Alonso takes win in Ferrari resurgence

Fernando Alonso has marked Ferrari’s return to the front of the field with a calculated drive to victory at Silverstone.
Ferrari had been fighting to recover their 2010 form after a wind tunnel data error had them start this season on the back foot.
With this weekend’s raft of updates to their 150° Italia overshadowed by the off-throttle diffuser row, the team from Maranello quietly took their step forward in qualifying and used strategy to compliment their new found pace to control the British Grand Prix. 
Despite the Spaniard’s pressure, however, it would be a pit stop error from Vettel’s mechanics gave him the opportunity for the lead on lap 28.
‘With no mistakes I knew that the car had enough pace to fight for the victory,’ said the race winner. ‘[And] when I left the pits I found myself leading the race.’
The race was in very differing conditions. The itnermediates were struggling a little bit. The dryt yres we were very slow in the beginnign when the track was wet.
With no mistakes I knew that the car had enough pace to fight for th victory.
Championship hopes are very difficult. The only thingw e can do is try to win every race.
‘Championship hopes are very difficult. The only thing we can do is try to win every race.’
Vettel managed to hold on to P2 after a thrilling battle with teammate Mark Webber during the final few laps.
With Vettel struggling on overheating soft tyres, Webber closed in only to be told by Red Bull team principal Christian Horner to ‘maintain the gap’. Australian outrage ensued, despite the unenforcable ban on team order being lifted last year.
‘I think it’s hard to say how much we lost, but surely we lost the lead,’ said Vettel of the pit stop error. ‘You can’t get it right all the time.’
‘You have to accept that fair and square, Ferrari beat us here today.
‘It shows us that we need to keep on working very hard and pushing very hard.’
It was the case of team orders, however, that dominated the post-race atmosphere, with Mark Webber admitting that he ignored his principal and continued to attack Vettel.

Embroiled in a meaningless debate

‘I’m not fine with it, no,’ said the Australian in repsonse to Horner’s claims that he understood the situation. ‘Of course I ignored the team and I was battling to the end.’
Horner, however, defended his position, pointing out that he only enacted the order in the final three laps.
‘We cannot give away a load of points.’ he reiterated. ‘We did not want to see our drivers in the fence at some time in the last two laps, which is how it would have ended up.’
‘Mark should be fine with that, he is a team player.’
The race started with parts of the track still wet after a pre-race downpour, forcing teams to grid up on the intermediate compound.
Mark Webber got away with one his now-trademark poor starts, though he managed to limit the number of places lost to one, to his teammate Vettel.
The opening stage of the race proved to be a closely-fought battle between frontrunner Vettel, Webber, Hamilton, Alonso, Button and Massa, with each of them trading fastest laps at time.
It was Michael Schumacher who would pioneer the switch to slick tyres on lap 10, though the call was forced after a misjudged overtaking move on Kobayashi that saw the pensioner lose his front wing.

Schumacher: could’ve done better

The German set a number of fastest laps, though the forced gamble would be neutralised by the penalty awarded for his trouble with Kobayashi. The stewards called for a stop/go penalty rather than a drive through due to the short length of the new pit lane.
Despite the traumatic start, culminating in the serving of his penalty on lap 16, Schumacher showed he still had pace as he stormed through the field to finish an impressive ninth, hot on the tail of Heidfeld’s Renault.
Meanwhile, at the pointy end of the field, all but Vettel and Alonso had returned to the pits for their second tyre change of the race – the pair playing chicken with their tyres in hope of outlasting the other.
They both conceded to diminishing grip by lap 28, at which Alonso took advantage of Vettel’s pit crew failing to fasten the Red Bull’s left-rear tyre in their first attempt. The Spaniard left the pits leading the race, with Vettel falling to third.
The fight continued between the leading regulars, until Button fell on lap 39 after he was released from his box without his front-right tyre fastened. He retired by the end of the bit lane.
He left teammate Hamilton to fight for McLaren’s only points with Massa. The Briton had looked good for a podium finish until he was forced to switch to a leaner engine mode to save fuel.
Massa made a desperate move on Hamilton, taking fourth briefly before Hamilton dived back on the inside of the second-to-last corner. He locked his front-left tyre and slid into Massa, forcing him from the track, securing P4.
Nico Rosberg was Mercedes’ highest finished in sixth, just ahead of Sergio Perez in a career-best seventh. Heidfeld fended off Schumacher for eighth whilst Alguersuari finished in the points for the race in a row with tenth place.
 
2011 British Grand Prix results:

Pos

Driver

Team

Laps

Time/Retired

Grid

Diff

Pts

1

ALONSO

Ferrari

52

1:28:41.196

3

2

25

2

VETTEL

Red Bull

52

+16.5 secs

2

0

18

3

WEBBER

Red Bull

52

+16.9 secs

1

-2

15

4

HAMILTON

McLaren

52

+28.9 secs

10

6

12

5

MASSA

Ferrari

52

+29.0 secs

4

-1

10

6

ROSBERG

Mercedes

52

+60.6 secs

9

3

8

7

PEREZ

Sauber

52

+65.5 secs

12

5

6

8

HEIDFELD

Renault

52

+75.5 secs

16

8

4

9

SCHUMACHER

Mercedes

52

+77.9 secs

13

4

2

10

ALGUERSUARI

Toro Rosso

52

+79.1 secs

18

8

1

11

SUTIL

Force India

52

+79.7 secs

11

0

 

12

PETROV

Renault

52

+80.6 secs

14

2

 

13

BARRICHELLO

Williams

51

+1 Lap

15

2

 

14

MALDONADO

Williams

51

+1 Lap

7

-7

 

15

DI RESTA

Force India

51

+1 Lap

6

-9

 

16

GLOCK

Virgin

50

+2 Laps

20

4

 

17

D’AMBROSIO

Virgin

50

+2 Laps

22

5

 

18

LIUZZI

HRT

50

+2 Laps

23

5

 

19

RICCIARDO

HRT

49

+3 Laps

24

5

 

20

BUTTON

McLaren

39

Retired

5

-15

 

21

BUEMI

Toro Rosso

25

Retired

19

-2

 

22

KOBAYASHI

Sauber

23

Retired

8

-14

 

23

TRULLI

Team Lotus

10

Retired

21

-2

 

24

KOVALINEN

Team Lotus

2

Retired

17

-7

 

 
 

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