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Mark Webber charges to superb British Grand Prix victory

Mark Webber, Red Bull RacingRed 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 one-two as he gained on Alonso's tyre-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 tyres 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 towards 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 on.

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 pitstop during what was already a low-key midfield race, which ended with his Mercedes 15th.

PROVISIONAL RACE RESULTS

The British Grand Prix
Silverstone, Britain;
52 laps; 306.198km;
Weather: Dry.

Classified:

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           +    36.463
 9.  Senna         Williams-Renault           +    43.347
10.  Button        McLaren-Mercedes           +    44.444
11.  Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari             +    45.370
12.  Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes       +    47.856
13.  Ricciardo     Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +    51.241
14.  Vergne        Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +    53.313
15.  Rosberg       Mercedes                   +    57.394
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

Not classified/retirements:

Driver        Team                         On lap
Perez         Sauber-Ferrari               14
Di Resta      Force India-Mercedes         3
Petrov        Caterham-Renault             1


World Championship standings, round 9:                

Drivers:                    Constructors:             
 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
Daytona Competition
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