June 30th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Nico Rosberg took his third career victory and second of the 2013 season, after inheriting the lead from Sebastian Vettel when Vettel's gearbox failed in the closing stages of the race. Mark Webber put in a fighting drive to finish second after a poor start and first corner contact left him down in 15th place on the first lap. Fernando Alonso finished third for Ferrari.
At the start, pole-sitter Hamilton made a flying start, while Rosberg struggled off the line and was passed by Vettel into the first corner. Adrian Sutil made a stunning start to run fourth in the early laps, but he did not quite have the pace to run with the leaders and held up the cars behind him. Hamilton looked comfortable at the front until his left-rear tyre failed on the Wellington straight. Hamilton limped all the way round to the pits, changed his tyres and then fought back to fourth by the end of the race.
Shortly after Hamilton's tyre failure, Felipe Massa's left-rear tyre also let go just after turn four, pitching him into a spin. He also recovered back to the pits and was able to fight back to sixth by the end of the race. The third tyre failure, the left-rear on Jean-Eric Vergne's Toro Rosso, left debris strewn across the Hangar straight just before Stowe corner which resulted in the safety car being deployed to allow the marshals to clean up the track.
Vergne continued for a while, but it became clear after the safety car went back into the pits and race got underway again that Vergne's car had been damaged by the flailing tyre, and he became the first retirement of the race.
The final massive tyre failure came on Sergio Perez's car on the Hangar straight, just as Fernando Alonso was pulling out of his slipstream to make a pass. Alonso had to take evasive action to avoid the flying ture carcass, showing great reflexes as he managed to stay out of harm's way and lost no time in the process.
On lap 41, just as he was going past the pit entry, Sebastian Vettel suddenly slowed, and seemed to be struggling to find a gear. He confirmed a loss of drive and gearbox failure to the Red Bull team over the radio as his car coasted to a halt on the start-finish straight. The safety car was deployed again, as Vettel's car was in a place where it would be difficult to recover back to the pits.
Rosberg, Webber and Alonso pitted as soon as the safety car came out, using the opportunity to put on fresh tyres with just a few laps remaining. Kimi Raikkonen, who was running second just after the restart, was on older tyres and did not have the grip to defend against those on fresh rubber behind him. Webber, Alonso and Hamilton put in some spectacular passing moves to make their way through the field in the closing stages of the race, ending up second, third and fourth by the end.
Vettel's retirement has helped those chasing him to close the gap in the Drivers' Championship. Vettel still leads on 132 points, with Alonso now just 21 points behind in second and Kimi Raikkonen third on 98 points. Rosberg's win puts him sixth in the standings, just five points behind fifth-placed Mark Webber.
Mercedes have now jumped ahead of Ferrari in the Constructor's Championship, and are 48 points behind leaders Red Bull as the mid-point of the season approaches.
Full results from the British Grand Prix:
|2||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||52||+0.7 secs||4||18|
|3||3||Fernando Alonso||Ferrari||52||+7.1 secs||9||15|
|4||10||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||52||+7.7 secs||1||12|
|5||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Lotus-Renault||52||+11.2 secs||8||10|
|6||4||Felipe Massa||Ferrari||52||+14.5 secs||11||8|
|7||15||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||52||+16.3 secs||6||6|
|8||19||Daniel Ricciardo||STR-Ferrari||52||+16.5 secs||5||4|
|9||14||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||52||+17.9 secs||21||2|
|10||11||Nico Hulkenberg||Sauber-Ferrari||52||+19.7 secs||14||1|
|11||16||Pastor Maldonado||Williams-Renault||52||+21.1 secs||15|
|12||17||Valtteri Bottas||Williams-Renault||52||+25.0 secs||16|
|13||5||Jenson Button||McLaren-Mercedes||52||+25.9 secs||10|
|14||12||Esteban Gutierrez||Sauber-Ferrari||52||+26.2 secs||17|
|15||20||Charles Pic||Caterham-Renault||52||+31.6 secs||18|
|16||22||Jules Bianchi||Marussia-Cosworth||52||+36.0 secs||19|
|17||23||Max Chilton||Marussia-Cosworth||52||+67.6 secs||20|
|18||21||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham-Renault||52||+67.7 secs||22|
|19||8||Romain Grosjean||Lotus-Renault||51||+1 Lap||7|
|20||6||Sergio Perez||McLaren-Mercedes||46||+6 Laps||13|
|Ret||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||41||+11 Laps||3|
|Ret||18||Jean-Eric Vergne||STR-Ferrari||35||+17 Laps||12|