Good afternoon. It's just half an hour until the start of the 2013 British Grand Prix
gets underway at Silverstone.
The home fans will be pleased to see a Brit at the front of the grid, following Lewis Hamilton
's impressive display in qualifying yesterday. However, Scotland's Paul di Resta has been demoted to the back of the grid after his car was found to be underweight after yesterday's quali session.
Hamilton previously secured pole position in 2007, but had to wait until 2008 to take victory at his home race on his way to the world championship. The 28-year-old, who is currently fourth in the drivers standings, is yet to win a race in 2013.
Hamilton will face stiff competition from his teammate Nico Rosberg
, who joins him on the front row, and the Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber
in third and fourth respectively. Only once in the last six years has the pole sitter taken the race win, so it won't be an easy afternoon for the Briton. It will be interesting to see how far he can go on his tyres, having put in such a fast lap in qualifying.
Two-time British Grand Prix winner Mark Webber will race at Silverstone in an F1 car for the last time today, having announced
his decision to join Porsche's sports car programme. Among those hoping to replace him at Red Bull
is Toro Rosso driver Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian starts from a career-high fifth place today, just behind Webber.
were disappointed in qualifying, with Felipe Massa dropping out in Q2 and Fernando Alonso finishing 10th in Q3. The Spaniard will start from ninth following Paul di Resta's penalty, and said after qualifying: "We were not competitive all weekend and it's not normal to see Ferrari
out of Q3. We need to recover now and it was a bad Saturday. We didn't improve the car enough in the last four to five races and we ordered some new parts but they didn't do what we expected. We need to keep on working."
Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen can break Michael Schumacher's record for most consecutive F1 points finishes today. The Finn equalled Schumacher in Canada, claiming championship points for the 24th race in a row, but a top 10 finish today will see him clinch the record outright.
Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel will remain the championship after today's race regardless of today's result. He heads into the Grand Prix 36 points clear of Alonso in the drivers standings. After qualifying in third, the German said: "It is a long race. I'm honestly very happy today. I don't know if Lewis found a short cut or he just found something special here. It was a phenomenal lap. It is always nice to position well in qualifying here. I am looking forward to the race tomorrow and we will see how we are with looking after tyres."
This year, there are two DRS zones, where drivers will be able to open their rear wings to gain a speed advantage over the car in front. That should mean we'll see plenty of overtaking.
Just a quick note on the weather, it's glorious sunshine at Silverstone today and there are no rain clouds to be seen. It's a stark contrast from the conditions on Friday that saw most drivers skip first practice.
The tyre blankets are coming off and the mechanics are getting ready to head back to the pits in preparation for the race. Hamilton will be leading the 22 drivers on the formation lap in a few moments.
LIGHTS OUT! The five red lights go out, getting the British Grand Prix underway.
Lewis Hamilton gets away well, but Rosberg immediately loses second place to Vettel. Webber is also dropping back.
Raikkonen has also made a cracking start, jumping up to sixth. Webber appears to have made contact with another car, dropping to 15th.
Button has managed to get ahead of Alonso for ninth, while Massa is up to fifth.
TOP 10! At the end of lap 1 it's 1. Hamilton, 2. Vettel, 3. Rosberg, 4. Sutil, 5. Massa, 6. Raikkonen, 7. Ricciardo, 8. Grosjean, 9. Alonso, 10. Button.
Webber has sustained damage to his front wing, but his race engineers tells him to stay on track for now. The Australian has moved back up to 12th. Hamilton has a 1.2 second lead over Vettel.
Looking at replays of the start, it appears that it was Grosjean who made contact with Webber. Last time the Frenchman hit the Red Bull
driver, the Australian called his the "first lap nutter". It will be interesting to hear what he says about that incident after the race.
Button is coming under pressure from his teammate Sergio Perez, with the McLaren duo running 10th and 11th.
Di Resta has already moved up to 16th, having started from the back row of the grid. The Scot will have a busy afternoon if he's to finish in the points, but his car has looked fast all weekend.
Toro Rosso's Ricciardo lost two places at the start, but if frustrating Alonso, who has been trying to get past the Australian since lap 2, but Ricciardo is managing to keep hold of seventh place at the moment.
Perez manages to get past Button, and the Brit is now having to fend off Mark Webber. His race engineer asks him about his tyres, and Button reports that his front tyres are overheating. He starting on the hard tyres, so is probably expecting a long first stint.
Webber gains DRS and manages to ease past Button to take 11th place on the hanger straight. The Red Bull runs slightly wide at the end of the straight.
PUNCTURE! It's a disaster for Hamilton, as he picks up a puncture on the Wellington straight. He's got over half a lap to get back to pits, which surely ends his chance of winning the race.
It looks like the tyre just burst as the Mercedes
pulled onto the Wellington straight, before the rubber started to rip off. Hamilton has made it back to the pits to get a new set of tyres, but he's dropped well down the field. Vettel now leads.
Hamilton slots in behind Bottas to take 18th place. The tyre failure looked very similar to an incident involving Sergio Perez in practice yesterday.
PUNCTURE! There Pirellis are popping all over the place, as Massa's rear left bursts in exactly the same place as Hamilton's. The Brazilian is a passenger as he runs off the track, but it looks like he's managed to keep the car running, and now faces the long crawl back to the pits.
Alonso and Webber are among those coming in for early pit stops, and the Red Bull mechanics replace Webber's damaged front wing. In all the chaos, Vettel remains comfortable at the front of the field, with Rosberg second, and Force India's Adrian Sutil in third.
Massa manages to get his Ferrari back to the pits. The mechanics have to fight to get a new tyre on, but it looks like he is able to continue, dropping down to 17th place.
Race leader Vettel is coming in for a new set of tyres this lap, as second placed Rosberg is also on fresh rubber. The reigning world champion comes back onto the track well ahead of his compatriot.
PUNCTURE! My word, there's another one! This time it's Jean-Eric Vergne whose tyre gives up, but luckily he's just one corner from the entry to the pit lane. What is going on with these tyres?!
Some of the debris from Vergne's tyre flew into Raikkonen's path, as he was looking for a way past his teammate for eighth place.
SAFETY CAR! With rubber all over the track, race control sends the safety car out to allow the marshals to clean up the circuit.
Suddenly it's all action in the pits, as drivers comes in for fresh tyres before lining up behind the safety car. Incidentally, Vergne's incident has dropped him down from seventh to 17th!
Top 10! 1. Vettel, 2. Rosberg, 3. Sutil, 4. Alonso, 5. Raikkonen, 6. Grosjean, 7. Ricciardo, 8. Perez, 9. Webber, 10. Button
Those who have suffered punctures are all running well down the field. Hamilton is up to 14th, Vergne sits 16th and Massa is last.
There are marshals all over the pit straight collecting debris. There will surely have to be an inquiry to find out what has gone wrong this afternoon.
Adrian Newey is sat on the pits wall studying a picture of Vettel's used tyres, which were removed during his pit stop shortly before the safety car came out. It looks like there was quite a bit of damage to the race leader's tyres too, but he was able to get a fresh set on before suffering a puncture.
While the cars remain behind the safety car, they will be saving fuel. This should mean the drivers will be able to attack towards the end of the race, assuming their tyres are up to it.
Red Bull have tweeted that they have warned Webber of the damage to Vettel's tyres, and to stay away from the curbs around the circuit. It sounds like teams are tweaking the pressures in the tyres to help them cope with the high-speed corners. The safety lap is coming in this lap.
The safety car pulls off the track, and Vettel gets the racing back underway, quickly pulling away from the field. It looks like he caught Rosberg out, getting back up to race pace straight away.
Webber is also looking aggressive at the re-start, and manages to ease past Sergio Perez to move into eighth. Last year's Silverstone winner has raced well to recover from contact at the start of the race.
Hamilton looks to get past Gutierrez, but the Sauber driver just manages to keep ahead of the Brit to hold onto 13th place. Meanwhile, Alonso is all over the back of Sutil in the battle for third.
Hamilton has another go at Gutierrez on the way into Copse corner, and this time he makes it stick. Massa has been on the move since the end of the safety car period, quickly getting past the Caterhams and Marussias to take 18th.
There's an interesting battle brewing for seventh, as Webber is closing in on Ricciardo. The Toro Rosso driver knows that his performances for the rest of this season will determine whether he gets to replace his compatriot at Red Bull next season, so he'll be keen to show off his ability to defend.
Vettel and Rosberg are putting in almost identical lap times at the top of the field, but the Red Bull driver has managed to pull out a gap of almost two seconds thanks to his brilliant re-start.
Toro Rosso have confirmed that Vergne has suffered floor damage following his earlier puncture. He's currently running in 16th, and the damage will likely make it difficult for the Frenchman to progress through the field. It's a shame, as he had been running in a solid seventh before the tyre failure.
Hulkenberg and Gutierrez are in the pits, moving Hamilton up to 12th, and looking to get past Paul di Resta for 11th. Meanwhile, Ricciardo is doing a sterling job keeping Webber behind him. He manages to pull away from last year's Silverstone winner and manages to get ahead of Grosjean to claim sixth.
Gutierrez's pit stop was due to front wing damage, which has left some more debris on the track. With the tyres already struggling, the drivers won't be happy to see shards of carbon fibre all over the track.
Webber follows Ricciardo by getting past Grosjean. The Frenchman made it fairly easy for the Red Bull, so could be getting to the end of the stint of his current set of tyres. His teammate, Raikkonen, has just come in to the pits from fifth place.
Grosjean does indeed need new tyres, and he pits at the same time as Alonso, who is still fighting hard with Sutil for the final podium spot.
There's a near miss in the pit lane, as Ferrari release Alonso into the path of Grosjean, but the Lotus driver manages to avoid contact. Hamilton is pushing hard to get past Di Resta, but the Scot claims the racing line, forcing the Mercedes
driver to pull out of the overtaking move.
TOP 10! 1. Vettel, 2. Rosberg, 3. Sutil, 4. Perez, 5. Di Resta, 6. Hamilton, 7. Raikkonen, 8. Alonso, 9. Webber, 10. Massa
Well that top 10 has changes already! Di Resta finally comes in for his pit stop, but Hamilton runs wide on old tyres, allowing Raikkonen and Alonso to pass. Sutil also pits, and the Ferrari and Lotus have managed to get ahead of the German. Webber is going well on new tyres to claim fifth, setting a new fastest lap of the race.
Rosberg pits from second, coming in before Vettel. Having seen Sutil just lose out by pitting after Alonso and Raikkonen, Red Bull will undoubtedly respond.
Alonso appears to have damaged his tyres getting past Hamilton, allowing Webber to close the gap to the Ferrari driver. Last year this was the battle for the race win, but this year it's for fourth. Vettel comes in for fresh tyres, and gets out well ahead of Rosberg.
Sutil and Hulkenberg make contact, with the Force India driver losing a bit of his front wing. Sutil had looked good for a podium until a couple of laps ago, but it's all going wrong for him now. Vettel has been told that the pressures on his new tyres are deliberately high to protect him from punctures.
Hamilton pits, and comes onto track alongside Di Resta, and it's the Force India driver who manages to keep the lead. Hamilton attacks, and the pair head side by side into Copse. Hamilton tries to get ahead at Stowe, but Di Resta defends well, but goes wide heading onto the Wellingston straight, and Hamilton pounces to get ahead.
OUT! Jean-Eric Vergne is the first man to retire from the Grand Prix. Toro Rosso said that the Frenchman's car had sustained damage to the floor following a tyre failure, and it looks like the damage is too severe for him to finish the race. His teammate, Ricciardo, is running well in seventh.
Ricciardo is looking to get even further up the field, battling hard with sixth-placed Sutil, almost losing his front wing as he gets a bit too close to the German. Seventh place would be Toro Rosso's best ever finish at the British Grand Prix.
Hamilton is back in the points after getting past Grosjean, whose last lap was two seconds slower than the Brit's.
OUT! It's the end of the race for Vettel, as he reports over his radio that his gearbox has given up. He comes to a stop on the pits straight, bringing out the safety car.
Rosberg inherits the lead, and quickly dives into the pits to get a new set of tyres before the safety car picks him up.
TOP 10! 1. Rosberg, 2. Raikkonen, 3. Webber, 4. Alonso, 5. Sutil, 6. Ricciardo, 7. Perez, 8. Button, 9. Hamilton, 10. Grosjean
Further down the field, Caterham's Charles Pic is up to 15th, ahead of Williams' Bottas and Gutierrez in the Sauber. Raikkonen questions why his race engineer didn't call him in for fresh tyres when the safety car came out, with Webber having taking new tyres behind him. The Finn will have to defend hard when the safety car comes in to keep the Red Bull driver behind him.
In fact, Webber's pit stop has dropped him behind Sutil and Ricciardo, but the Red Bull should still be fast in the closing laps of the race. Webber's engineer tells him that he doesn't need to look after the tyres. The three cars ahead of him are all on well worn tyres.
Vettel's car has been pushed out of the way, so the safety car will come in at the end of this lap.
Paul di Resta attacks straight away, getting past Hulkenberg to move into 12th. A points finish is still possible for the Force India driver. Webber is already ahead of Ricciardo too.
Alonso is another one on fresh tyres, and he quickly makes advantage of it, passing Button
PUNCTURE! Yet another tyres fails, and it's the second one of the weekend for Perez. The McLaren driver gets back to the pit lane, but the team decides to retire him.
Webber is passed Sutil to move into the podium places, but he's already lining up a move on Raikkonen. Alonso is on the move again, and gets past Ricciardo, and Hamilton follows, dropping the Australian down the seventh.
Webber looks to go around the outside of Raikkonen but runs wide. He gets alongside the Finn on the pits straight and makes the overtake, just avoiding Raikkonen's rear wing. Webber is flying, has he got enough time to catch Rosberg?
Alonso gets past Sutil and Hamilton follows the Ferrari again, with the pair taking fourth and fifth respectively. Alonso is now eyeing a move on Raikkonen.
Webber is just 1.3 second behind Rosberg. The Mercedes came in for tyres on the same lap as Webber, so he should have enough to keep hold of the lead, but it will be close.
Alonso gets into the DRS zone, and sweeps past Raikkonen to move into the top three, and the Lotus driver now has to defend against Hamilton with two laps remaining.
Webber has just set a new fastest lap of the race, and needs to take just 0.2 seconds out of Rosberg to get DRS. Perez's retirement has moved Paul di Resta into the points.
Hamilton passes Raikkonen to move into fourth. It's been a superb drive from the Brit following a tyre failure that dropped him to 18th early in the race.
Webber is just 0.7 seconds behind Rosberg on the last lap, he'll get DRS on the hanger straight!
CHEQUERED FLAG! Nico Rosberg wins the British Grand Prix!
The German just manages to keep Webber behind him, taking the race by 0.7 seconds. Alonso completes the podium.
Lotus retired Romain Grosjean on the last lap, although it's not clear what the problem was. Ross Braun congratulates Hamilton on his recovery over the radio, with the Brit noting that it was a shame his tyre failed.
TOP 10 & POINTS! 1. Rosberg (25pts), 2. Webber (18pts), 3. Alonso (15pts), 4. Hamilton (12pts), 5. Raikkonen (10pts), 6. Massa (8pts), 7. Sutil (6pts), 8. Ricciardo (4pts), Di Resta (2pts), 10. Hulkenberg (1pt)
Webber is on the podium at Silverstone for the fifth year in a row! While Raikkonen will be disappointed to have missed out on a podium finish, the Finn has now broken Schumacher's record for most points finishes in a row.
Vettel still leads the world championship, despite his gearbox failure, but Alonso has closed the gap to 21 points. The current world champion hope to be back to his best at his home race next weekend.
Well that's all from Silverstone this afternoon. Stick around for reaction to this race, and join us again next weekend as F1 heads to the Nurburgring for the German Grand Prix. Thanks for joining me this afternoon, good bye.