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Mark Webber oozed class as he stamped his authority mid-way into the season as he took a gripping victory at Silverstone in a typically flawless race from the Aussie. Sebastian Vettel made it an excellent points scoring race for the Red Bull team as he finished on the last step on the podium in 3rd place having held off the charging pack comprising Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen behind him.
The Red Bull team had a nearly flawless qualifying session as Aussie Mark Webber was right in the thick of the action in the fight for pole position, having been bumped out of pole by just under five-hundredths of a second by Fernando Alonso. The mercurial Sebastian Vettel was for once overshadowed by his teammate and later said that he had a tough day at the office. However Red Bull looked very strong for the race as 2nd and 4th place on the grid hardly counts as a calamity.
The start of the British GP had Webber starting on the soft tyres as he hustled for the race lead with Alonso. Webber was relentless in his pursuit of the Ferrari with the Red Bull ace was within 2 seconds of the race leader. Vettel was right on the tail of Felipe Massa but was unable to force a move past the Ferrari driver who in turn was held up behind Michael Schumacher in 3rd place. Vettel pitted on lap 11 to switch to the hard tyres as he lost a piece of front bodywork against Massaâ€™s Ferrari in the dicing through the corners. Webber also blinked first in his battle as he pitted to change to the hard tyres on lap 15 thus giving race control to the pace setting Alonso who was yet to pit.
As the pit stops panned out Webber regained 2nd place as he was pushing hard to close up on the race leading Ferrari. Vettel was running right behind his teammate gaining track position ahead of the Ferrari of Massa after the round of pit stops. Vettel pitted on lap 32 to remain on a fresh set of the hard tyres to rejoin in 5th place. Webber pitted on lap 34 to drop down to 4th place as the Aussie switched to a set of used hard tyres. Webber set a string of fastest laps and the Aussie was on the move with Alonso yet to pit. Webberâ€™s best efforts were not enough as Alonso pitted and came back out on track regaining his race lead as the Red Bull could not make the most of his undercut strategy.
However, Webber had the last laugh, as he drove past Alonso with 4 laps remaining, in what was the race winning move, as a DRS enabled effort aided his progress to win the race with Alonso's tyres beginning to give way on him. The Aussie now reduces Alonsoâ€™s lead at the head of the points standings to 13 points. Vettel finished on the last step of the podium in 3rd place in a controlled race from the German to aid his teamâ€™s charge in the constructors' championship.
Webber shared after the race, â€œItâ€™s taking a while to sink in this one. I think it was the circumstances of the race â€“ for most of it I was marking off second place. Fernando was not quite out of touch and after the last stop, my engineer Ciaron came on the radio saying that Fernando was not doing much on the option tyres. But I know Fernando is a wily old fox, I thought he was looking after the tyres and just waiting to pull the pin and go a little bit. But when I got within two seconds I thought maybe heâ€™s in a little bit of trouble and it was real. It was completely game on when I knew the DRS was available, I made the move stick and our hard work paid off for the win. It was a cracking grand prix today; the spectators got to see a good race and Iâ€™m pleased for them.â€
Vettel hinted at the rivalry between the two Red Bull drivers in his post race review, â€œIt was a tough day today. The start was not so good. I lost a little bit and then got stuck behind Michael, but had a good strategy to come back. We decided to pit early and we came out ahead, so that was a good call. I would be a bit happier if we had won today, but it was a great result for the team, I am happy. Weâ€™re just down the road, so itâ€™s our local race. Itâ€™s good it didnâ€™t rain, I saw some clouds coming and it might have helped my race, but I was very happy for the people in the grandstands. I think they appreciated it staying dry. Itâ€™s been a tough weekend for them with rain, a lot of traffic and not so much driving from our side due to too much water â€“ but I think we made up for that today.â€
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