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Posts tagged “Jenson Button

Why Michael Schumacher Could Win The 2011 World Championship

Michael Schumacher’s 2010 comeback was somewhat abortive.  The results, the driving standard and the overtakes were well below par for the former champion.  He even let his team mate beat him for the first time in his career.  So why can Schumacher, the fallen Ferrari hero, win the world championship for an 8th time?

It’s still the same Michael Schumacher

Indeed, we saw glimpses of it last season.  The passion, and the desire to do well.  He was racing on the ragged edge, braking as late – if not later – than anyone else.  The trouble was, he didn’t have the car underneath him to be able to win.  It took him a while to get reacquainted, but in truth it would take anyone a while to get used to be these new cars.

The 2011 car will be built around him

Sorry Rosberg fans, the fact is – Schumacher & Brawn will be running the show at Mercedes Benz.  Let’s not forget, they are paying Michael an arm and a leg to race for them.  He will design the car around him, something he didn’t get chance to do last season.  He also has an entire year of racing with the wide nosed, tall winged cars so has plenty of data and ideas to call upon when constructing the new vehicle.  An insider has already said that downforce and grip levels on the simulator are exceeding expectations.  Not a bad start?

Pirelli Tyres

Yep, the great big unknown means it’s all a level playing field this season.  No-one knows much about Pirelli just yet, so it’s a fair and even start for all the drivers.  It’s about adaptability, and we know deep down inside the 42 year old he can adapt.  He also looked quick in the 2010 car on 2011 rubber.

Less expectation than last year

At the start of 2010, we all expected the Schumacher from 2006 to jump behind the wheel and immediately win.  Let’s not forget here, 2005 and 2006 were barren seasons for Schumacher – he walked away with nothing.  He was in decline, so why did we expect him to be immediately brilliant?  I was and still am a Schumacher fan, but I knew he was not as good as he used to be.  This year he will have less expectation than before.  We’re all used to him driving and Germany has a new world champion to thrust under the spotlight at every opportunity in Sebastian Vettel.

Other drivers still fear him


When the red baron’s helmet is filling your wing mirrors, surely it must make your heart beat twice as fast.  Fernando Alonso has already said he fears Schumacher the most for 2011

“There will be five world champions on the track and the most dangerous champion for me is always Michael.  Now in January if I have to choose one name I have to say Michael. He is seven-time champion, he has nothing to prove. He had a difficult season but he is still a champion. N He is still super class and if the car is right he will be a contender,”

BUT

Its not all going in Schumacher’s favour.   Michael is a lot older than any of the other title contenders now, and that could be his downfall.  Not suggesting he isn’t fit, he is probably more athletic now than he was before – but age is still a factor.  Red Bull are not suddenly going to be slow, they just aren’t.  Not with Vettel and Newey onboard.  Ferrari and Alonso will be desperate for the title.  McLaren have two world champions driving for them.  Oh and there’s the small matter of the fact Nico Rosberg was better than Michael last season.

Nevertheless, as an outside bet – you could do a lot worse than Michael.

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Button Steps Up Pre Season Training With Lance Armstrong

Jenson Button teamed up with record breaking cyclist Lance Armstrong, as he continues to prepare for another Formula One season.

The McLaren driver excitedly tweeted that he would be riding with Armstrong, the 7 time Tour de France winner, in Hawaii.

Armstrong responded via Twitter “I hope he doesn’t ride as srong as he drives F1 cars…!”

Lance Armstrong is of course famous too for the Livestrong brand, something he set up after being diagnosed with cancer – and suriving – himself.  The yellow colour of the leader of the Tour de France is replicated in the charities products, most notably in the yellow wristbands.

Lance Armstrong @ the 2006 Indianapolis 500


Autosport International Show 2011 – What Better Way To Start The New Season!

Autosport, the leading motor racing magazine organises and sponsors one of the biggest motorsport shows of the year every January.  The Autosport International Show is held at the NEC in Birmingham, England and is seen traditionally as “the start of the motor racing season”.

For 2011, the show promises to be bigger and better than ever, and just for you readers on The F1Fanatics Blog we have a special preview of the event for you!

In addition to the masses of motorsport teams, clubs and suppliers that will be showing displays of their equipment and cars over the 4 days in Birmingham, there is a fantastic chance to meet some of your heroes.  In the past such names as Murray Walker, Jenson Button, Andy Priaulx, James Thompson, Gary Paffett and Sir Stirling Moss have been in attendance.  Already confirmed for the 2011 show are Walker, Martin Brundle and Jake Humphrey from BBC F1 and there will be many more drivers happy to come and have autographs and photos with the fans.

Murray Walker answers questions from the fans

On top of this, many of the stars will be taking part in the Fifth Gear Live action arena show, included with the tickets its a chance to see different cars from all forms of motorsport take to the indoor arena track.  This year Tiff Nedell and Jason Plato (BTCC Champion) will be running the excellent event.

Alongside the regular Formula One paddock which is a chance to see all of the 2010 F1 cars, this year there will be a special McLaren F1 display so you can see the likes of Mika Hakkinen and Niki Lauda’s cars from back in the day.  Recently confirmed was an exact replica of Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull RB6 world championship winning car, in its overall form so you can see what drove the young German to the title in Abu Dhabi.  It will even feature their trick diffuser but without the mechanics hiding it!

Last years championship winning Brawn GP 01 was a big attraction, Vettel's Red Bull will be this year too

All in all it is a fantastic event, one which I attend yearly.  If you can make it, check out: www.autosportinternational.com for tickets or if not stay tuned on The F1Fanatics Blog for many features before the show and a big summary of all of the events after we spend a whole day there looking for stars and their cars!

 


Abu Dhabi GP 2010: Vettel Takes Pole As Finale Hots Up

Sebastian Vettel has taken pole position for tomorrow’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as he tries to keep his title chances alive.  The German driver looked quick all through Q3 and did just enough to get into first.

Lewis Hamilton lines up second, he keeps the position after the stewards decided not to penalise him over an incident with Felipe Massa in Q2.  Team mate Jenson Button will start directly behind him on track in 4th.

In third place is Fernando Alonso.  The Ferrari isn’t as quick as the McLaren’s or Red Bull’s this weekend but the Spaniard did enough to slot himself right where he needs to be to win the world championship tomorrow.  Closest rival Webber starts only 5th.

If the race finished as the line up tomorrow, Alonso would be the world champion.

Pos  Driver       Car                  Q1         Q2         Q3
 1.  Vettel       Red Bull-Renault     1m40.318s  1m39.874s  1m39.394s
 2.  Hamilton     McLaren-Mercedes     1m40.335s  1m40.119s  1m39.425s
 3.  Alonso       Ferrari              1m40.170s  1m40.311s  1m39.792s
 4.  Button       McLaren-Mercedes     1m40.877s  1m40.014s  1m39.823s
 5.  Webber       Red Bull-Renault     1m40.690s  1m40.074s  1m39.925s
 6.  Massa        Ferrari              1m40.942s  1m40.323s  1m40.202s
 7.  Barrichello  Williams-Cosworth    1m40.904s  1m40.476s  1m40.203s
 8.  Schumacher   Mercedes             1m41.222s  1m40.452s  1m40.516s
 9.  Rosberg      Mercedes             1m40.231s  1m40.060s  1m40.589s
10.  Petrov       Renault              1m41.018s  1m40.658s  1m40.901s
11.  Kubica       Renault              1m41.336s  1m40.780s
12.  Kobayashi    Sauber-Ferrari       1m41.045s  1m40.783s
13.  Sutil        Force India-Ferrari  1m41.473s  1m40.914s
14.  Heidfeld     Sauber-Ferrari       1m41.409s  1m41.113s
15.  Hulkenberg   Williams-Cosworth    1m41.015s  1m41.418s
16.  Liuzzi       Force India-Ferrari  1m41.681s  1m41.642s
17.  Alguersuari  Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m41.707s  1m41.738s
18.  Buemi        Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m41.824s
19.  Trulli       Lotus-Cosworth       1m43.516s
20.  Kovalainen   Lotus-Cosworth       1m43.712s
21.  Glock        Virgin-Cosworth      1m44.095s
22.  di Grassi    Virgin-Cosworth      1m44.510s
23.  Senna        Hispania-Cosworth    1m45.085s
24.  Klien        Hispania-Cosworth    1m45.296s

 


Jenson Button Attacked By Armed Robbers In Brazil

Jenson Button has escaped injury after his car was attacked by armed men while he was leaving the Interlagos circuit in Brazil last night.  Some of the assailants were said to be carrying machine guns and baseball bats.

Button, the current reigning F1 world champion was travelling in an armoured Mercedes Benz with his father, personal trainer and manager when a group of men began to assault the vehicle.

Fortunately, the police trained driver managed to escape and all parties were unjnjured in the attack, if perhaps a little shaken.

A statement released by McLaren said: “On Saturday evening on the way back from the Interlagos circuit to Morumbi, armed would-be assailants made an attempt to approach the car that was carrying Jenson Button.

“Neither Jenson nor the other occupants of the car were hurt.

“Vodafone McLaren Mercedes had provided both Jenson and team-mate Lewis Hamilton with reinforced armoured vehicles driven by police drivers, who had been trained in avoidance techniques and were armed.

“The police driver of Jenson’s vehicle reacted swiftly and, using avoidance techniques, rapidly forced his way through the traffic, taking Jenson and the other occupants of the car immediately away from any danger and back to their hotel.”

Jenson Button later praised his driver as a “legend”.

Button’s manager, Richard Goodard who was also in the Mercedes said “We were about three or four minutes away from the circuit when the incident took place.

“I would suggest there were more than four or five guys, something along those lines, who emerged from a block of flats.

“I initially saw one guy carrying this piece of wood, a baseball bat kind of thing, but I didn’t spot the one who had a gun until someone pointed it out.  It was pulled, and that was it really. You didn’t really have time to think about what was happening.”

Armed incidents have become regular around race weekend in Brazil, but this is the first time in recent years an actual Formula One driver has been involved.  A couple of years ago, mechanics for the Toyota F1 team were targetted by armed robbers.  Murray Walker too has been attacked, and even national footballing hero Pele has been robbed at gunpoint.

Murray Walker told BBC “There are parts of Sao Paulo which are extremely violent, and [the city] has extremes of great wealth and extreme poverty.”

“I suspect that’s where it happened to Jenson, and naturally the people who are in the favelas see these obviously very wealthy people driving away from the circuit and they know they’ve got a lot of money, and they know they’ve got watches and things on them and that’s what they’re after presumably.”

McLaren have said they will be stepping up security even further as a result of the incident.


Japanese GP 2010: Vettel Wins Japanese Grand Prix As Title Stays Wide Open

Sebastian Vettel took the flag and the full 25 points in a thrilling Japanese Grand Prix from Suzuka.  The Red Bull driver led his team mate, Mark Webber over the line.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso finished in 3rd.

Race Review

There was carnage before the start of the race today, when on the way to the dummy grid Lucas di Grassi lost control of his Virgin and smashed into the wall at the 130R.  The Brazilian got out of the wrecked VR01 unscathed, but his chances of retaining that race seat for next year are looking slimmer.  A shame for the Brazilian as he had enjoyed a good weekend, out qualifying Timo Glock.

The start of the real race wasn’t much better either, a charging Vitaly Petrov cut across the front of Nico Hulkenburg and smashed into the wall in front of the main grandstand.  He was out, along with the Williams driver whose car had multiple bits of large damage.

Felipe Massa got caught up in the action too, he went too hot into turn 1, and ended up on the grass.  Out of control he slammed straight into Vitantonio Liuzzi’s Force India, wrecking the Mercedes engined machine and knocking them both out of the race.

A safety car was called for due to all the carnage.  There was more excitement when that was out as Robert Kubica’s Renault decided to part company with its rear right tyre as he approached the hairpin, the Pole retiring from the race after just a handful of laps.  A shame for the Enstone based team, as he had been running in 2nd.

From there on though, the action did slow a little.  Red Bull really ran away with the race at the front, with Fernando Alonso clinging on to third place for dear life.

Jenson Button decided to start on the harder prime tyre and ran longer, allowing him a 10 lap or so opportunity to lead the Grand Prix.  When he emerged from the pitlane he was behind team mate Lewis Hamilton down in 5th.  Hamilton had been racing forward to try and catch Fernando Alonso after his pitstop, but he couldn’t make it and would have to settle for 4th on a poor weekend for the 2008 champion.

Further down field, Michael Schumacher was having a heck of a good Grand Prix.  Having already pulled a lovely overtake on former team mate Rubens Barrichello, the Silver Baron as he is now known, was hassling team mate Rosberg.  He really tried to get passed, some lovely slipstreaming and racing for many laps.  A hint of the Michael of old there, perhaps he is beginning to find form – hopefully he can carry it through to 2011.  Sadly though the fight between Rosberg and Schumacher was cut short when Rosberg smashed into the barriers on the Esses.

Home favourite Kamui Kobayashi had a GP to remember too, passing people left right and centre.  He eventually finished 7th, with some questionable barging and slipstreaming moves.  I think he had been playing F1 2010 on the Xbox before getting in the car today!

So as Vettel took the flag, the championship fight remains wide open.  Its Webber’s to lose now, as we head into the final 3 rounds of the year.  Hopefully, Korea’s circuit will be finished by the time the circus arrives in 2 weeks…

Race Results

Pos Driver Team Time
1 S. Vettel Red Bull Renault 1.30.27.323
2 M. Webber Red Bull Renault +0.905
3 F. Alonso Ferrari +2.721
4 L. Hamilton McLaren Mercedes +13.522
5 J. Button McLaren Mercedes +39.595
6 M. Schumacher Mercedes +59.933
7 K. Kobayashi Sauber Ferrari +1.04.038
8 N. Heidfeld Sauber Ferrari +1.09.648
9 R. Barrichello Williams Cosworth +1.10.846
10 S. Buemi Toro Rosso Ferrari +1.12.806
11 J. Alguersuari Toro Rosso Ferrari +1 lap
12 H. Kovalainen Lotus Cosworth +1 lap
13 J. Trulli Lotus Cosworth +2 laps
14 T. Glock Virgin Cosworth +2 laps
15 B. Senna HRT Cosworth +2 laps
16 S. Yamamoto HRT Cosworth +3 laps

Retirements

Driver Team Lap Reason
N. Rosberg Mercedes 48 Crash
A  Sutil Force India Mercedes 45 Engine Failure
R. Kubica Renault 4 Rear Tyre Failure
N. Hulkenberg Williams Cosworth 0 Crash
F. Massa Ferrari 0 Crash
V. Petrov Renault 0 Crash
V. Liuzzi Force India Mercedes 0 Crash
L. di Grassi Virgin Cosworth 0 Crash – Pre Race




Button Relaxed About The Championship Ahead Of Final Rounds

Jenson Button has declared himself relaxed and happy ahead of the final rounds of the 2010 F1 Season.

The 2009 World Champion is still in the hunt for the 2010 title but finds himself at the back of a competitive group of drivers with Mark Webber, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel all vying to become champion.

“Confident. Relaxed. Happy. Yeah – I can put it in perspective: for the second year running, I’m right in the hunt for the world championship.

“I’m already the world champion and I’ve still got every chance of holding on to my title. That’s what I’m in Formula 1 to do, and that’s why I signed for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes; to have that opportunity.”


Hungarian GP 2010: Webber Wins As Strategy Pays Off

Mark Webber took victory in today’s Hungarian Grand Prix thanks to a good strategy and some fantastic laps following a safety car period which turned the race from sedate to absolute chaos.

Fernando Alonso came home in 2nd place, a good points haul for the Ferrari driver while pole position sitter Sebastian Vettel failed to convert his grid place into a race win.

Race Review

Hungarian Grand Prix are not known to be particularly exciting, and following the first few laps it looked like nothing would be different today.  Jaime Alguerusari was an early retirement thanks to a major engine failure, and to add insult to injury the young Spaniard dropped oil all over the circuit.

Sebastian Vettel provided majority of the early entertainment with some scorching laps, pulling away from Fernando Alonso who had the pick of the starts slotting himself ahead of Mark Webber despite being on the dirty side of the grid.

Another notable start was from Vitaly Petrov, the young Russian who managed to get ahead of Lewis Hamilton.  He slid off and threw that away though, but it was promising from him, we like his style.

On lap 13, a piece of Tonio Liuzzi’s front wing came off and a safety car was called out to retrieve it.  Vettel’s lead was gone and everyone dived into the pits.  Chaos ensued, with Robert Kubica being let out of his pit box straight into the path of Adrian Sutil.  They collided, Kubica would later be penalised with a 10 second stop/go.  While this was going on, Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes parted company with its rear right tyre which bounded down the pitlane at high speed, missing mechanics, hitting one and eventually being caught by a brave Sauber man.  Unbelieveable stuff.

Mark Webber chose not to pit, and with some help from Vettel backing the pack up the Australian pulled away, his soft compound Bridgestone’s lasting longer and longer.

Vettel was then given a penalty for not staying close enough to the safety car, exceeding 10 car lengths.  He had to serve a drive through penalty, something the young German was not happy about.  He flailed his arms around like a baby throwing its toys out of the pram – not very sportsman like.  Still, this meant he was now down to third and with easily the fastest car he set about chasing Fernando Alonso.

However despite catching him rather quickly, Vettel was unable to dispatch the Ferrari of Alonso and eventually finished 3rd.  Alonso’s team mate, Felipe Massa, finished 4th a good points haul for the Scuderia.

Right at the end of the race we had an exciting battle with old wounds being opened, between Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello.  The Brazilian fought to get passed Schumacher, his former team mate and arch nemesis and with a handful of laps to go he tried to squeeze down the inside of Michael.  Schumacher, in typical style, forced Rubens into a corner and gave him just enough room.  At about 200mph, Barrichello was milimeters away from hitting the pitwall, a manoeuvre that he called “Erratic” and “Ridiculous”.  However Schumacher defended the move, and has been handed a 10 place grid penalty for the next race.

Webber’s win puts him right back in it thanks to Lewis Hamilton’s break down.  It means that Alonso too is only a matter of points away from the top, as Red Bull and Ferrari slog it out at the top.  McLaren will certainly be hoping for a turn in their fortunes after the summer break.

Race Result

Pos Driver Team Time
1 M. Webber Red Bull Renault 1.41.05.571
2 F. Alonso Ferrari +17.821
3 S. Vettel Red Bull Renault +19.252
4 F. Massa Ferrari +27.474
5 V. Petrov Renault +1.13.100
6 N. Hulkenberg Williams Cosworth +1.16.700
7 P. De la Rosa Sauber Ferrari +1 lap
8 J. Button McLaren Mercedes +1 lap
9 K. Kobayashi Sauber Ferrari +1 lap
10 R. Barrichello Williams Cosworth +1 lap
11 M. Schumacher Mercedes +1 lap
12 S. Buemi Toro Rosso Ferrari +1 lap
13 V. Liuzzi Force India Mercedes +1 lap
14 H. Kovalainen Lotus Cosworth +3 laps
15 J. Trulli Lotus Cosworth +3 laps
16 T. Glock Virgin Cosworth +3 laps
17 B. Senna Hispania Cosworth +3 laps
18 L. di Grassi Virgin Cosworth +4 laps
19 S. Yamamoto Hispania Cosworth +4 laps

Retirements

Driver Team Lap Reason
L. Hamilton McLaren Mercedes 25 Gearbox
R. Kubica Renault 25 Unknown
N. Rosberg Mercedes 17 Wheel Failure – Pitlane
A Sutil Force India Mercedes 17 Pitlane Incident
J. Alguersuari Toro Rosso Ferrari 2 Engine Failure

Penalties – Post Race

Team/Driver Penalty Reason
M. Schumacher 10 Place Grid – Next Race Dangerous Driving
Mercedes Benz $50,000 Fine Wheel falling off Rosberg’s Car
Renault $50,000 Fine Releasing Kubica into Sutil’s path causing accident in pit

German GP 2010: Alonso Takes Controversial Victory – Ferrari Fined For Team Orders

Fernando Alonso has won today’s German Grand Prix at Hockenheim in highly controversial circumstances following team orders which led to Brazilian team mate Felipe Massa yielding the lead to Alonso.

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel was 3rd.

Race Review

Sebastian Vettel got a poor start off the line unlike Fernando Alonso but the German forced Alonso right into the wall of the pit straight.  However the young German ignored Felipe Massa who took the lead, and some how Alonso managed to keep 2nd place.

Lewis Hamilton had a good start and jumped both Jenson Button and Mark Webber.

Immediately there was action and drama with overtaking and break downs.  A proper classic race circuit in Hockenheim, albeit not the original track, was on for providing us with a classic.

Jarno Trulli had gearbox issues which really destroyed any chances of a good result for him and he made it back to the pits eventually.  Down at the hairpin turn 6, Jaime Alguersuari back ended team mate Sebastian Buemi the Swiss driver lost his rear wing and was forced to retire immediately.

Adrian Sutil had a problem too and the German dived into the pits.  Moments later Liuzzi pitted too, and it was only many laps later we learnt that the team had been expecting the cars in a different order hence why a front wing was ready for Sutil when he didn’t need one.  This meant that Sutil had Liuzzi’s tyres and Liuzzi had Sutil’s.  A bit of a blooper from Force India who had been proving themselves a point scoring team this season.  The drivers pitted to swap as the rules stated.

Following the pit stops of the front runners, all except Jenson Button who went for a long run, Fernando Alonso was heavily hassling Felipe Massa who was clearly struggling with the hard tyre.  The Spaniard was trying everything to pass, including an audacious move between Massa and back marker Sakon Yamamoto but couldn’t make it stick.

Further back, home hero Michael Schumacher was struggling to pass Robert Kubica but the German finally appeared to have some race spirit back.

Sauber’s Pedro de La Rosa had a crazy race full of overtakes and bumping with other cars, but he only managed 13th in the end.  With Kobayashi 11th, neither Sauber managed points on Sauber’s 40th anniversary in motorsport.

It had been a mildly exciting race up until now but the best was yet to come.  For the first time in a long time, clear team orders were asked of Felipe Massa.  Massa himself now denies the team asked him to move aside, and that he told his engineer he wanted Alonso past.  Massa appeared to have a slow get away from the hairpin and Alonso slipped passed.  It was a bad moment for Ferrari according to many, most comparing it to 2002 in Austria.

Alonso went on to win the race, and Massa held on to second and Vettel made third.  Hamilton was 4th and Button was 5th, points again for McLaren who now have 300 in the constructors title.

Webber was 6th, although he had an oil consumption problem.  It will be interesting to see if that affects the engine next week.

With regard the Ferrari team order situation, the team have been fined $100,000 and will have to appear in front of the World Motorsport Council.  The classification remains unchanged.

Race Result – POST FIA

Pos Driver Team Time
1 F. Alonso Ferrari 1.28.38.866
2 F. Massa Ferrari +4.196
3 S. Vettel Red Bull Renault +5.121
4 L. Hamilton McLaren Mercedes +26.869
5 J. Button McLaren Mercedes +29.482
6 M. Webber Red Bull Renault +43.606
7 R. Kubica Renault +1 lap
8 N. Rosberg Mercedes Benz +1 lap
9 M. Schumacher Mercedes Benz +1 lap
10 V. Petrov Renault +1 lap
11 K. Kobayashi Sauber Ferrari +1 lap
12 R. Barrichello Williams Cosworth +1 lap
13 N. Hulkenberg Williams Cosworth +1 lap
14 P. De la Rosa Sauber Ferrari +1 lap
15 J. Alguersuari Toro Rosso Ferrari +1 lap
16 V. Liuzzi Force India Mercedes +2 laps
17 A  Sutil Force India Mercedes +2 laps
18 T. Glock Virgin Cosworth +3 laps
19 B. Senna Hispania Cosworth +4 laps

Retirements

Driver Team Lap Reason
H. Kovalainen Lotus Cosworth 58 Unknown
L. di Grassi Virgin Cosworth 51 Failure following spin
S. Yamamoto Hispania Cosworth 20 Unknown
J. Trulli Lotus Cosworth 4 Gearbox
S. Buemi Toro Rosso Ferrari 1 Rear wing

Post Race Penalties

Scuderia Ferrari – $100,000 for bringing the sport into disrepute through team orders

Heikki Kovalainen – Reprimand, no penalty due to incident with De la Rosa

Force India – Reprimand, no penalty for giving drivers wrong tyres


British GP 2010: Webber Wins As Ferrari Stung Again

Mark Webber took a commanding victory today at Silverstone in the wake of controversy surrounding his status at the team.  Webber believes he should have not had his new front wing taken off him and handed to Sebastian Vettel, believing the team were favouring the young German.

However all that emotion that was so clear on the Australian’s face yesterday was saved for the first corner where he forced Vettel off the circuit onto the run off at turn one, where Vettel’s luck ran out and he got a puncture.

It was all going on at the back too, with Alonso’s poor start hampering him down the field, before he made contact with team mate Felipe Massa who joined Vettel at the back with a puncture on his Ferrari F10.  Michael Schumacher made it up 3 places to 7th too.

Hamilton was hassling Webber in 2nd, and their pace was surprisingly good as they racked home fastest laps.  They pulled well clear of Kubica, Rosberg and Alonso who formed the front of a long processional line of traffic that was only broken by the first round of pit stops.

Schumacher gambled on an early stop which didn’t pay off, his team mate Rosberg’s strategy to stay out longer than Alonso and Kubica who pitted one lap after Michael, worked a treat and the young German found himself in 3rd position.

Alonso closed the gap significantly to Kubica and as the pair came into Vale, Alonso dived around the outside, but Kubica forced Fernando off the circuit.  However Alonso was still in front as he rejoined at Club, where he stayed as Robert Kubica’s Renault gave up with a differential problem and he retired.  However, course steward Nigel Mansell believed Alonso had cut the circuit – not avoiding an accident as the majority of viewers, and former driver Martin Brundle believed, and Alonso got a drive through penalty which he had to serve straight after a safety car period so the Spaniard once again got heavily stung by the FIA.

The safety car was brought out by a battle between Liuzzi and De la Rosa.  The Italian tagged the rear of the Sauber and the rear wing disintegrated on the Hangar Straight.  It brought the new safety car rules into play, with the SLS AMG Mercedes of Bernd Maylander waiting to pick up the lead car, there was confusion and many backmarkers ended up getting in the way – the new rules might need to be tweaked again.

Further back, Sebastian Vettel was tearing through the field, and would go on to score points passing German rivals Michael Schumacher and Adrian Sutil.  Schumacher had a slightly better weekend, but the former 7 time world champion really hasn’t dialled down back to his great racing of the past just yet.

Liuzzi later tagged Alonso giving him a puncture and putting the icing on a failure cake for Ferrari – neither car ended up in the points.

Rubens Barrichello had a stellar day though for Williams, their second consecutive high point score.

Race Results

Pos Driver Team Time
1 M. Webber Red Bull Renault 1.24.38.200
2 L. Hamilton McLaren Mercedes +1.360
3 N. Rosberg Mercedes GP +21.307
4 J. Button McLaren Mercedes +21.968
5 R. Barrichello Williams Cosworth +31.456
6 K. Kobayashi Sauber Ferrari +32.171
7 S. Vettel Red Bull Renault +36.734
8 A  Sutil Force India Mercedes +40.932
9 M. Schumacher Mercedes GP +41.599
10 N. Hulkenberg Williams Cosworth +42.012
11 V. Liuzzi Force India Mercedes +42.459
12 S. Buemi Toro Rosso Ferrari +47.627
13 V. Petrov Renault +59.374
14 F. Alonso Ferrari +1.02.385
15 F. Massa Ferrari +1.07.489
16 J. Trulli Lotus +1 lap
17 H. Kovalainen Lotus +1 lap
18 T. Glock Virgin Cosworth +1 lap
19 K. Chandhok Hispania +2 laps
20 S. Yamamoto Hispania +2 laps

Retirements

Driver Team Lap Reason
J. Alguersuari Toro Rosso Ferrari 45 Crash
P. De la Rosa Sauber Ferrari 30 Rear wing failure
R. Kubica Renault 20 Differential
L. Di Grassi Virgin Cosworth 10 Hydraulic

MW