Mark Webber has won his third Grand Prix of the 2010 Formula One season at Silverstone this evening. Webber started from second on the grid, behind his Red Bull Racing teammate Sebastian Vettel, but was able to edge ahead of Vettel into the first corner.
Through the next series of corners Vettel ran wide and picked up a puncture after minor contact with Lewis Hamilton. This setback which sent Vettel to the back of the field. From there it was a masterful race from Webber who maintained the lead for the rest of the race.
Lewis Hamilton finished second and was able to pressure the Australian in the in the first part of the race when both drivers were on the softer compound tyres. Hamilton came into change tyres before Webber, but Red Bull Racing got Webber in and out safely on the next lap and back out ahead of Hamilton. Once on the harder prime tyres Webber was supreme and the only way Hamilton could close the gap was thanks to a safety car period to clear some debris from the track.
After the restart Webber once again pulled away and established a comfortable lead. As the race drew to an inevitable end Webber slowed his pace and coasted to victory just 1.3 seconds ahead of Hamilton. Nico Rosberg finished in third place. Vettel, for his misfortune at the start of the race, managed to make the most of the safety car period to fight back into the points finishing in seventh position.
Despite the win for Mark Webber, the fifth of his career, controversy has again surrounded the Red Bull Racing team following new accusations of team bias towards Vettel after yesterday’s qualifying session. In the final free practice session on Saturday morning Vettel’s front wing was damaged and needed replacing. Under normal circumstances the team would grab an identical spare part. However, at this race the RB6 was running a revised spec on its front wing and the team only had two new wing assemblies. Prior to qualifying it was decided the wing would be removed from Webber’s car and fitted to Vettel’s.
As it turned out Vettel’s car was quicker during qualifying and he finished 0.134 seconds ahead of a visibly frustrated Mark Webber. This provided more motivation for Mark who was already desperate to win today’s race, a home Grand Prix for the Red Bull team. Speaking on his team radio following the victory Webber’s message to team boss Christian Horner was, “Not bad for a number two driver.”
In post-race interviews Vettel, too, was clearly unhappy about Webber passing him at the race start. So expect another week of he-said-she-said coming from the Milton Keynes outfit.
In the driver’s title race Lewis Hamilton (145pts) still lead, ahead of McLaren teammate Jenson Button (133). Webber (128) is now above Vettel (121) and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso (99) rounds out the top five.
McLaren-Mercedes (278pts) maintains its lead in the constructors race, ahead of Red Bull Racing (249) and Ferrari (165).