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F1 tyre 'blow-outs unacceptable'

2013-06-30 17:28

ANOTHER TAINTED WIN FOR ROSBERG Rosberg’s win in Monaco was overshadowed by scandal and now in Britain, all eyes are on Pirelli due to four drivers suffering tyre woes at Silverstone.Image: AFP

SILVERSTONE, England (AP) — Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg won the 2013 British Grand Prix in an eventful race, avoiding the tyre trouble that hampered several drivers including team mate Lewis Hamilton.

Rosberg managed to overtake Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel with 10 laps remaining after the three-time defending champion suffered mechanical problems.

Rosberg won his second race of the 2013 and third of his career, holding off Red Bull's Mark Webber who had recovered from an early collision only to lose by 0.7 seconds in a nail-biting finish.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who started ninth, made a late charge up the grid and drove past Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen with two laps remaining to claim third.


Hamilton recovered to finish fourth.

Rosberg said: "Fantastic, it's very special. Our team has done such a fantastic job. We have such momentum at the moment, progressing all the time."

It seemed like the race was going to be Hamilton's to lose. After he great a great start he appeared to be extending his lead over Vettel but on the eighth lap, his left rear tyre exploded and he was forced to pit.

Two laps later, Ferrari's Felipe Massa lost his left rear tyre and spun out. Five laps later, Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne also lost his rear tyre, with the rubber exploding across the track.

Vergne blow-out brought out the safety car until lap 22 when normal racing resumed. It also prompted several drivers after the race to warn of the dangers of the exploding tyres and Rosberg said the matter had to be investigated.

Tyre troubles have been a running theme in 2013, with several teams led by Red Bull claiming the Pirelli tyre's wear out too quickly and force drivers to pit more often than in previous seasons.


Hamilton commented: “The safety is the biggest issue, it's unacceptable. Four blowouts is unacceptable. It's only when someone gets hurt that someone will be doing something about it.

“I think it's a waste of time talking to the (governing body) IAF, and if they don't do anything that says a lot about them."

Vergne said: "It's just a shame that this sort of problem can waste a whole weekend's work for the team. I am very upset about it and something needs to be done about it soon."

The BBC showed pictures of Turn 4 on the Silverstone circuit, where some of the incidents took place, stating that the sidewall of tyres could have been punctured by a sharp part of the kerb. It added this would explain why it was the left rear tyre affected.

After the restart, Vettel began extending his lead over Rosberg and appeared set for a fourth win. But on the 42nd lap, Vettel's car came to a stop after his fifth gear broke and Rosberg took the lead. That brought out the safety car for a second time for three laps.

The final seven laps triggered some of the best racing all day on June 30. Alonso was among the most aggressive, passing McLaren's Jenson Button, Force India's Adrian Sutil and eventually Raikkonen for third. Webber also charged pass Raikkonen into second with four laps remaining.

The wild finish leaves the championship wide open.

Despite his late exit, Vettel remains the leader in the drivers' championship with 132 points. His lead, though, is down to 21 points over Alonso on 111 with 11 races remaining.

Raikkonen is third with 98 and Hamilton fourth with 89, some 43 points behind Vettel.

The next race is the 2013 German Grand Prix on July 7.

Click here for full results of the 2013 British Grand Prix

Read more on:    f1  |  motorsport  |  formula 1

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