I think it’s safe to say that Pirelli’s PR division would be working in over drive today following Sunday’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone. It appeared that not a single driver was immune from tyre issues yesterday, though some suffered considerably worse than others (and not just from Pirelli).
From lights out, Hamilton made a very clean getaway from the grid. Immediately Rosberg conceded a position to Vettel, and Webber suffered a poor start (Hmm) and then some contact from Grosjean (Again, hmm). For the next five or so laps it seemed as if the podium was decided. Hamilton had a strong lead on Vettel and Webber was at the back of the pack. I admit, I was quite disappointed when I thought Webber’s shot of the podium was out of reach.
Hamilton was the first to suffer major issues with his tryes. On reflection, that’s a bit of an understatement, Hamilton was the first to recover from his tyres just flat out giving up and exploding in a sea of debris. The blow out occurred right after the pit lane entrance as well, so Hamilton was forced to limp back around the track for one more lap before he could change his tyres.
Massa was next to suffer a rear tyre blow out, followed by Vergne who was forced to retire. In the final laps Perez became the fourth and final driver to have a tyre blow out, with debris missing Alonso by inches. It was quite unbelievable to watch, there was a very intense feeling when you didn’t really know who was next. It felt like there was a sniper on the track taking drivers out one by one. After Hamilton, Massa, and Vergne’s blow outs the safety car was deployed. To be honest I was half expecting the SC’s rears to go too… I’ve never seen race marshals have to work so hard, it was hard to believe that the race wasn’t even halfway through. More than just marbling. Pirelli have reported saying that this season’s bonding process is not to blame for Sunday’s incidents. A number of drivers have defended the Silverstone track after suggestion that tyre damage was caused by the kerbs.
Apart from the tyre ‘issue’ (magical exploding tryres), race leader Vettel suffered gearbox failure on lap 42. Vettel obviously didn’t read my Canadian Grand Prix post in which I asked for him to win for my birthday (naughty German). He went out in style though requiring a safety car and a crane to remove his car from the pit straight. Grosjean’s car suffered damage and he retired on lap 52 due to handling issues.
Rosberg’s win was considerably overshadowed by the multitude of tyre failures during the race. Not only that, but Webber’s comeback was just incredible. As I mentioned earlier, after his contact with Grosjean it seemed like his hopes of being on the podium were squashed. This was not the case as he pulled off some fantastic moves going around the outside to over take. Pure skill, it was awesome. Alonso’s drive throughout the race was unsurprisingly good, but incredible in the final five laps. During the second safety car, both Webber and Alonso came in to pit which was a very risky move. Though maybe due to the track temperature, both cars had much superior grip and speed. As a result, Alonso was able to steal a podium finish away from Kimi, and Webber secured second place.
So that was a few of the highlights. Other points worth a mention include Alonso’s fantastic moustache he is currently sporting (Please don’t shave that one off mate), and Kimi breaking Schumacher’s record for most consecutive races finishing in the points. Well done Kimi! It was a pretty good way to ring in my twenty third birthday to be honest, one of the best races of the season. A Finnish friend of mine wished me a Happy Birthday today, or more accurately wished me a “Hyvää Syntymäpäivää”, which is much more difficult to say.
Well, that’s all for now. I shall see you later in the week for the German Grand Prix