Red Bull's Mark Webber trimmed Fernando Alonso's Formula 1 championship lead to 13 points by hunting down and passing the Ferrari in a dramatic conclusion to a totally dry British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Sebastian Vettel completed the podium and almost managed to make it a Red Bull 1-2 as he gained on Alonso's tire-troubled car at the end.
Alonso pulled out a five-second lead over Webber in the first stint and maintained it for the majority of the race. But while most of the field used soft tires early then switched to hards, Alonso waited until his final stint to try the softs, and could not keep up his previous pace.
Webber caught up rapidly and was on the Ferrari's tail with seven laps to go, trying several moves before deploying his DRS on the run toward Brooklands on lap 48 out of 52. Alonso defended the inside as Webber swept around the outside, and after attempting to retaliate at Luffield, the Spaniard had to let Webber go and concentrate on staying clear of Vettel.
The World Champion had run fifth in the opening stint before a slightly early first stop helped him jump to third, where he would finish, unable to catch Alonso in the end.
Felipe Massa spent the opening laps trying ever-more creative attempts to overtake Michael Schumacher's Mercedes for third, finally managing at Stowe on lap 11. The Ferrari lost out to Vettel in the following pit sequence, then resisted the fast-closing Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen to take fourth.
Lotus got two cars in the top six despite Romain Grosjean breaking his front wing in a brush with Paul di Resta on the first lap. The resulting puncture and associated damage ended the Force India's race, while Grosjean charged back from last to sixth.
Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button could only finish eighth and 10th in the McLarens. Hamilton spent a while in the lead and enjoyed a spirited dice with Alonso as he ran a very long first stint on hards, but then did just a handful of laps on softs before switching back to harder Pirellis. The Briton's pace then faded and he lost seventh place to Schumacher late in the race.
Although Button jumped to 12th at the start, his progress was less dramatic thereafter. In the closing laps he was in the thick of an epic dice for ninth with Bruno Senna and Nico Hulkenberg, won by the Williams. Hulkenberg (Force India) ran wide at Copse in the heat of battle and dropped out of the points.
The other major incident of the race involved Pastor Maldonado and Sergio Perez. Running seventh and ninth in the first stint, they pitted together on lap 11 but then collided at Brooklands on their out-laps. The furious Perez sustained terminal damage to his Sauber, while Maldonado dragged his Williams back to the pits for repairs and finished 16th.
Completing a bad day for Sauber, Kamui Kobayashi hit several mechanics at his final stop. Initial reports suggested there were no serious injuries and the Japanese driver continued to 11th ahead of Hulkenberg.
Nico Rosberg had a less dramatic bad pit stop during what was already a low-key midfield race, which ended with his Mercedes 15th.
PROVISIONAL RACE RESULTS
The British Grand Prix
52 laps; 306.198km;
Pos Driver Team Time
1. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1h25:11.288
2. Alonso Ferrari + 3.060
3. Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 4.836
4. Massa Ferrari + 9.519
5. Raikkonen Lotus-Renault + 10.314
6. Grosjean Lotus-Renault + 17.101
7. Schumacher Mercedes + 29.153
8. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 36.400
9. Senna Williams-Renault + 43.300
10. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 44.400
11. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 45.300
12. Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes + 47.800
13. Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 51.200
14. Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 53.300
15. Rosberg Mercedes + 57.300
16. Maldonado Williams-Renault + 1 lap
17. Kovalainen Caterham-Renault + 1 lap
18. Glock Marussia-Cosworth + 1 lap
19. Pic Marussia-Cosworth + 1 lap
20. De la Rosa HRT-Cosworth + 2 laps
21. Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth + 2 laps
Fastest lap: Raikkonen, 1:34.661
Driver Team On lap
Perez Sauber-Ferrari 14
Di Resta Force India-Mercedes 3
Petrov Caterham-Renault 1
World Championship standings, round 9:
1. Alonso 129 1. Red Bull-Renault 216
2. Webber 116 2. Ferrari 152
3. Vettel 100 3. Lotus-Renault 144
4. Hamilton 92 4. McLaren-Mercedes 142
5. Raikkonen 83 5. Mercedes 98
6. Rosberg 75 6. Sauber-Ferrari 60
7. Grosjean 61 7. Williams-Renault 47
8. Button 50 8. Force India-Mercedes 44
9. Perez 39 9. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 6
10. Maldonado 29
11. Di Resta 27
12. Schumacher 23
13. Massa 23
14. Kobayashi 21
15. Senna 18
16. Hulkenberg 17
17. Vergne 4
18. Ricciardo 2
All timing unofficial