Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso won his first race of the Formula One season at the British Grand Prix on Sunday. A 27th career victory for Alonso lifted him to third in the drivers' championship.
AP - Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso won his first race of the Formula One season at the British Grand Prix on Sunday after championship leader Sebastian Vettel’s hopes of a seventh victory were thwarted by a pit-stop blunder.
Vettel was overtaken in the Silverstone pits by Alonso just after the halfway point when the Red Bull driver’s mechanics struggled to attach a wheel.
“I saw the problem in the pit stop with Sebastian and we were in the lead at that moment, but who knows what might have happened after that,” Alonso said. “I knew it was a race to be calm, make no mistakes, to not be off the track, and with that I knew the car had enough for victory and it came.”
A 27th career victory for Alonso lifted him to third in the drivers’ championship behind the Red Bull duo of Vettel and Mark Webber.
“Today it is 60 years since Ferrari won its first Grand Prix in Formula One,” Alonso said. “And today we won on the same circuit.”
Vettel didn’t linger on the pit-spot issue, saying that “Ferrari beat us fair and square.”
“There were little mistakes here and there,” the German said. “You can’t get it right all the time, but credit to Ferrari _ they have been getting stronger and improving their car, so it shows we need to keep pushing hard.”
There was controversy on the final lap as Vettel increased his lead in the drivers’ championship to 80 points over Webber.
Webber had been told by the team to hold his third place and halt his pursuit of Vettel.
Obviously Mark disagreed with that,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said. “It is a team result. I can understand Mark’s frustrations but we cannot give away a load of points.
“We did not want to see our drivers in the fence at some time in the last two laps, which is how it would have ended up. Mark is not out of the championship race but we could not afford to risk losing points. Mark should be fine with that, he is a team player. Second and third is a very strong result.”
Having started in tenth, McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton edged Felipe Massa to finish fourth after going wheel-to-wheel with the Ferrari driver on the final lap.
Hamilton is fourth in the championship, tied on 109 points with teammate Jenson Button, whose race ended on lap 40 after exiting the pits with an unsecured front-right wheel.
Date created : 2011-07-10