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Rosberg Wins Eventful British Grand Prix As Tyre failures grab The Headlines
Posted By:   |  30 Jun 2013   |  5:42 pm GMT  |  389 comments

Nico Rosberg claimed victory at the British Grand Prix in an extraordinarily eventful race that illustrated Formula One in its greatest and most negative light, with five tyre failures marring what was a spectacular race.

Lewis Hamilton was the first victim of a high speed delamination as he led the race in the opening stages and handed the lead to a fast starting Sebastian Vettel. He had managed to jump Rosberg from the start line and inherited the lead on lap eight following Hamilton’s misfortune.

There were further tyre failures in the following laps for Felipe Massa, Jean-Eric Vergne, Esteban Gutierrez and for Sergio Perez in the closing laps. This heaps even more pressure on Pirelli and questions the fragility of the tyres that are unable to cope with the loads of a Formula One car.

It was particularly dangerous in the case of Vergne and Perez who both had drivers close behind them at the time of the explosion. Grosjean and Alonso were those in the tow of the respective cars and were lucky in avoiding contact with the flailing rubber.

After Hamilton’s issue, Vettel controlled the race and looked to be increasing his Championship lead with another Silverstone Red Bull victory as Rosberg sat a couple of seconds behind. However a transmission failure with ten laps remaining saw his RB9 grind to a halt on the pit straight and bring out the safety car, prompting a flurry of late pit-stops and a seven lap sprint to the finish.

During this final phase the podium finishes had each opted to pit for fresh tyres, both in the hope of scoring some strong points whilst also negating the chances of a further tyre failure.

As the Safety Car pulled in at the end of the fourty-fifth lap Rosberg had a clear road ahead and on a fresh set of the hard compound tyre he was expected to drive away with Webber and Alonso being held up within the pack.

But with the two on near-new option tyres they carved through the cars ahead and Alonso cut Vettel’s Championship lead to just twenty-one points.

Webber got to within 7/10ths of a second of the race win and may well have taken a popular victory in his final British Grand Prix should there have been one more lap. But this was not to be and Rosberg took his third career victory in a race that became as much a battle of attrition as it was a show of speed.

Following Hamilton’s tyre failure, the sister Mercedes had to complete nearly a full lap to return to the pits and he dropped to the back of the field. From there and under the radar the pole-man edged up in to the points and found himself in a strong position heading in to the final sprint.

He latched on to the back of Alonso and followed him through a number of cars, including Raikkonen, Sutil and Ricciardo, and the Brit ended the race just 6/10ths behind Alonso and the final spot on the podium.

Completing the top six were strong drives by Raikkonen and Massa, having differing races but scoring some good points. Raikkonen kept his nose clean and sat in second place following the final Safety Car period but he questioned his team’s choice to not pit him as Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari did and this turned out to be his downfall. He had nothing to answer the cars on fresher tyres and eventually slipped to fifth place.

Massa, meanwhile, suffered a tyre failure in a very similar place to Hamilton as he entered the Wellington Straight towards Brooklands and saw himself drop down the order from a strong start in which he sat in fifth place. And like Hamilton he raced through the field to take sixth place and boost his confidence after a difficult run of recent races.

Tomorrow’s edition of Driver of the Day is set to split opinions as the Force India pair of Adrian Sutil and Paul Di Resta also had a good outing for the Silverstone based team. Sutil was sat in third place after Hamilton dropped back, but he stayed out too long on his second set of medium tyres and allowed Raikkonen and Alonso through as he pushed to limit the race to two stops.

He eventually came home in seventh, like Raikkonen losing out to Webber, Alonso and Hamilton in the late stages of the race.

Di Resta, starting from last place following an underweight car in qualifying, took ninth place as he avoided the large amount of Pirelli debris that littered the circuit.

The Force India pair sandwiched Daniel Ricciardo for Toro Rosso, another driver to deliver a good drive on the day. During the race he was involved in battles with the two Lotus cars and Fernando Alonso – doing no harm to his hopes of a seat in the parent team next year.

BRITISH GRAND PRIX, Silverstone, Race, 52 Laps

1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1h32:59.456
2. Mark Webber Red Bull + 0.765
3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari + 7.124
4. Lewis Hamilton Lotus + 7.756
5. Kimi Raikkonen Mercedes + 11.257
6. Felipe Massa Ferrari + 14.573
7. Adrian Sutil Force India + 16.335
8. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso + 16.500
9. Paul Di Resta Force India + 17.993
10. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber + 19.700
11. Pastor Maldonado Williams + 21.100
12. Valtteri Bottas Williams + 25.000
13. Jenson Button McLaren + 25.900
14. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber + 26.200
15. Charles Pic Caterham + 31.600
16. Jules Bianchi Marussia + 36.000
17. Max Chilton Marussia + 1:07.600
18. Giedo van der Garde Caterham + 1:07.700
19. Romain Grosjean Lotus + 1 lap


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Did Vettel’s car have a camera on board? I would love to see footage of Lewis’ tyre exploding right in front of him and Vettel’s avoiding action.

Similar to Perez and Alonso.


James the other thing that I want to know is why the marshals are ignoring a lot of track debris. Many of the incidents leading to tyre delaminations are preceded by minor collisions and front wing damage where we can see carbon fibre flying off. No one likes yellow flags but one lap slow downs for a quick sweep would avoid much of this.

In Bahrain we saw the Sauber front nose cone become dislodged and cf fly everywhere- one lap later Massa had his tyre fail and then the Merc .Same thing yesterday. Grosjean and Webber clipped- as soon as you see CF fly guaranteed you will see someone’s tyre go pop very soon afterwards is there a relaxing of track rules on this ? As in the past it was almost the other way!


why don’t pirelli use the bridgestone specification but with enough rubber to last the number of laps they need for 2/3 stop race strategies? this will ensure the tyres don’t fail but provide the level entertainment the fia wants.


What about Bianchi ? 2sec a lap faster than Chilton whose been racing in Silverstone for almost 10years ! Really hope he Gets a drive in a competitive team next year, he’s gonna blow you mind away.


Toro Rosso won’t be able to race top 10 consistently with their level of pit stop performance.

Massa might just be the fastest starter in F1 history.

Webber doesn’t launch when he is near Vettel; he does launch when he’s not. The stats speak, RB can explain themselves or leave the brand swinging in the wind


absolute ridiculous. I pitied them when they were getting all the scrap after the tyre gate, but now we know that their statement

“we are requested to make tyres not long last” is a blatant cover up of their inferior tyres.

some one might have got seriously injured today. At that speed, that chunk of rubber hitting your helmet is a killer.

really really sutpid


Absolute farce of a race, but entertaining none the less, a few thing to consider

1. Tyres ….. Lol, firstly the compound and to the people who said the tyres were not hard enough nobody one stopped so choice was fine. Secondly they kept blowing up time for Pirelli to change the tyres regardless of some teams moaning. I was really disappointed for LH today and indeed all the guys who suffered tyre failures, thank you lotus and force India.

2. Championship seems more open now which is good with merc maybe coming into play.

3. Brittish fans = worst in F1, I thought brazil fans when LH won were terrible but at least they could say that he took the title of one there countrymen. SV crashing out didn’t positively effect the britts.

4. MW making a very bad joke about the next GP, good luck mate, maybe you would be less bitter if you hadn’t of choked in Korea 2010.

5. Force (stop trying to keep the tyres) India had great pace today, torro rosso too. Good to see the teams with less money making their way up the grid.


I’m stunned by that excuse for a race !- I don’t think even Pirelli have a clue about how marginal their own tyres are- otherwise who puts drivers at risk like that !! The FIA have alot to answer for because the scipt they gave Pirelli has always been wrong. I’ve always stated that you cannot manufacture a tyre with such fine operating margins and be sure that its reliable for all- clearly that’s always been the case. I’ve always believed a tyre should be made to last longer. Rules should ensure both compounds are used in a race with each compound able to last at least 20 laps.- the only difference being performance- nothing more and absolutely nothing less.

Lewis and Felipe deserve trophies for their drives back through the field and will we ever truly know why a great driver like Mark Webber never gets his car off the line properly- something just not right there. Fantastic drive back through the field by him. Im still seething at Lotus for no pitting Kimi when he asked to come in. Had they done so- he would have attacked Nico and the Mercs tyres would not have lasted and Kimi would have at least kept 2nd. The fact he managed 25 laps on those tyres also deserves a medal as everyone else was “popping” them much sooner. Maybe this reflects the need for Kimi to move on to Red Bull because he’s just pushing the proverbial up-hill with that team.

Why Nico never got a drive through for speeding under double yellows is just ridiculous ! More evidence of Mercedes “winning” favour with the FIA.

I guess now the teams have no choice but to revert to the Kevlar construction tyres of last year- and do it in a hurry- don’t wait to Wednesday because as Martin Whitmarsh said – it might be too late for the Nurburgring.

Debadutta Panigrahi

Lotus made a bad decision by not electing to pit Kimi under the second SC. Kimi lost valuable points which is not helpful in a tight championship fight.

Also,Mercedes seems to have overcome their tyre issues since Rosberg was keeping up with vettel before vettel’s car failure.


May have been mentioned in this thread before but, bring back Goodyear!!!!


What an explosive race for the wrong reasons.

5 explosions is too dangerous, after JEV explosion I thought the race will be red flagged. But because of the safety car there was real racing for the last 7 laps never seen before in a long while.

As for Nurburgring I don’t think there’s time to make tires safer so let’s hope all will be well. Drivers will not attempt going flat out when they can out of fear.

Bernie and FIA will be hounding Pirelli to keep their reputation and Pirelli PR is down the drain and I’m sure will affect the commercial side of business.


Poor Lewis, lucky Nico and Alonso, happy Webber and

bad karma for Vettel as most will believe.

Did I hear the 3days test helped Merc?

Ferrari will be testing soon…..Horner, what do you think?

Mike from Colombia

James, is there now a real chance that Pirelli will leave F1 at the end of this year?

Will this be Todt’s opportunity to bring in Michelin?


Great Last 9 laps! Shout out to Alonso, Webber and Hamilton and congrats to Rosberg to hang in there. How good is it to finally see Lewis push that car, he looked way more comfortable and towards the end he was a pleasure to watch! oh yeah the tyres……whatever….not going to mention what the previous 231 posts have been saying.


Time to get Michelin.


After the third tyre in space of not so many laps blew out, I couldn’t believe the race wasn’t red-flagged.

I’ve been involved in events in the past (as a key official) where we’ve had to do precisely this, though due to unknown/unlocated debris, when multiple cars started having tyre failures.

What puzzled me is that these tyres failed well before we were seeing severe graining and performance degradation or lap times dropping right off.

Scuderia McLaren

I feel sorry for Pirell,i and as someone who raced open wheel race cars for a while at a reasonably high level, I also feel equally for the drivers. What Alonso had to avoid and what happen to Kimi was totally effing disgusting! I really felt the terror that Alonso must have felt and can imagine what Kimi must have felt when huge parts of tyre carcass are pelted into his car. Believe me when I say, this would have been terrifying. I wouldn’t honestly race on those tyres again. But I don’t blame Pirelli.

I blame the idiotic self serving selfish teams for their short sighted behaviour and inability to let Pirelli fix the situation. They don’t drive the cars and they will be too blame when injury occurs. If I were at the next GPDA meeting… I can’t even finish that thought.

When politics begins to do such things to Drivers, then we have lost our sporting way. Feel like punching any team owner who veto’d tyre change because their car might be worse off in the face.


Finally teams opposing tyre changes will come to their senses..Ferrari has already changed their tune..


Someone please explain to me how people that have no credentials in the tire industry have managed to inspect all of the failed tires and come to the conclusion that “delamination” was the cause.

If they haven’t, I’m pretty sure they, firstly, need to look up “delamination” in the dictionary and, secondly, keep their opinions to themselves until “facts” are made public.

Andrew Woodruff

I think the cheers when Vettel retired were more because people want a tighter championship, than because he is genuinely unpopular. Even if Malaysia didn’t help in that regard, the main thing people dislike is that no one has been able to challenge him from outside Red Bull. Ultimately most people understand the sense in and the need for a no.1/no.2 driver structure at the top teams.

I thought Sky’s coverage of the Guttierez tyre failure was strange, anybody? They didn’t show any replays and made the odd assumption that someone had hit one of the brake marker boards to explain the debris, when all afternoon tyres had been exploding everywhere!

In my view Pirelli, the FIA and the teams share responsibility for the current tyre situation. Five blow outs in one race is undeniably incompetent, but we cannot forget Pirelli wanted to change the construction and the teams could not agree. For goodness sake, let Pirelli now bring the new tyre, let’s get to the end of the season with no more tyre-related accidents, and then start again at the same time as the new regs.


I thought Sky’s coverage of the Guttierez tyre failure was strange, anybody? They didn’t show any replays and made the odd assumption that someone had hit one of the brake marker boards to explain the debris….

I am pretty sure he did hit one of the brake marker boards, there was a shot of him getting a nose change later on.


My mistake, apparently it was a front tyre failure – presumably that damaged his nose.


No….people do not like Vettel. I met him in person in a restaurant, even have a photo with him…wished him all the best, but after multi 21 I can’t stand the guy.


You probably don’t like racing then? Better stick with team orders, right?


OK…so let’s assume you are a massive fan of sword fighting. You and your brother. You are very good, both of you and you meet every now and then and do a real sword fight (safe environment, etc). There comes a moment when you both say – yeap, good fight…you won. So you turn your back and move to pick up your towel…great fight it was. But your brother stabs you in your back.

I real fighter this guy it, unlike you! It doesn’t matter you agreed that the fight is over, you agreed even before the race started, but…one is a real fighter indeed.

I wish you many such “racy” moments in your life if you enjoy them so much.


rosbergs performance was great. although to be honest looking back to last year – i think everybody completely underestimated schumacher.


Does anyone else think it strange that Vettel couldn’t manage to park his car somewhere out of the way where a safety car could be avoided? Causing the safety car to come out like that ruined the races of Alonso, Kimi and Ricciardo. Mark Webber referred to SV as ”Michael” just before the podium.

Also, why was Sutil not given a drive through penalty for blocking Ricciardo?


Sutil fended right, then the big chop left. That was a nasty double. Box.


How did he ruin the races of Alonso, Kimi and Ricciardo.

Alonso finished higher than he would have otherwise.

Kimi should have finished second anyway, but Lotus dropped the ball.

Ricciardo finished exactly around where he would have.

As for Webber calling him “Michael”, by that logic Webber must be “Rubens”. Not need to say which is better.


Yep I didnt even see if that got investigated. thought that was pretty harsh that he didnt get a place higher. But harsher was the fact they didnt make the right call with tires. He could of finished couple places higher minimum 🙂


Why don’t they get a street sweeper and a blower to clean the track after there’s been debris scattered all over the track? This is freaking NASCAR tech ffs! Would the last few laps been even remotely interesting had there not been a safety car? More restarts are just what F1 needs imo.. Point proven today


There was plenty of warning IRO these tyre failures. I can recall on this forum the views expressed that the priority should be to fix the tyre failures before the addressing the fact that there were too many pitstops in the Spanish GP. Whereas Lotus and Ferrari had a car that had been well adapted to the tyres the FIA had specified, Merc and RB had not. Now the situation is reversed and more suspiciously so after the secret Merc test – Ferrari and Lotus are slower and struggling, Merc and RB are very quick. Bottom line – just make a tyre that can last. I would not blame Pirelli for pulling out next year. Todt and BE have a lot to answer for in this dreadful PR mess.


I think bernie was the man who wanted the tyres like Canada not the FIA. But people saying its Pirelli making the tyres softer that’s causes the problems is wrong. The tyres last year and in 2011 didn’t do this. Whatever Pirelli changed over the winter is the reason. And were has the belt gone to that was there earlier in the season?

Plus bad luck for vettel but we really needed that to keep the championship sort of open.


Grosjean and Alonso were those in the tow of the respective cars and were lucky in avoiding contact with the flailing rubber.

I thought it was Kimi who was in the tow driving through the flying debris of JEV’s tyre blowout. Amazing to see some of the debris has actually hit him, luckily not the bigger ones.

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