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Alonso Wins British Grand Prix

Alonso on the Podiium

The Guardian’s headline called today’s Grand Prix of Great Britain “thrilling.” It surely was an interesting wet-dry race, but more properly characterized as a collection of missed opportunities (Mark Webber giving up P1 from pole before the first corner), unexpected gaffes (Lewis Hamilton off twice, in the same spot), silly penalties (Michael Schumacher given a 10-second stop-and-go for a racing incident in which only his car was damaged), bad pit work (Sebastian Vettel was demoted three positions and Jenson Button retired, both after team pit stop blinders), and annoying team orders within Red Bull Racing (ruining a good fight between Webber and Vettel) in the closing laps.

Fernando Alonso won to record his 27th Grand Prix victory — tying him with Jackie Stewart for 4th on the all-time Formula One list — on the 60th anniversary of Scuderia Ferrari’s first official F1 victory, at Silverstone in 1951 with “The Pampas Bull” José Froilán González driving. After Lewis held up Vettel following his pit stop fiasco, though, Alonso pulled out to a 14s lead and the race was essentially over. Congrats to the Spaniard, and sympathies to Renault, which seems to have lost two engines — and lots of downforce and pace — due to the new mid-season rules banning exhaust-blown diffusers.

Fernando Alonso won his first Grand Prix for nine months with the 27th victory of his career as Ferrari continued to improve their competitiveness. It was a memorable way for Ferrari to celebrate the 60th anniversary of their first win here. It was the Spaniard’s first victory since his win in South Korea in October last year. But the real thrills were taking place behind him, with Red Bull team-mates Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber battling it out for second place and Lewis Hamilton coming under increasing pressure from Felipe Massa. Vettel, who still managed to increase his lead in the world championship table by three points to 80, did hold off Webber to take second. But despite saying in the past that the two drivers were free to race, Red Bull gave Webber the chilling message on the last lap: “Mark, maintain the gap.”

Fernando certainly has class, driving González’s vintage Ferrari 375 for two ceremonial laps before the race and saying — both politically correct and accurate — afterwards, “People here understand this sport. There are hundreds of different categories of racing here, like historic car racing, things that only happen in England because they love it so much. To win in front of these people is very special.”

Ferrari’s win at Silverstone a timely reminder of their rich history | Richard Williams.


Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso wins thrilling British Grand Prix” was written by Paul Weaver at Silverstone, for guardian.co.uk on Sunday 10th July 2011 14.45 UTC

Fernando Alonso won his first grand prix for nine months with the 27th victory of his career as Ferrari continued to improve their competitiveness. It was a memorable way for Ferrari to celebrate the 60th anniversary of their first win here.

It was the Spaniard’s first victory since his win in South Korea in October last year. But the real thrills were taking place behind him, with Red Bull team-mates Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber battling it out for second place and Lewis Hamilton coming under increasing pressure from Felipe Massa.

Vettel, who still managed to increase his lead in the world championship table by three points to 80, did hold off Webber to take second. But despite saying in the past that the two drivers were free to race, Red Bull gave Webber the chilling message on the last lap: “Mark, maintain the gap.”

Webber though, appeared to ignore the message and continued to race Vettel until the end of the race.

Hamilton had a brilliant afternoon. Starting in 10th place, with a car well off the pace over the weekend, he charged up the field, overtaking Paul di Resta to take sixth place, before moving up to fifth by passing the other Briton in the race, his team-mate Jenson Button. He eventually finished fourth.

But it was another difficult day for McLaren. Button, making his 12th attempt to win a podium place in the British Grand Prix, failed to finish, retiring after a pit-stop mistake resulted in his front right wheel almost falling off.

Hamilton only just finished the race, running out of fuel and having to slow down as Massa closed on him. Hamilton was brilliant but his recent criticism of the team was justified.

But the day belonged to Alonso. He said afterwards: “This is a very special day for Ferrari and I’m very happy. It means a lot to all the guys who work for Ferrari.”

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

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One Response to “Alonso Wins British Grand Prix”

  1. […] comments on the newest team orders controversy — which he ignored — in the closing laps of the British Grand Prix. I tend to agree. Over the years in F1, we have seen a number of situations when a team has asked […]

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