Mark Webber rebounded from a nasty crash two weeks ago when he won the British Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday for the Red Bull team.
Webber snatched the lead from pole-sitting teammate Sebastian Vettel at the start and never looked back en route to his third season victory ahead of McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in a Mercedes GP.
Vettel had a puncture early in the opening lap, limped into the pits for a tyre change to rank last, but, partly helped by a brief safety car phase later in the race, fought back to seventh place to salvage at least some championship points.
Two weeks ago in Valencia, Spain, the Australian Webber miraculously walked away unharmed from a major crash after driving into the Lotus of Heikki Kovalainen. The Red Bull was lifted into the air, flipped over and crashed into a tyre wall.
Hamilton leads the championship with 145 points after 10 of 19 races from teammate Jenson Button, who has 133 after fighting from 14th on the grid to fourth place. Webber is back in the frame with 128, Vettel has 121 while Fernando Alonso is stranded on 98 for Ferrari on an afternoon to forget.
Vettel seemed well-positioned for his second straight Silverstone victory after getting the pole as in 2009 but that dream lasted just 10 seconds in the race.
Webber squeezed past the German from second place right at the start. Vettel appeared to have brief contact with Hamilton and then rode out, with either of the incidents causing the puncture that ruined his winning chances effectively from the word go.
Vettel dropped to last place but worked his way up again slowly with no further pit stop, also benefiting from a brief safety car phase just after the halfway mark to clear debris from a broken rear wing of Pedro de la Rosa’s Sauber.
Fernando Alonso, meanwhile, was probably fuming about the safety car the second straight time after being very upset about the rules in Valencia. The Spaniard had just received a harsh drive-through penalty for cutting a corner when he had nowhere to go while trying to Robert Kubica’s Renault when the safety car came out.
Rules prohibited him from serving the penalty in that stage and when he finally went through the pit lane on the restart he dropped far behind as the field was now close together again. A late puncture was the final insult as he finished 14th.
Up front, Webber safely rode home ahead of Hamilton, crossing the line in 1 hour 24 minutes 38.200 seconds for the 52 laps of 5.901 kilometres.
Rosberg defended third place from Button, who like Vettel made the most from the safety car although he missed his first Silverstone podium again. Vettel will now hope to do better in his German home Grand Prix at Hockenheim, which is on the agenda next on July 25.