Webber the “number two” driver dominates British Grand Prix
Webber the “number two” driver dominates British Grand Prix
Posted By: James Allen  |  11 Jul 2010   |  3:15 pm GMT  |  165 comments

Mark Webber won the British Grand Prix today and afterwards radioed the team to say, “Not bad for a number two driver” – a comment on the anger he still clearly feels about the team switching the front wings yesterday before qualifying.

Lewis Hamilton had a very strong afternoon in the McLaren, finishing in second place despite the difficulties the team had this weekend with the blown diffuser package and with general handling problems. Nico Rosberg finished third.

It was also a great day for the revamped Silverstone circuit which showed that the changes really have promoted overtaking. There were some great passing moves throughout the race; into the new complex, into the revamped Brooklands and into Woodcote. A huge crowd over the three days, including a record 85,000 for practice on Friday was a further shot in the arm for the circuit, which 12 months ago thought it had hosted its last British Grand Prix.

Webber admitted that he had been very angry when the team switched the front wings yesterday and was very motivated today.
“I’ve had a few hurdles in my career. You judge a person’s character by how they come back from adversity,” he said. ” Yesterday I wasn’t happy, but today went well for me. Some of the drivers offered me their front wings on the drivers’ parade..Seb didn’t.”

He added that he would never have signed the contract renewal last month if he had thought he would get the number two treatment. He called it an “appointment with karma,” in other words what was wrong yesterday was put right today.

At the start, the cars on the dirty side of the grid generally got better starts. Webber passed Sebastian Vettel into the first corner, Vettel ran wide at Copse, after slight contact with the front wing of Hamilton’s car, which sliced his right rear tyre. Vettel then went off the track at Maggotts, getting a puncture in the process. Alonso got a poor start and was swallowed up by Hamilton, Kubica and Rosberg into the first corner. Massa’s front right wheel tagged the side of his team mate Fernando Alonso’s car, also getting a puncture.

Vettel switched to the hard tyre at his stop on lap one and was 84 seconds behind his team mate at the end of lap 2.

Button got a great start from 14th to 8th, as did Kobayashi who jumped from 12th to 9th. Barrichello was strong at the start and managed to get up to fifth place by mid-distance.

Webber piled on the pressure in the opening stint, but Hamilton did well to stay within three tenths of a second a lap, given how poor the handling of his McLaren had been in qualifying.

Kubica headed the pack behind, with Rosberg battling Alonso for fourth. Alonso pitted on lap 13 and tried to undercut Rosberg, but he went wide at Copse on his second lap out of the pits.

Rosberg tried a different tactic and pitted on lap 16. It worked and he rejoined ahead of Kubica in the final podium position. Kobayashi also jumped Schumacher in the stops.

Button had also tried the same tactic as Rosberg and stayed out until lap 22, he jumped Barrichello and Schumacher by doing so. It took him to fifth place, which became fourth when Alonso hit problems.

Alonso and Kubica got into a furious battle, Alonso passed him off the race track but argued that Kubica pushed him wide. Alonso was told to give the place back but he didn’t need to because soon afterwards Kubica retired with a rear axle problem. However the stewards decided that he had overtaken when off the road and was given a drive through penalty.

Alonso was very critical of the stewards in Valencia, after the incident with Lewis Hamilton passing the safety car, calling the result “manipulated”. Most observers felt that this decision against Alonso in Silverstone was harsh.

To make matters worse for Alonso a safety car was deployed on lap 29 before he served the penalty. So he had to take the penalty after the restart which dropped him right down the field.

The safety car was a blessing for Vettel, who managed to cut through the midfield after the restart passing plenty of cars. He had a great scrap with Schumacher for 8th place, failing to pass him the first time, but nailing him into Brooklands. He took seventh from Sutil just before the finish.

Ferrari took no points in their worst result of the season.

Webber had a lot to say about the number two treatment he received on Saturday and made it clear that he will not put up with that again in future. Another intense and heated discussion with the management is likely to take place this week and one wonders how sustainable the situation is between the two Red Bull drivers. This is a pressure cooker situation which needs a release from somewhere. What happened at Silverstone made the situation worse and it will be much harder for the team management to smooth this one out, not just with its drivers but also in terms of public perceptions.

BRITISH GRAND PRIX, Silverstone, 52 Laps
1. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1h24:38.200
2. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 1.360
3. Rosberg Mercedes + 21.307
4. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 21.986
5. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 31.456
6. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 32.171
7. Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 36.734
8. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 40.932
9. Schumacher Mercedes + 41.599
10. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth + 42.012
11. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes + 42.459
12. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 47.627
13. Petrov Renault + 59.374
14. Alonso Ferrari + 1:02.385
15. Massa Ferrari + 1:07.489
16. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth + 1 lap
17. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth + 1 lap
18. Glock Virgin-Cosworth + 1 lap
19. Chandhok HRT-Cosworth + 2 laps
20. Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth + 2 laps

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hi mark you win grad prix i my so happy for you i get your photos and i like to see you is a formual one for me i not like criminal minds mone i like you mark good luck to this yaer i hope you win



Can you explain the new rules related to the safety car? I couldn’t tell who it was for sure, but either a Red Bull or Toro Rosso car passed the safety car after the safety car line as it came out of the pits for the exploding Sauber wing.

Why did that driver not get penalised? Who was it?


To answer your last question first, I do believe it was Jaime Alguersuari who passed the safety car at the pit-out blend line. The reason why he wasn’t penalized is because the safety car had a green light displayed, indicating that approaching drivers could pass without penalty. See Art. 40 in the Sporting Regs. for the particulars.

The new safety car rules are essentially this: the safety car will now be deployed only just before the race leader approaches, and not as soon as a safety car is needed. Further, the ‘delta-time’ for the drivers circulating during the safety car period has been increased.


something that people have not remembered is Hamilton was given a drive-through penalty for overtaking Vettle by cutting the corner in France 08.


Seems like Randy Mandy’s big bum still wobbles her a bit to the right hand side on occasions…especially when her sister tries to show her up…

As for luscious liz…a few panadol and she’s alright…to think that Vettel’s Red Bull mechanics sent her to the cemetery with letters of RIP :))


BPR POWER Ratings Update following the British Grand Prix:

(Out of 100.000)

Lewis Hamilton – 94.988

Mark Webber – 93.714

Sebastian Vettel – 93.193

Jenson Button – 91.091

Robert Kubica – 90.445

Fernando Alonso – 88.786

Nico Rosberg – 88.600

Felipe Massa – 83.763

Adrian Sutil – 82.848

Rubens Barrichello – 81.980

Michael Schumacher – 81.038

Jaime Alguersuari – 77.512

Sebastien Buemi – 76.139

Vitantonio Liuzzi – 76.116

Vitaly Petrov – 73.334

Kamui Kobayashi – 72.656

Nico Hulkenberg – 72.418

Pedro De La Rosa – 70.841

Heikki Kovalainen – 53.087

Jarno Trulli – 50.079

Timo Glock – 47.369

Lucas di Grassi – 40.404

Bruno Senna – 39.850

Karun Chandhok – 36.815

Sakon Yamamoto – 35.375


What are these based on?


Here’s a condensed explanation:

The BPR formula rates the performance of each driver/entry for each round relative to a theoretical perfect score of 100. The perfect score is “theoretical” because it is based on the premise that the fastest and/or winning driver/entry represents the maximum possible performance in any given race weekend.

The data for each driver/entry incorporated into the BPR formula includes: (1) Fastest qualifying lap time; (2) Fastest race lap time; (3) Mean race lap time; (4) Finishing position; and (5) Laps completed. Each discrete data-set is weighted to reflect its correlation to finishing position. For instance, an entry/driver’s mean race lap is correlated to finishing position at a rate approaching 3x that of its fastest qualifying lap.

A “Reliability Rating” is incorporated into the BPR formula to reflect the ratio of laps each driver/entry has completed over the course of the season. Any driver/entry which is not classified by the FIA at the end of a race will be given an “NC” designation and not receive a BPR score for that particular round (there are various reasons for doing this, mainly related to the statistical flaws which arise when comparing complete and incomplete data sets). However, the laps completed by a driver/entry will be counted towards the Reliability Rating regardless of classification.

In the event a driver/entry does not complete a representative qualifying lap, the BPR formula’s qualifying lap input will be calculated with the fastest practice lap set under like or similar track conditions.

Further explanation here: http://bprf1.com/about/

And, the full Round 10 table is here: http://bprf1.com/2010/07/12/bpr-update-%E2%80%93-round-10-british-grand-prix/


If you recall the radio conversation after the race, the first comment was a rather sarcastic one from Horner: “You can start smiling now”

That would have been enough for me to go off my nut given the treatment handed down over the past month or two. I don’t blame Mark for meeting such a comment with what he said.

The evidence is mounting thick and fast, and it began long ago:

1. Glum faces after Germany last year for Mark’s maiden win

2. Mark going out first in the second part of Q3 a few races back (and I think he went out first every time in the first ~3 races of the season)…remember his “I’m not sure what happened there” comment???

3. The Turkey blame game, where the F1 fans and media all knew who was wrong, but RBR took a different line.

4. The spec front wing incident in Britain

A fantastic day for F1, it’s a pity I only saw a replay so couldn’t look at the live lap times, but apparently Webber was reeling off consecutive fastest laps during several parts of the race.


p.s. there are rumours of Horner being sacked on another website…any truth to this? Strangely for Mark, it might actually be a bad thing for him, as Marko might be in charge!


The tone of the ‘official’ response from Ferrari, delivered by their press chap, Luca Corajanni, to the BBC with regards the penalty was in direct contrast to how they dealt with the Hamilton penalty.

Restrained and respectful are words that spring to mind. I can’t help thinking that the FIA discussed their response to the previous incident in some depth with them.

Shame some might think.

Isn’t Alonso obliged under the rules to make himself available to the press post race? Did he go off in a sulk or was he physically restrained by Ferrari staff from aproaching a microphone?

I couldn’t watch the race at home with my F1 mates, nor go to it, as my daughter, rather selfishly I thought, decided to have her birthday on the same day. I was allowed two hours to watch it and to my surprise almost everyone else watched the start. Their motivation being what they saw as unfair behaviour of Red Bull with regards the wings. I must have heard someone saying: Red Bull takes your wings a dozen times or more.

There was general rejoicing with Vettel’s puncture and these were people who normally would not have watched it live and only a few would have bothered to watch the recorded highlights. It was certainly good advertising, although perhaps not for the image of RB.

The post race ‘second driver’ comment, especially knowing that it probably would be broadcast, was a bit of a mistake but then Webber’s only one on the day.

Vettel made a bigger mistake at the start. He got away slowly so instead of pressuring Webber (like that was going to work) he should have concentrated on keeping Hamilton behind him.

Excellent BBC coverage. Even my son, an ITN producer, had to concede that. I watched the programme in full last night and enjoyed some entertaining interviews. It must have been a full moon as Eddie seemed to be in attack-dog mode.

Horner’s comments on the start, with Webber getting the drop on Vettel and then running wide, was quite restrained. I can’t help thinking that the decision on the destination of the wing wasn’t his (help required here, James) and that he’s left managing the fallout.

Even those I was with who never watch GPs knew of the two RBR incidents and some had watched the Istanbul race (highlights) just to make their own minds up. There were some quite informed opinions, all leading to the RB takes your wings bit at the end though.

It has been a PR disaster for RBR and all of their own making.

Alonso’s error was not initiated by him but it was poor judgement not to give back the place immediately. That said, the rule needs looking at, and closely. It came about in different times and with different people, or perhaps person, and the motivation at the time seemed to be to justify a decision already made.

But now we have a situation where drivers might be frightened of overtaking. Is it too much to ask that a designated steward should be available in such circumstances to give immediate advice to a team/driver as to what they should do?

Spectacle is everything and we have enough processions without the rules favouring those who block effectively over those willing to try.

McLaren’s errors with the front wing denied us what might have been a good race at the front.

On this blog we are spared the opinions of those who only dip their toes in GP racing but I discovered yesterday that Vettel shouldn’t try to grow a beard to look older ‘cause it doesn’t work; that Alonso is generally regarded as a bit of a whinger and refusing to talk with the press was seen as ‘typical’; that Silvestone looks like a building site; and, from the girls, Horner is a bit of a dish.

You live and learn.

Good race, well done the BBC. And as for Red Bull: get your act together.


Well that really was the weekend of karma wasn’t it?

I predicted on Saturday night that something would snap with the Red Bulls. We saw so many of the traits of the Turkish incident again. Vettel moving into Webber, Webber not going anywhere. Vettel showing a lack of awareness as to where grip would be best and as to where Webber’s car was going to end up.

Vettel didn’t get off to the best of starts but as the saying goes you don’t win it at the first corner but you can lose it there. Vettel’s idea was “I started badly, must impede Mark”, karma dictates that sort of thinking will only bring harm to yourself. He was so absorbed in his moves to ruin Webber’s getaway that he didn’t have the awareness that he’d go off track or that he’d put himself in a position to puncture his tyre.

Webber must be delighted now, he’s ahead in the driver’s championship and if Red Bull Racing aren’t to appear extremely hypocritical they’re going to have to favour him now.

Karma too for Alonso. People will remember his European Grand Prix mostly for his whining about Hamilton’s safety car jump and subsequent penalty that didn’t affect his standing. Again karma dictates if that what you focus on it’ll come back and get you and it did.

Alonso dealt with it quietly, perhaps mindful that in Valencia he brought into question the validity of Ferrari’s entire marketing effort.

So we’re halfway through the season and there’s a sort of inevitability about Hamilton being at the top of the driver’s championship. Interestingly he’s never had the fastest car but with some superb qualifying and racing performances he really has been the stand out driver of the season so far.


I have some ideas on the future of F1 (engine specs, fuel specs, overtaking, racing, qually, safety). Please read at http://southafricaworld.blogspot.com/2010/07/future-of-formula-1.html


OK, two points everyone seems to be missing:
1. If the safety car did not come out MW would have lapped SV. How funny would that have been. And how poor SV was 2 seconds off the pace before he had an opportunity to pass people.

and 2. Alonso was on the radio claiming it was a fair past almost before he got off the grass! The guy new he had cheated, he should have just given back the place.

Mike from Medellin, Colombia

Hi James,

Are you going to publish your mid-season driver rankings?

I would guess:

1) Lewis Hamilton

2) Mark Webber

3) Sebastien Vettel

4) Robert Kubica

5) Jenson Button


I agree too, except I would put Kubica ahead of Vettel


This order, I would agree with!


Well deserved win by Webber but it was always going to be easy once Vettel got the puncture. The cornering speed of the RedBull is just immense.

James. Do you have any idea if the other teams (engineers) have the understanding of how RedBull achieve the immense downforce for their cornering speeds and if they believe they can respond next year?


Yes they understand quite a bit, but it’s hard to emulate.


Confident commanding win by Mark Webber. Three wins this season and could so easily have been 4 but for curious antics of his team. Webber looks like a number one to me.

Maybe all those years of: “Rule 1 – the red car wins, Rule 2 look at rule 1” are being balanced-out – though Alonso has had some rough calls lately.

Mercedes-Brawn have two cars, a ‘Silver Arrow’ and a ‘Grey Nomad’.


Webber did great today with a win. Great response to the team giving the new wing to Vettel when it was his in the first place cause Vettel’s broke.

Basically he said to them: Right fine, you can do that, but I’ll show you that I can still out perform him even with the new part.

He was given a proper motivational kickstart for today and he maximised it.

As for the Alonso incident. Yes it was similar circumstances to the Spa ’08 situation with Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton at the Bus Stop chicane, but I believe the additional point in the matter was that he didn’t give back enough of an advantage BACK to Kimi on the pit straight.

People said that he wasn’t on the throttle for a lot of the straight, but onboard footage around the internet discounts that statement.

In this particular case, however, Alonso didn’t give back the place.

Now I don’t know if it was because Alonso felt he was ahead as they entered Vale as well as being shoved off the road that caused him to think he didn’t have to return the place.

The Kimi and Lewis situation in Spa was rather touch and go, they were practically level.

Either way it is consistency in decisions between these particular incidences.

However, Alonso had a previous case in 2006 at Monza when he overtook Heidfeld into the Rettifilio chicane. He had to go across the grass in taking the place and nothing came about it and I remember Martin Brundle saying it was hard to judge since Alonso got a nose ahead in the braking zone and Heidfeld didn’t have the pace to re take the place.

So steward’s decisions can still be somewhat “inconsistent”. I say that because this year is the first year we have had former drivers on the panel as well.

Horner's Vet Helmut

Absolutely loved that race, almost fell off of the couch as he squeezed Vettel offline. 4:1 odds on Webber winning the WDC, well worth a punt now.

Good for him to speak his mind over the radio waves. I don’t think it was petulant, but rather calculated. He certainly is proving to be a blot in Red Bull’s copy book.


People moaning that Alonso shouldn’t of received a penalty due to Kubica going out,has got awfully short memories.

The precident had already been set in Spa’08 when the stewards gave the race to Massa.

By giving a penalty to Hamilton even though Kimi had already crashed out.


Alonso was very critical of Lewis in Belgium ’08 when Lewis had been deemed to gain an advantage from cutting the chicane (again to avoid an accident, probably more so in that case AND that’s not when the overtake happened!). Alonso should have let Kubica back through at the time. Also, something missed by Martin and DC (you expect Leggard to miss); Button was racing to come out of his pitstop ahead of Kubica, had Alonso still been behind Kubica, Button would have jumped him also… So by Alonso cutting the chicane, he managed to get ahead of Kubica and pull a gap on Button that meant Button didn’t jump him.

What really annoys me about Alonso is he then avoided the press afterwards… In fact, should he not get a fine or something for that? I was sure drivers now have to make themselves available after the race.

Alonso just needs to calm down and let his driving do the talking, Mark Webber style!


Only the top three finishers can get fined for not taking part in the post race ceremonies,which also includes a public debriefing.


Is that still the case? I thought they introduced a rule a couple of years ago that all drivers had to do media interviews after the race.


The FIA will publish the weights of all cars after qualifying at each Event.

For greater clarity for spectators and media, wet tyres have been renamed “intermediate” and extreme-weather tyres renamed “wet”.

“On the first day of practice all drivers must be available for autograph signing in their designated team space in the pit lane.

All drivers eliminated in qualifying must make themselves available for media interviews immediately after the end of each session.

Any driver retiring before the end of the race must make himself available for media interviews after his return to the paddock.

All drivers who finish the race outside the top three must make themselves available immediately after the end of the race for media interviews.”

During the race every team must make at least one senior spokesperson available for interviews by officially accredited TV crews.

Kyle Busch will never be in F1 for sure.


I recall DC some years ago reflecting at a post-race press conference when he finally won the Formula One “career grand slam” of Monaco, Silverstone, Spa and Monza.

What price a “calendar grand slam” for Webber in 2010? That would be a big step towards the WDC…


Red Bull doesnt give Webber wings and yet he still flies to victory!

They have the fastest car but it seems if they’re to win this season, they’ll have to fight themselves the most.

Good race, and great to see Silverstone, the crowd and everything looked really awesome.


Wow! As many others have said, poetic justice indeed!!!

Very happy for Mark. I always thought well of Vettel, but these two incidents have left a bad taste.

And Alonso’s penalty? Petty injustice. Yes, technically he should have given the position back, but a drive through after Kubica has already retired? Complete overkill.


Given position back, end of story. Ignoring to do so during laps 17 and 18 only made it worse for himself. Well done, Nige.


Did Jenson Button run the Softs today at all during the race? I think he started the race on Hards, piited and took Hards again! Or did he start the race on Softs?


He appears to have disproved the received wisdom that pitting first gives you an advantage. Have we seen anyone else doing that this season?


He started the race on softs, pitted and ran the rest of the race on the harder compound.


He started on softs and made them last I may say.


Awesome Webbo…

Don’t forget – he won in the chassis which was apparently no good according to Vettel.

I have to also add – hats off to Mclaren – Lewis did an amazing job. Button’s hanging on by the skin of his teeth – using superior race craft to make up for his dismal qualifying – the gaps widening and I can see why people are expecting fireworks in this camp soon too.

One would assume there is a point in the season where all effort will be transferred to on driver.


Is Vettel being investigated? Looked like he just drove straight into the side of Sutil.


I agree, it could have easily been a replay of his overtaking manouver in Turkey, more-so if he had of turned right in to Sutil, but never-the-less, same driving skill/judgement (or lack of) shown.


A popular win for Webber! A good race for the McLarens. And a very good podium for Rosberg.

Just what is happening at Ferrari is a mystery. The people at the pits should help their drivers by making key decisions and getting it right is very much important now because they only pit once these days. Ferrari’s people in the pits need to be more responsible. This is not the first time they have screwed the race for their drivers.

And Alonso is to be blamed as much as Ferrari. A good start and he could have easily got a podium or maybe a win. It is time both the parties shut up and work towards achieving a common goal.

Massa is a disaster. I know he is back from an accident and is doing good. But he seems to have major difficulties getting past drivers in the race and will suffer if Ferrari can’t sort their Qualifying. If Alonso is to have any chance of WDC this year, then it is time Massa starts supporting him by putting consistent performances.

Schumi had another bad race. Frankly I am wondering is it a problem with the driver or the car itself. He is not able to finish races strongly and is very much affecting his end position. They will have to rethink their pit strategy for Schumi and not club him with Rosberg. His pace is not strong during the end laps.

Ferrari’s challenge is over this year! With a hot head and a slow coach on track plus a bunch of no-good in the pits:(

Time to start working on 2011 car(gutted to write this)

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