Force India fail to score at Silverstone: Webber upsets British fans

Australian Mark Webber snatched his second win this season at the Formula 1 British Grand Prix at Silverstone earlier today. Starting alongside Ferrari’s Alonso, who lead for most of the time after starting from pole, Webber and his Red Bull team mates managed to outrun their Ferrari counterparts, thanks to tyre wear on Alonso’s car. This is Webber’s second victory at Silverstone, which is also very close to his home.

After the race, Webber said, “He said: “I’ve had a few [wins], but this one is taking a little bit to sink in. It didn’t look like a spectacular race between us initially, but it was one – pacing the stints on the tyres, Fernando starting on the harder tyre… After the first stint Fernando had I thought he was in good shape to close the win out. But it came our way and I am absolutely over the moon, absolutely rapt. I had a single opportunity to pounce and I wasn’t going to let that slip. Fernando, with the front-left tyre, if you lose balance around this place, the speed is very high in that [second] sector and it’s very hard for the driver to do something. It was obvious he was pushing as hard as possible but the balance wasn’t with him.”

Alonso said: “The victory was quite close today, but Mark was much quicker in the last laps and he deserves the victory. But I am very proud of the progress Ferrari have made in the last few weeks and we are now fighting for victories in the last few races.”

British fans were left heartbroken as they had hoped for a British driver to win at Silverstone. But the three, British drivers – Hamilton, Button and Paul di Resta were no where close to winning today, Hamilton finished 8th, Button 10th, while Paul di Resta had to retire in the first lap itself after he got his tire punctured in a contact. Force India too had a bad day as their other driver, Nico Hulkenberg was not able to push for a top ten finish in the end due to tyre wear.

Nico Hulkenberg – 12th: “It was a tough race today, especially because my car was set up to favour wet conditions. That helped us yesterday, but hurt my top speed this afternoon. There were always cars around me in the race, especially in the final few laps when I had to defend from Bruno and Jenson, and I could not afford to make any mistakes. Unfortunately I locked up the rears going into turn three with two laps to go and that gave Bruno the chance to get ahead of me in the DRS zone. It’s frustrating to lose points so close to the finish but my tyres were running out of performance and the car was not easy to drive in the final stint.”

Paul di Resta – DNF: “I’m not really sure what happened. I just turned into turn four and there was no pressure in the right rear tyre so it was clearly punctured and coming off the rim. All I could do was bring the car back to the pits, but there was quite a lot of damage to the floor. I took some fresh tyres and went back out, but I was missing a lot of downforce and I went off the track at Becketts. So the team made the call to retire the car. I’m very disappointed because we took a gamble yesterday by running a dry set-up and the conditions today would have been ideal for us. On a positive note I want to say a big ‘thank you’ to the fans who have put up with the weather and shown amazing support all week.”

Dr Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director: “We should have scored points today so we leave our local race feeling disappointed. Nico drove a strong race and looked set for ninth, but we lost out to Senna with a couple of laps to go. Unfortunately in his eagerness to regain the spot Nico ran wide at Copse corner and dropped out of the points, which is frustrating. I’m also disappointed for Paul who retired after just a couple of laps. His car would have been well suited to the dry conditions today and we never got a chance to see what he could do in front of his home crowd. It’s still unclear what caused the puncture, but we suspect contact in the first couple of corners.”

2012 Formula One British Grand Prix Final Results

1 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault (4)
2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari (1)
3 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault (RET)
4 Felipe Massa Ferrari (16)
5 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault (2)
6 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault (RET)
7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes (3)
8 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (19)
9 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault (10)
10 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes (8)
11 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari (RET)
12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes (5)
13 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari (11)
14 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari (RET)
15 Nico Rosberg Mercedes (6)
16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault (12)
17 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault (14)
18 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth (DNS)
19 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth (15)
20 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth (17)
21 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth (18)
RET Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari (9)
RET Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes (7)
RET Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault (13)

Note – Figure in brackets, is qualifying position of the respective driver in previous F1 race this season.

2012 F1 DRIVERS’ STANDINGS after British Grand Prix

1 Fernando Alonso Ferrari – 129
2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault – 116
3 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault – 100
4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes – 92
5 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault – 83
6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes – 75
7 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault – 61
8 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes – 50
9 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari – 39
10 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault – 29
11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes – 27
12 Michael Schumacher Mercedes – 23
13 Felipe Massa Ferrari – 23
14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari – 21
15 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault – 18
16 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes – 17
17 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari – 4
18 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari – 2
19 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault – 0
20 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth – 0
21 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth – 0
22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth – 0
23 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault – 0
24 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth – 0

2012 F1 CONSTRUCTORS’ STANDINGS after British Grand Prix

1 Red Bull – 216
2 Ferrari – 152
3 Lotus Renault – 144
4 McLaren Mercedes – 142
5 Mercedes – 98
6 Sauber-Ferrari – 60
7 Williams-Renault – 47
8 Force India-Mercedes – 44
9 Toro Rosso STR Ferrari – 6
10 Caterham-Renault – 0
11 Marussia-Cosworth – 0
12 HRT-Cosworth – 0