RED Bull driver Mark Webber poured praise on his colleague’s efforts yesterday after leading the Milton Keynes-based team to their third Formula One victory at Silverstone in four years.
Webber, who has held talks with other teams with a view to leaving Red Bull, pipped Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso to first place with only three laps of an action packed British Grand Prix to go.
“It’s a very special victory for the team, being just down the road – thanks to them for doing a great job,” an elated Webber said, having won in one hour, 25 minutes, 11 seconds. “A bit of strategy at the end there [worked for us],” Webber said, after instructions through the team radio helped him overtake Alonso on lap 49.
The Australian lives only a short drive from Silverstone, while Red Bull’s base is a mere 18 miles away. Webber’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel completed the podium, to hammer home Red Bull’s recent domination of the British Grand Prix. Torrential rain had disturbed qualifying throughout Saturday afternoon, yet stayed away for yesterday’s race.
McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton was unable to improve on his eighth place start on the grid, while team-mate Jenson Button only narrowly got in on the points in 10th. Force India’s Paul di Resta had to retire for the first time in his last 24 races after contact with Romain Grosjean’s Lotus in lap one.
Another collision occurred in lap 13 when Williams’ Pastor Maldonado crashed for the second time in two races, taking out the Sauber of Sergio Perez. Perez criticised the Venezuelan and called on the stewards to take action, yet the Williams man escaped with just a €10,000 fine. Kamui Kobayashi was fined €25,000 for a separate incident in which he crashed into his Sauber engineers in the pit-stop.
Webber’s victory takes him to within 13 points of Alonso, who leads the drivers’ championship on 129 points. Vettel is in third with 100 points, while Hamilton has slipped into fourth place in the rankings, on 92 points.