Silverstone – German driver Nico Rosberg survived great late pressure to claim his second win of the season in today’s breathless and dramatic British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Rosberg, who was 28 on Thursday, came home just seven-tenths of a second clear of second placed Australian Mark Webber of Red Bull in a furious finish to a tumultuous event.
It was the Mercedes team’s first victory in Britain since Stirling Moss won at Aintree in 1955 and Rosberg’s second in three races and third of his career.
But the race was overshadowed by a dangerous spate of Pirelli tyre failures, including one that blew home hero Briton Lewis Hamilton’s hopes of a home win in the other Mercedes car as he led from pole position.
In all, four drivers were hit by tyre blowouts while championship leading defending triple world champion German Sebastian Vettel was forced to retire his Red Bull for the first time this year after inheriting the lead.
Hamilton’s tyre explosion was followed by others for Brazilian Felipe Massa of Ferrari, Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne of Toro Rosso and Mexican Sergio Perez of McLaren in a contest that saw two Safety Car interventions.
Webber, who fell to 15th on the opening lap, fought back to finish second in his first race since announcing he was quitting Formula One at the end of the season ahead of two-time champion German Fernando Alonso in the second Ferrari and Hamilton, who stormed from the back to finish fourth despite his tyre failure.
Alonso closed the gap in the overall standings on Vettel, who has 132 points while the Spaniard is on 111 after eight races with the next race the German Grand Prix next Sunday.
Kimi Raikkonen, the 2007 champion, finished fifth for Lotus ahead of Massa, German Adrian Sutil of Force India and rising hope Australian Daniel Ricciardo of Toro Rosso.
Briton Paul Di Resta of Force India finished ninth and German Nico Hulkenberg 10th for Sauber on an amazing day in rare British sunshine.
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