The British GP was interesting. Aside from the rain, the FIA wanted to ban the off-throttle blown diffusers, which did not get banned in the end but must have caused both Red Bull’s and McLaren’s engineers sleepless nights prior to the race at Silverstone recently. The rain as usual caused some mightly fine racing with a lot of overtaking. Cars were side by side, tire to tire and tire to side-pod. It also made tire change strategy a major factor with drivers and teams predicting when was a good time to use slicks or intermediates.
And then there were the mishaps. Michael Schumacher started in 13th but made up four places in the opening laps. He however misjudged an overtaking maneuver in Lap 9, hit Kamui Kobayashi in the Sauber, causing the Sauber to spin and causing him to lose a front wing. Somehow he still managed to finish 9th after some amazing driving from 17th due to the necessary pit stop to repair his damaged front end. He could have come in 5th or 6th if not for the crash which also cost him a 10 second stop and go penalty. Quite good for a forty-something year old man racing against mostly twenty-something year old men, if I may say so.
The other big boo-boo happened to Jenson Button of McLaren. His pit crew bungled up big time as he was released by the lollipop man a big too early. The guy holding up the big stop sign in front of Button’s face misread the front jack man’s attempt to reach for the second hydraulic gun as an ‘all clear’. Button sped off with a loose wheelnut and by the end of the pit lane had to stop thereby ending his race. He was fourth, and it was a real waste. Even mishaps and mistakes happen to the top teams.
There was mighty fine racing right up to the end. 4th placed Lewis Hamilton was in an epic tussle with Felipe Massa of Ferrari. They ended up fighting to the last corner of the last lap when Massa lost control of the Ferrari at the very end allowing Hamilton to keep with 4th position. A one well worth it as Hamilton was actually asked to conserve fuel during the last ten laps, allowing Massa to creep up and then causing the Hamilton’s race engineer to allow Hamilton to start pushing again.
I have to say from the above that tactics and strategy, lack of fuel and luck came into play for this race. Red Bull was also unlucky as current point leader Sebastian Vettel had a very bad pit stop and was unable to get past Lewis Hamilton at one point in the race. This allowed Ferrari a win. The Ferrari also seemed pretty hooked up on the Pirelli intermediate tires more than the other teams and clearly looked like the fastest car at the race. It was a good, wet race at Silverstone.
01. Alonso Ferrari 1h28:41.194
02. Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 16.511
03. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 16.947
04. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 28.986
05. Massa Ferrari + 29.010
06. Rosberg Mercedes + 1:00.665
07. Perez Sauber-Ferrari + 1:05.590
08. Heidfeld Renault + 1:15.542
09. Schumacher Mercedes + 1:17.912
10. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1:19.108
11. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 1:19.712
12. Petrov Renault + 1:20.600
13. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth -1
14. Maldonado Williams-Cosworth -1
15. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes -1
16. Glock Virgin-Cosworth -2
17. D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth -2
18. Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth -2
19. Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth -3
Button McLaren-Mercedes -11
Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari -26
Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari -28
Trulli Lotus-Renault -41
Kovalainen Lotus-Renault -49