British Grand Prix: Winners and Losers

© 2012. Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Limited.

© 2012. Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Limited.

Winners

Nico Rosberg (Q2, R1)

 

Nico Rosberg came home strong on Sunday and was able to celebrate his third Formula One World Championship victory after mid-race fortune first dispelled Lewis Hamilton and then Sebastian Vettel ahead of him. It was an interesting victory for the German, whose first half and second half of the race were in stark contrast. While he looked unimpressive behind Hamilton and Vettel, when provided with the opportunity to clinch victory he shone out in front. Perhaps it was down to the team being able to conserve the tyres under the final safety car period, but maybe Rosberg needed the extra motivation to find the few tenths required to steal the top spot of the rostrum. It’ll be interesting to see how Nico goes in front of his home crowd, a race he’s not yet graced the podium at. Losing out to Lewis by four tenths on Saturday was an eye opener for Rosberg who, until now, has generally faired better than his team-mate in qualifying this year and pole position at the German Grand Prix will provide him with an enormous opportunity to take a home victory. Let’s just hope he doesn’t get another start like he had at Silverstone.

 

Daniel Ricciardo (Q5, R8)

By virtue of di Resta’s penalty, Ricciardo started the British Grand Prix higher than any Toro Rosso driver had managed in nearly five years. It was an important step for the Red Bull-hopeful and any comparisons he is able to draw to Sebastian Vettel will look even more impressive on his CV come contract season. After a miserable two races, the British Grand Prix result was a perfect turnaround and worked perfectly in taking the spotlight off of the ever-fast Jean-Eric Vergne. Even though Vergne finished sixth just three weeks before, few were mentioning it as Ricciardo’s performance was hailed the best of STR’s season so-far.

None the less, eighth for Ricciardo was relatively disappointing and the team admitted they believed they could have achieved more. A seven-second stop and a decision to not pit the Australian at the final safety car, while his rivals took the initiative, left him hopelessly off the pace in the final laps of the Grand Prix. Though he raced as high as fourth, Daniel was back in eighth by the chequered flag. Another couple of races like this before the summer break and Ricciardo will be making regular trips to Milton Keynes before the end of the year.

 

Lewis Hamilton (Q1, R4)

Despite a tyre blowout, Hamilton fought back to score 12 important points. © 2012. Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Limited.

Despite a tyre blowout, Hamilton fought back to score 12 important points. © 2012. Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Limited.

If a driver’s car is going to let them down in the lead, it’s going to be either two drivers: Sebastian Vettel or Lewis Hamilton. Coincidentally, the pair both suffered while leading the British Grand Prix. But while Vettel coasted to a halt in the late stages of the race, Hamilton was fortunate enough to have his failure early in the event. Lewis had a fantastic opportunity to bag a home victory at Silverstone, but exterior forced meant the 28-year-old will go at least another year before he can stand on the podium at his home race again. Lewis’s determined comeback drive saved what could’ve been a disastrous race and, coupled with the retirement of the World Championship leader, he salvaged an important 12 points. Vettel leads the championship by 21 points over Fernando Alonso and 43 over Hamilton, but as Mercedes get their act together he may be provided (later in the season) with the opportunity to fight for top honours. After 71 laps in Brazil, the 12 points he nabbed at Silverstone may play an important role in deciding his championship success.

 

Paul di Resta (Q22, R9)

Di Resta can’t seem to find any luck. In Canada he was caught out in the rain during qualifying and started 17th. Despite the disadvantage, the Scott recovered to seventh after 69 laps. A similar result occurred this time around; Paul started 22nd and came home in ninth. These are character-building results and ones that will be impressing the board members at the factory. What Paul needs to make sure is that he’s not slagging his team any more than is considered fair. The media may love a driver willing to speak his mind, but teams and sponsors rarely like a blab. Patience, Paul. If you’re good enough, fortune will come.

 

Losers

Pirelli

After a series of tyre failures, Pirelli probably couldn’t have looked much sillier. That was, of course, until they decided to apportion blame onto every party but themselves. Indeed, all of the teams and the Silverstone Circuit itself were revealed as the evil causing the perfectly reliable Pirelli tyres to falter. In actual fact it’s the responsibility of Pirelli to construct tyres able to withstand the demands of the cars, not the other way around. Blaming the curbs as a particular damaging aspect to the rear wheels? Perhaps an element of truth was to be found in this explanation, but the company’s complete denial of any sort of wrongdoing came out as being less than gracious in the face of such a scandal.

The company has decided to alter its tyre configurations for the races ahead. If we see the same sort of thing in Hungary, Lord knows what will be the go for the rest of the championship.

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