitantonio Liuzzi as he passed the Italian for 11th place with three laps to go.

BBC analysts Martin Brundle and David Coulthard described the stewards' decision as "extremely harsh".

It was the second race in succession that Alonso has lost places controversially in connection with a stewards' decision and he is now 47 points - or nearly two wins - behind Hamilton in the championship.

Barrichello took fifth in the improved Williams, benefiting from a blown diffuser similar to the one McLaren failed to make work this weekend, ahead of Kobayashi, Vettel, Sutil, Schumacher and Barrichello's team-mate Nico Hulkenberg.



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British Grand Prix

RaceLast updated: 15 Nov 2012 12:32 UK
Position Country Driver Race Time
1 australia M Webber 1:24:38.200
2 great britain L Hamilton 1:24:39.560
3 germany N Rosberg 1:24:59.507
4 great britain J Button 1:25:00.186
5 brazil R Barrichello 1:25:09.656
6 japan K Kobayashi 1:25:10.371
7 germany S Vettel 1:25:14.934
8 germany A Sutil 1:25:19.132
9 germany M Schumacher 1:25:19.799
10 germany N Hulkenberg 1:25:20.212


see also
Webber revels in win over Vettel
11 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
Hamilton optimistic over upgrade
11 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
Alonso keeps counsel over penalty
11 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
British GP as it happened
11 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
British Grand Prix photos
11 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
Dominant Red Bulls take front row
10 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
My car was undriveable - Button
10 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
British GP qualifying as it happened
10 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
British Grand Prix qualifying results
24 Feb 10 |  Results
British Grand Prix practice results
24 Feb 10 |  Results
Highlights - British Grand Prix
11 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
British GP qualifying in photos
10 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
Webber heads British GP practice
09 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
McLaren to abandon major upgrade
09 Jul 10 |  Formula 1


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