2013 British Grand Prix: Tyre Explosions Galore

The 2013 British Grand Prix took place in the scorching heat with home favourite Lewis Hamilton on pole position, followed by teammate Nico Rosberg and the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel. The remainder of the top ten consisted of Mark Webber, a career best fifth for Paul Di Resta in his Force India, Daniel Ricciardo, Adrian Sutil, Romain Grosjean, Kimi Räikkönen and Fernando Alonso. However, Di Resta would later receive a penalty for being under the minimum weight required after qualifying and was subsequently sent to the back of the grid. The reason, to this day remains unknown.

Hamilton led from the start, just in front of Vettel after Rosberg was slow off the line. Likewise Webber had a characteristically poor start and ended up damaging his front wing after contact with Lotus’ Romain Grosjean into turn one.

Then, on lap seven, the first of the Pirelli tyres began to fail. Hamilton- who had been leading over two seconds experienced a left-rear tyre failure on the Wellington Straight, and after a painfully slow lap in which the hearts of the crowd plummeted, he trundled back into the pits.

Subsequently, Felipe Massa having made a superb start from 11th to fifth suffered a tyre failure resulting in a spin, followed by the Toro Rosso of Jean-Eric Vergne’s tyre exploding, bringing out the safety car on lap 16 and ending the Frenchman’s race.

Now in the lead, Vettel led until he suffered a gearbox failure on lap 42 and stopped near the start-finish line, subsequently receiving a noticeable amount of booing. This again meant the safety car returned to the track. Once the race got going again, Webber and Alonso who then filled the final spots on the podium overtook a struggling Räikkönen.

Hamilton managed to finish fourth after recovering from his early tyre failure and passing Räikkönen on the penultimate lap. Massa also made a good recovery after his own tyre failure and a slower-than-average pit stop, managing to finish sixth. Paul di Resta also put in a sterling drive to finish ninth and only 17 seconds off the lead after starting last.

McLaren’s Sergio Pérez suffered a tyre failure on the restart and was forced to retire with car damage. Debris narrowly missed hitting Alonso in the head with some aggressive avoidance by the Spaniard sparing a possibly horrendous accident. Grosjean also retired before the end of the race.

Nico Rosberg went on to win the race, holding off Red Bull’s Mark Webber by just 0.7 seconds with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso over 7 seconds down the road in 3rd.

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