Skip to main content

Webber pips Alonso to take British Grand Prix at Silverstone

updated 3:51 PM EDT, Sun July 8, 2012
Red Bull's Australian driver Mark Webber celebrates after winning the British Grand Prix at Silverstone
Red Bull's Australian driver Mark Webber celebrates after winning the British Grand Prix at Silverstone
  • Australian Mark Webber wins the Formula One British Grand Prix for Red Bull
  • Webber pips Ferrari's Fernando Alonso to the checkered flag at Silverstone
  • Defending double world champion Sebastian Vettel finishes race in third
  • Alonso retains his lead at the top of the F1 drivers' championship

(CNN) -- Mark Webber and Red Bull judged their race strategy perfectly to pip Fernando Alonso to the checkered flag during an action packed British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

The Australian maneuvered expertly through 52 immensely tactical laps to record his second victory of the season, though Ferrari's Alonso did maintain his lead in the drivers' championship.

With the torrential rain that had affected the build up absent for the entire race, Webber hunted down Alonso in the closing stages as the Spaniard's tires began to wear, eventually overtaking on lap 49.

Defending double world champion Sebastian Vettel, also of Red Bull, came third while Alonso's Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa finished fourth.

Silverstone support: Does home advantage help in F1?

Stirling Moss: A history of Silverstone
Designing Formula One tires
Designing a Formula One car
In the pits with Lotus F1 Team

"It was a very interesting race. Fernando Alonso had very good pace," Webber told a press conference after his victory. "We had the better strategy in the end. We never gave up, kept pushing and it did not work out in the end for Fernando.

"I've had a few wins, but this one is taking a little bit to sink in. It didn't look like a spectacular race between us initially, but it was one -- pacing the stints on the tires, Fernando starting on the harder tire.

"After the first stint Fernando had I thought he was in good shape to close the win out. But it came our way and I am absolutely over the moon.

"I had a single opportunity to pounce and I wasn't going to let that slip. Fernando, with the front-left tire, if you lose balance around this place, the speed is very high in that second sector and it's very hard for the driver to do something.

"It was obvious he was pushing as hard as possible but the balance wasn't with him."

It was Webber's second win at Silverstone in three years and helped him cut Alonso's lead at the top of the drivers' standings to 13 points. Alonso has 129 to Webber's 116, with Vettel third on 100 points.

Alonso said: "It was very close today but at the end Mark was much quicker than us and deserved the victory. Now we are fighting for victories in the last three or four grands prix.

"I hope the fans enjoyed the show today. I'm still leading the championship and that's the main target for us, we lost seven points with Mark winning but we gained some more points on the rest of the field."

World champion Vettel added: "Mark deserved to win. Thanks for all fans out there -- it's been horrible weather for them, not just for us. But today the sun came out and British summer showed its best."

Starting on pole, Alonso protected his lead even after a pit stop on lap 16 but the hard tires on Lewis Hamilton's McLaren car set up a tussle for first place on lap 19.

I had a single opportunity to pounce and I wasn't going to let that slip
Mark Webber

The lead changed hands several times as the former McLaren teammates battled round the circuit. Eventually, Alonso came out on top and Webber moved up to third when Hamilton pitted.

The Spaniard was forced into his own stop for a set of compulsory soft tires as a furious round of strategic stops took place around lap 38.

And try as he might, Alonso couldn't hold off Webber as his tires faded fast, allowing the Australian to make his decisive move three laps from home.

There was also controversy further down the field as Sauber's Sergio Perez blasted his Williams counterpart Pastor Maldonado for a crash that put the Mexican out of the race.

Perez said of the Venezuelan: "He doesn't respect other drivers. I was already in front and he should have given space not to crash, but he tried to push me all the way.

"I don't understand why he drives like that and I hope the stewards do something. It is not first time he has damaged my weekend. This guy will never learn if they don't do something. He could hurt someone. Everybody has concerns about him."

Maldonado was later reprimanded and fined $12,000 by the sport's governing body, the FIA, for the collision while Sauber driver Kamui Kobayashi from Japan was fined $30,000 for injuring three three mechanics during a pit-stop.

The next race in the Formula One calendar is the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim on July 22.

Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
updated 7:13 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Too weak. Can't handle the pressure. Susie Wolff has heard it all -- but she is determined to become the first female F1 driver in 20 years.
CNN's Amanda Davies visits the headquarters of Mercedes, the dominant team in Formula One this season.
updated 9:08 PM EDT, Fri March 14, 2014
The big winners of this Formula One season could be road drivers rather than F1 racers, according to one former world champion.
updated 1:30 PM EDT, Fri March 14, 2014
The Williams team welcomes the biggest rule changes to Formula One cars for a generation.
updated 3:16 PM EDT, Thu March 13, 2014
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton sums up the dawn of a new Formula One era in three juicy words -- weird, mind-blowing and challenging.
updated 8:16 AM EDT, Wed March 12, 2014
Formula One is taking another step in its techno evolution this season, which could be more unpredictable than it has been for a long time.
updated 12:36 PM EST, Mon February 24, 2014
Jann Mardenborough on the similarities and differences between driving a race on a video game and driving a real F1 car.
updated 7:26 AM EST, Sat February 22, 2014
Russia's President Vladimir Putin watches the men's cross-country 4 x 10km relay event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics on February 16, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ RIA-NOVOSTI/ POOL/ MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV (Photo credit should read MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP/Getty Images)
How Russian president Vladimir Putin helped turn a muddy hole in the ground into a $400 million futuristic grand prix track in Sochi.
updated 7:13 PM EST, Thu February 20, 2014
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (R) and Formula One racing director Bernie Ecclestone talk during a ceremony of signing of an agreement to bring Formula One racing to Sochi for a Grand Prix Russia to be held in 2014, the same year the Black Sea resort hosts the Winter Olympics in Sochi on October 14, 2010. Putin, whose backing was crucial in Sochi winning the right to host the Games, is due in the city on Thursday to sign an agreement for work to begin on the construction of a new 200 million dollar circuit. AFP PHOTO/ ALEXANDER NEMENOV (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Vilified by the the international community for his government's attitude on gay rights, Russian president Vladimir Putin has found an ally.
updated 12:13 PM EDT, Thu March 13, 2014
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel is bidding for a fifth consecutive drivers' championship in 2014.
He is Formula One's undisputed No. 1, and next season Sebastian Vettel will have proof of that fact emblazoned on his Red Bull.
updated 11:33 AM EST, Wed December 4, 2013
A new era of F1 looms large on the horizon in 2014, but what do the new rules mean for how we watch the sport? Get up to speed here.
updated 6:56 AM EDT, Thu October 17, 2013
Explore our interactive of one of F1's most important and complicated pieces of kit.