Formula 1: Alonso Delivers Ferrari's First Win of Season In British GP 10/07/2011 16:59:00
Fernando Alonso showing his delight on the podium aftr winning the British GP on the Silverstone circuit
Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso took full advantage of a slow Red Bull pit stop for Sebastian Vettel to end his wait for a win in 2011 at the British Formula 1 GP. It was his first victory of the season.
World Drivers' Championship leader, leader Sebastian Vettel had his hopes for a seventh victory this year thwarted by a pit-stop blunder just after the halfway point when the Red Bull driver's mechanics struggled to attach a wheel.
“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 said. “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 27th career victory for the Spanish driver. He finished 16 seconds ahead of the the second placed Vettel. It lifted him to third in the drivers' championship behind the Red Bull duo of Vettel and Mark Webber who finished second and third after a close battle to the finish.
“Today it is 60 years since Ferrari won its first Grand Prix in Formula One,” Alonso said. “And today we won on the same circuit.”
Vettel didn't linger on the pit-spot issue, saying that “Ferrari beat us fair and square.”
“There were little mistakes here and there,” the German said. “You can't get it right all the time, but credit to Ferrari - they have been getting stronger and improving their car, so it shows we need to keep pushing hard.”
There was controversy on the final lap as Vettel increased his lead in the drivers' championship to 80 points over Webber.
Webber had been told by the team to hold third place and halt his pursuit of Vettel. “Obviously Mark disagreed with that,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said. “It is a team result. I can understand Mark's frustrations but we cannot give away a load of points.
“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 is not out of the championship race but we could not afford to risk losing points. Mark should be fine with that, he is a team player. Second and third is a very strong result.”
Having started in tenth, McLaren's Lewis Hamilton edged Felipe Massa to finish fourth after going wheel-to-wheel with the Ferrari driver on the final lap.
Hamilton is fourth in the championship, tied at 109 points with team-mate Jenson Button, whose race ended on lap 40 after exiting the pits with an unsecured front-right wheel.
British GP Full Results
1. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) 2. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull-Renault) 3. Mark Webber (Red Bull-Renault) 4. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren-Mercedes) 5. Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 6. 8Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 7. Sergio Perez (Sauber-Ferrari) 8. Nick Heidfeld (Renault) 9. Michael Schumacher (Mercedes) 10. Jaime Alguersuari (STR-Ferrari) 11. Adrian Sutil (Force India-Mercedes) 12. Vitaly Petrov (Renault) 13. Rubens Barrichello (Williams-Cosworth) 14. Pastor Maldonado (Williams-Cosworth) 15. Paul di Resta (Force India-Mercedes) 16. Timo Glock (Virgin-Cosworth) 17. Jerome d'Ambrosio (Virgin-Cosworth)
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