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Alonso claims British win for Ferrari

The Ferrari of Fernando Alonso proved strongest at Silverstone as the Italian team claimed their first win of 2011.
The Ferrari of Fernando Alonso proved strongest at Silverstone as the Italian team claimed their first win of 2011.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Fernando Alonso claims victory for Ferrari in Sunday's British Grand Prix
  • It is Ferrari's first success since their win in last October's Korean Grand Prix
  • Sebastian Vettel finishes second to increase his lead in the overall standings

(CNN) -- Fernando Alonso claimed Ferrari's first Formula One victory of the season with a thrilling win in Sunday's British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

The Spaniard took advantage of a poor pit stop by race leader and world champion Sebastian Vettel to go clear for the Italian manufacturer's first triumph since last year's Korean Grand Prix in October -- 11 races ago.

Vettel held off Red Bull teammate Mark Webber to take second place, although team orders on the last lap meant Australian Webber was deprived of overtaking the German.

Vettel takes the quiet road to glory

Lewis Hamilton was the best placed Briton in fourth, although the 2008 world champion was involved a wheel-to-wheel battle with the other Ferrari of Felipe Massa for that position, with the McLaren sending his rival wide on the final bend to secure that place.

Heavy showers beforehand made for difficult conditions at the beginning of the race and a brilliant start by Vettel saw him overtake the pole position of Webber by the first corner.

I saw the problem in the pit stop with Sebastian and we were in the lead at that moment, but who knows what might have happened after that
--Fernando Alonso
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Vettel held onto that advantage until the 25th lap when problems in fitting the left-rear tire to his car allowed Alonso to snatch the lead in the pit lane, an advantage he held all the way to the finish line.

"I saw the problem in the pit stop with Sebastian and we were in the lead at that moment, but who knows what might have happened after that," Alonso told reporters.

Passing judgement: Hamilton must stay aggressive

"I knew it was a race to be calm, make no mistakes, to not be off the track, and with that I knew the car had enough for victory and it came."

It was 29-year-old Alonso's 27th career victory, putting him level with Jackie Stewart in fifth place in the all-time Formula One victory standings.

And it proved a perfectly-timed win for Ferrari, who were celebrating the 60th anniversary of their maiden success in Formula One, also at Silverstone.

Despite his defeat, Vettel -- who has finished first or second in every race so far this season -- has actually increased his advantage in the overall standings to an impressive 80 points, lying on 204.

Webber is up to second place on 124 points, with Alonso now third on 112. The day's big loser was 2009 world champion Jenson Button, who lost second place in the standings after failing to finish, after a wheel nut to his front-right tire was not fixed on properly.