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Alonso Wins Dramatic British Grand Prix
Team orders, dodgy pit stops and rain..must be the British Grand Prix
Posted Jul 12, 2011 by Chris White
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We finally saw something that resembled racing at Silverstone this weekend, in a race that was dominated by incidents and team orders, with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso picking up his first win of the season ahead of the Red Bull pair of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.
In the perfect example of why many people dislike Formula One, Alonso took the lead while Vettel under took an extended pit stop due to complications, and held on to take the victory, but on all the evidence that we saw before Vettel’s stop, Alonso had the race-winning pace anyway and looked most likely to take the win.
Vettel’s team mate, Mark Webber, was fighting for second with Vettel until he received team orders instructing him not to pass the German – which is not what you want to hear – but you can understand it from a team point-of-view. Vettel is leading the championship, and extended that with his second placed finish, and Webber is now second, while Red Bull lead the constructors’ championship.
So why the controversial team orders? Boss Christian Horner said afterwards it was “better to take second and third than both end up in the wall”, which is true. But Webber seemed to take offence to this and despite clear radio instructions telling him to maintain the gap between himself and Vettel; Webber was going on the attack right to the end, finishing under a second behind his team mate.
Lewis Hamilton was the first of the Brits across the line, finishing in fourth place after a sprint for the line with Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, while it was a disastrous afternoon for another of the British drivers.
Jenson Button was forced to retire from the Grand Prix having set off from his final pit stop without a wheel nut on his right front wheel, meaning he had to stop in the exit of the pit lane.