Radio Sandwell Sport

Nico Rosberg wins a dramatic British grand prix

2013-06-30 16:23:25

Nico Rosberg

Mercedes' Nico Rosberg held off Red Bull's Mark Webber to win a dramatic British Grand Prix overshadowed by a series of tyre failures.

In a race featuring two safety car interventions and tyre failures on five cars, Red Bull's championship leader Sebastian Vettel retired from the lead.

His rival Ferrari's Fernando Alonso fought up to third from ninth.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton dropped to last with tyre failure, but fought to fourth ahead of Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen.

Alonso's third-place finish combined with Vettel's retirement with a loss of drive cut the German's advantage in the championship to 21 points.

Raikkonen remains third but is now 11 points adrift of the Spaniard.

The race boiled down to a seven-lap sprint at the end following a safety car intervention to recover Vettel's Red Bull, which was stranded on the pit straight.

Rosberg was in the lead from Raikkonen and Force India's Adrian Sutil, with Webber fifth, Alonso eighth and Hamilton ninth.

Rosberg, Webber, Alonso and Hamilton were all on fresh tyres, the others around them not.

Webber passed Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo for fourth and then Sutil and Raikkonen on consecutive laps, and although he closed in on Rosberg the German held him off to win by 0.7 seconds.

Meanwhile, Alonso and Hamilton were scything through from eighth - to which he had dropped from fifth because his tyre stop had come just before the caution period, meaning he lost more time than the drivers who stopped only after the safety car was deployed.

But the thrill of the battle was overshadowed by a worrying sequence of tyres failures, all but one on the left-rear of the cars involved.

They affected Hamilton, Ferrari's Felipe Massa, Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne and McLaren's Sergio Perez, who had also had a similar failure in final practice.

There was a fifth failure, of the left-front tyre, on Esteban Gutierrez's Sauber.

McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale described the situation as "very concerning", adding: "We have to ensure racing is safe. We can't afford instantaneous failures like this."

Hamilton had earlier led away from pole, with Vettel passing Rosberg for second, only to suffer the first of the tyre failures on lap eight, going down the Wellington Straight. Massa's tyre failed two laps later, at Turn Four, a couple of hundred metres before Hamilton's.

That put Vettel into the lead, from which he controlled the race ahead of Rosberg, through and beyond the first safety car period triggered by the need to clear the debris left by Vergne's tyre failure.

More to follow.

Full race result

Source: bbc.co.uk

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