Fernando Alonso dominated the British Grand Prix after getting ahead of Sebastian Vettel, after the pit crew struggled to change the tires on Vettel’s car. Mark Webber finished just behind Sebastian Vettel after being told not to overtake Sebastian.
Hamilton just edged Massa to the line in an epic battle in which Hamilton was advised to slow down to make sure he had enough fuel for the end of the race. As soon as Ferrari heard of Hamilton’s troubles, they told Felipe Massa to give it everything he could. Massa, from over 10 seconds back, caught Hamilton up in the last couple of laps, they collided in the last corner as Massa tried to overtake, but both cars made it to the finish line. Jenson Button might have been involved in this battle for 4th place, but after a mistake in the pit, he left the pit straight with an insecure front-right wheel, causing him to retire. Nico Rosberg finished in 6th, Perez a solid 7th after a pretty uneventful race for him. Nick Heidfeld in 8th, and Michael Schumacher and Jaime Alguesauri rounded out the top ten. The rest followed in the order of Sutil, Petrov, Barrichello, Maldonado, di Resta, Glock, d’Ambrosio, Liuzzi, and Ricciardo. The retirements included Button, Kovalainen, Trulli, Kobayashi, and Sebastian Buemi.
Vettel has extended his title lead to 80 points over second place Mark Webber, with Fernando Alonso closing. Alonso is now in third position in the driver’s championship, with Hamilton and Button tied for fourth. Red Bull have increased their lead in the constructor’s championship as well. McLaren and Ferrari remain second and third, and Mercedes have passed Renault for fourth in the constructor’s championship.
Was Alonso’s victory enough to put him back in contention for the title? I don’t think so. The challenge won’t come from Webber, as RBR will not let that happen. After today’s result, Mark Webber is officially the team’s number 2 driver. Even if they don’t come out and say it, Mark Webber will not win races unless Sebastian Vettel is far behind or out of the race.
Alonso is also over four race victories behind Vettel, and just to catch him up he would have to win four races with Sebastian Vettel finishing outside the top ten every time. We know from Vettel’s speed and consistency that the likelihood of that happening is incredibly small, and with only ten races left in the season, I must believe that Vettel has his second title in the bag. If I was at Ferrari, I would accept that RBR have the championship locked this year, and start early on next year’s car.
Button and Hamilton are even further back from Vettel, and with their recent pace lately I don’t think they have any chance of fighting for the title. In my opinion, Vettel needs to keep scoring solid positions. Even if he scores second place finishes for the rest of the season, he will still win the title. He is in a position of power at the moment, and needs to be consistent. If he can finish races, he will be double world champion this year.