Alonso breaks Red Bull dominance to win British Grand Prix
The 2011 British Grand Prix turned out to be classic race, with plenty of plot twists. This time, it was Fernando Alonso's turn to take the top podium spot, thanks in part to superior pace at decisive moments in the race, but also in great measure to a problem in the Red Bull box during Sebastian Vettel's second stop.
World championship leader Vettel had to settle for second place, despite having held the lead for most of the race. With his tyres wearing rapidly, he finished only just ahead of his team-mate. Webber had just snatched third place from Lewis Hamilton a few laps before the end when the McLaren driver was in fuel-conserving mode.
It looked as if Webber was also sizing up Vettel for a pass on the last two laps, but he was then told on the radio to hold station. Meanwhile, Hamilton had his hands full fending off Felipe Massa but succeeded in brushing off the challenge on the final straight.
Also in the points today were Nico Rosberg, Sergio Perez, Nick Heidfeld, Michael Schumacher and Jaime Alguersuari. Schumacher once again had a rollercoaster race, first damaging his front wing, then incurring a stop-and-go penalty and finally sailing through the field.
Adrian Sutil finished eleventh and Timo Glock 16th. Sebastien Buemi had to drop out after shredding a tyre in a clash with Paul di Resta.
The race order kept changing throughout. Vettel got off to a clean start and seemed to be vanishing over the horizon. Behind him, Webber, Alonso, Massa, Hamilton and Jenson Button were jostling for position.
As the race developed, Alonso just seemed to get faster and faster, and when both Red Bull drivers had messy pit stops, he took a lead that he was never in any danger of surrendering. With a sequence of fastest race laps, victory was assured.
Button had to abandon the race when his front right wheel came loose as he was exiting the pit lane. The wheel nut had got jammed in the mechanic's gun. The other DNFs on the day were Kamui Kobayashi, Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen.
Kobayashi's car developed a fault either in the engine or in the hydraulics, Kovalainen had a gearbox problem and the reason for Trulli's retirement is as yet unknown.