• British Grand Prix

Webber hits back with commanding win

ESPNF1 Staff
July 11, 2010

Mark Webber put his disappointment of Saturday behind him with a barnstorming performance to win the British Grand Prix, dominating from the moment he beat team-mate Sebastian Vettel into the first corner. The gap between him and second-place Lewis Hamilton was five seconds, but had it not been for a safety-car period it would have been far bigger.

In trying to ensure Hamilton did not pass him, Vettel touched wheels with the McLaren in the first corner and headed off with damage to his rear wheel. He battled back through the field to finish seventh.

Behind Webber, who reeled off a succession of fastest laps, Lewis Hamilton exceeded his expectations by taking second, while Jenson Button produced if anything a better drive in taking fourth after starting in 14th and yesterday describing his car as "undriveable".

Nico Rosberg separated the McLarens in taking the third podium spot, keeping out of trouble from start to finish after a good getaway from the grid. Rubens Barrichello impressed to finish fifth for Williams at its home race, ahead of an equally heartening performance by Kamui Kobayashi in the Sauber.

Vettel's drive through the field to seventh was impressive and required bold overtaking manoeuvres on Adrian Sutil, Michael Schumacher and Nico Hulkenberg among others. He was undoubtedly helped by the safety car bunching up the pack, but did very well to manage a set of hard tyres for the entire race. Sutil finished eighth ahead of Schumacher, who again struggled and fell back down the field after a good start.

Not for the first time Fernando Alonso was left fuming after stewards hit him with a controversial drive-through penalty for cutting a corner when passing Robert Kubica. The Ferrari team were then told that Alonso had to let the Renault back through but by that time Kubica had retired with a seized differential. As a result the stewards decided the best course of action was to issue Alonso with a penalty, but the situation was made several times worse for the Spaniard when the safety car came out and bunched up the pack behind him. As a result, when he came into the pits to serve his punishment he dropped down to 15th and out of contention for points.

He then started a spirited drive back through the field, but even that was cut short when Tonio Liuzzi tagged his left-rear tyre as he passed him and punctured it. Felipe Massa in the other Ferrari also had a terrible race, after contact with Alonso at the start shredded his right-rear tyre. He made some progress back through the field but a spin 12 laps from the end forced him to pit again for tyres and meant he finished the race 15th. As if to prove a point, Alonso set the fastest lap of the race on his last lap.

Behind Massa, the two Lotuses finished a lap down but ahead of Timo Glock in the Virgin and the two HRTs of Karun Chandhok and Sakon Yamamoto. Among the DNFs, Pedro de la Rosa retired with disintegrating rear bodywork (which caused the safety car), Jaime Alguersuari beached his Toro Rosso in the gravel at Luffield and Lucas di Grassi retired with a mechanical problem.

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