Red Bull: MARK SEALS SECOND AT BRITISH GP AS SEB RETIRES

MyDrive | SILVERSTONE, UK – Red Bull – Mark Webber scored a sensational second place at the British Grand Prix behind Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg, as Sebastian Vettel was forced to retire from the lead with a gearbox problem.

At the start Sebastian passed Rosberg to claim P2. He then assumed control of the race on lap eight when pole winner and early leader Lewis Hamilton suffered a rear left tire failure. A similar problem hit Felipe Massa’s Ferrari three laps later.

Mark, meanwhile, was battling hard to get back into the race after a troubled start saw him drop down the order. A poor getaway at lights out left him struggling and as he tried to fight back he tangled with Romain Grosjean and was pitched off track in Turn One.

That left him with front wing damage and a tough task to fight back from P14. He began the process and by lap 24 was running an excellent ninth.

It was at that point that the race’s tire issues struck again. Jean-Eric Vergne’s left rear tire failed and the Frenchman had to fight hard not to crash. He pitted for new tires but with a badly damaged floor he was eventually forced to retire.

The Safety Car emerged in order for the debris to be cleared from the track and that played into Mark’s hands. With the gaps to those ahead erased he could plot an assault on the higher positions.

Red Bull F1 2013 7

Up front, Sebastian appeared to have the race under control and by the time of his second stop he had a narrow but sustainable advantage over Rosberg in P2.

On lap 42 however, the championship leader suddenly slowed and eventually his RB9 ground to a halt on the pit straight. He later confirmed the stoppage had been caused by a gearbox problem.

The Safety Car emerged again so that Seb’s car could be recovered and the team’s pit wall took the opportunity to pit Mark for new medium tires.

Despite losing positions, the gamble proved to be a good one and in the closing stages he powered past Daniel Ricciardo, Adrian Sutil and Kimi Raikkonen, all on old tires, to claim P2.

Mark pushed hard in the closing laps to catch Rosberg, but the German, too, had pitted and his new hard tires allowed him to fend off Mark’s charge until the checkered flag.

Porsche Mark Webber 1

“What a day! I don’t think any of us expected it to unfold like this,” said Mark of his race. “The start was pretty bad, we have to look into that as we had had a good run of starts recently. Then I had contact with Grosjean and the wing was damaged; the boys did a great job in the stop when they changed it. After that we got into the race.

“I was praying for a safety car, but not for the reason they were coming, as you knew you could be next,” he said of the tire failures.

“When you have something like that, it’s Russian Roulette; when you see that many tire issues for the fellow competitors then it’s never comforting.

“I made the most of those safety cars – and today the strategy was one of the best we’ve done. I think it worked very, very well. I worked hard to manipulate the pace when I had to and then it was Nico and I left at the end. It would have been nice to have had a few more laps, but that’s how it was today. It was nearly a really special day, but it was still a nice day.”

Sebastian, meanwhile, was understandably disappointed by the outcome of his race. “Obviously it’s quite disappointing to retire when we were only a few laps from the end,” he said. “We had a gearbox issue, I think fifth gear broke and damaged the rest of the gearbox as well, so it was not possible to carry on. It’s a shame because we were in a good position and it’s a nice race to win here, so yeah I guess we have to come back next year and try again. It’s good that it’s only a short time until the next race.”

Team Principal Christian Horner echoed the champion’s disappointment, saying: “Obviously to get within 12 laps of winning the race and have a retirement due to a transmission issue is pretty painful, particularly at this venue, but Sebastian had done everything right today and it was a great shame.”

Red Bull Racing 2013 3

He nonetheless hailed Webber’s performance as a “great recovery”: “For Mark, after a difficult start and being hit at the first corner, he made a great recovery with a good nose change from the guys and his drive from then on was fantastic. He got his head down, charged his way back through the field and came pretty close to claiming the victory, but nonetheless second place was a great performance from him on a big weekend for the team.”

The result means Seb still leads the Drivers’ Championship on 132 points but his lead has been cut from 36 to 21 as Fernando Alonso took the final podium spot at Silverstone.

Car 2 Mark Webber, Finish Position: 2nd, Start Position: 4th
“What a day! I don’t think any of us expected it to unfold like this. The start was pretty bad. We have to look into that as we had had a good run of starts recently. Then I had contact with Grosjean and the wing was damaged; the boys did a great job in the stop when they changed it. After that we got into the race. I was praying for a safety car, but not for the reason they were coming, as you knew you could be next. When you have something like that, it’s Russian Roulette; when you see that many tire issues for the fellow competitors then it’s never comforting. I made the most of those safety cars – and today the strategy was one of the best we’ve done. I think it worked very, very well. I worked hard to manipulate the pace when I had to and then it was Nico and I left at the end. It would have been nice to have had a few more laps, but that’s how it was today. It was nearly a really special day, but it was still a nice day.”

Red Bull Racing F1

Car 1 Sebastian Vettel, Finish Position: DNF, Start Position: 3rd
“Obviously it’s quite disappointing to retire when we were only a few laps from the end. We had a gearbox issue. I think fifth gear broke and damaged the rest of the gearbox as well, so it was not possible to carry on. It’s a shame because we were in a good position and it’s a nice race to win here, so yeah I guess we have to come back next year and try again. It’s good that it’s only a short time until the next race.”

Christian Horner, Team Principal
“Obviously to get within 12 laps of winning the race and have a retirement due to a transmission issue is pretty painful, particularly at this venue, but Sebastian had done everything right today and it was a great shame. For Mark, after a difficult start and being hit at the first corner, he made a great recovery with a good nose change from the guys and his drive from then on was fantastic. He got his head down, charged his way back through the field and came pretty close to claiming the victory, but nonetheless second place was a great performance from him on a big weekend for the team.”

Thierry Salvi (Renault)
“In races like those, sometimes you have no luck and other times you make your own. We seemed to have both cases today. Mark drove a phenomenal race, coming back from down the field, and could have won for a third time at home if the race had been a lap longer. Seb deserved more, but sometimes that happens. We’ve got another race in one week so it’s now back to work to keep the gap we have at the top of both championships.”

For further information on the Red Bull F1 Team, click > www.redbullracing.com

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