Aggressive driving, exploding tires, and unlikely finishes added to the excitement of the 2013 Formula 1 British GP at Silverstone Circuit. Qualifying results (see below) gave the impression that it was to be another poor race result for Ferrari, while Hamilton (Mercedes) and Vettel (Red Bull) would podium. Sandwiched between Hamilton in the top qualifying spot and Vettel running third was recent Monaco GP winner Rosberg, who seems to have a new fire lit under him following the impressive past victory.
Top 10 Qualifying Results:
At race start, unexpected passing by Ferrari's Massa brought him up from 12th several places before soon falling victim to a bizarre tire explosion. Luck was not on Massa's side for the British GP, as he also crashed for the fourth time this season during practice. But a sixth place result shows there still is a spark left in the Ferrari driver.
"I am very pleased with my race which this time was truly impeccable. After a fantastic start and a perfect first lap, maybe one of the best of my career, I managed to drive an attacking first stint. On lap 10, when I was right in the middle of the corner at Turn 5, my left rear tire failed and I had to pit. After this forced stop, I found myself last and from then on, I began a great charge up the order, thanks to a lot of very nice passing moves. Without that tire problem I could have made it to the podium..." Massa commented.
Massa was not the only driver to suffer from exploding tires, Hamilton, Vergne (forced to retire) and Perez (forced to retire) also experienced flats resulting in slow laps, lost seconds and positions on track. Although Pirelli is declining to say just yet what the real cause of the tire explosion were, Paul Hembery, Pirelli Motorsport Director commented, "There have obviously been some issues with rear-left tire failures which we have not been seen before. We are taking the situation very seriously and we are currently investigating all tires to determine the cause as soon as possible, ahead of the next Grand Prix in Germany. At the moment, we can't really say much more until we have fully investigated and analyzed all of these incidents, which is our top priority."
Lost positions and time was not the only problem with the tire explosions. Safety cars had to be deployed at times to not only remove retired cars but also to clean up track debris. Drivers were instructed through their headsets to avoid curbing on the left rear side, in case something on track was to blame for the tire failures. In addition, late in the race teams started to add 2 psi to the tires, in hopes of preventing more failures.
Leading up to the last several laps, points leader Vettel held first with a large gap between him and second place Rosberg when the unexpected happened. He began to slow and pulled off to the side of the track. Vettel's gearbox had failed him with only 11 laps to go.
Hamilton fought a good race, making his way up the grid after a tire explosion. He finished a strong fourth. And while Alonso did not suffer from a blown tire, he did have a tough race having to pass mnay cars. Making his way up the grid, he made the final pass for third over Raikkonen with only a few laps to go. And while some attribute Rosberg's win to luck, he fought hard and achieved his second win of the 2013 season.
"This is a great moment for me and our team to win in the home of motor racing at Silverstone. We have such great momentum in our Silver Arrows team and I'm very proud to be part of it. This win is for every single person who has been involved in building our car," Rosberg commented on the win.
Top 10 Race Results:
Top 5 Drivers Point Standings: