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Victory for Alonso at Silverstone

Fernando Alonso became only the fourth driver to win a Formula 1 race in 2011 with victory at the British Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso in action at Silverstone
Fernando Alonso in action at Silverstone
Image: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A PIT STOP mistake by the Red Bull team has allowed Fernando Alonso and Ferrari claim their first win of the 2011 Formula 1 Championship season.

Showing decent pace throughout the weekend, the Spaniard was ideally placed to take over the race lead when Sebastian Vettel was held up in the pits by a faulty wheel gun.

Vettel jumped ahead of pole sitter Webber off the grid as racing began in difficult conditions. Half of the Silverstone circuit was dry and have of it was drenched by a late shower before lights went out and it was the German who had one of the better starts. Best of the lot, however, was Lewis Hamilton, who was sixth by the start of the second lap having started tenth.

Another man to start strongly was Michael Schumacher. His progress from 13th halted on lap nine though when he clattered into the back of Kamui Kobayashi. The seven-time champion changed to slick tyres when he arrived back to pit lane and set several personal best times before being handed a ten second stop-go penalty.

Schumacher’s decision to switch from intermediate tyres sent a gaggle of cars into the pits, but drivers still had to thread carefully around the revamped track for several more laps.

Hamilton had few problems getting by his team-mate Button early on and then passed Massa and Alonso in quick succession. The latter Ferrari was able to retake second, however, and when Red Bull held up Vettel in the pit lane on lap 27, Alonso was able to take over the lead of the race with Hamilton second.

With a clear track for the first time, the Spaniard was able to slowly edge out an advantage over the rest of the field as Hamilton held Vettel behind him for a further ten laps, and eventually won by a margin of over 16 seconds.

Alonso matched Vettel’s stop to stay ahead while Button’s race ended on lap 40 when his pit crew failed to get all the wheel nuts on to his front right tyre. The Briton was immediately forced to pull his car to the side of the pit lane exit and appeared a frustrated figure walking back to his garage.

McLaren’s day got even worse when Hamilton was told to ease off his pace in order to have enough fuel to make it to the chequered flag. That announcement over team radio was all Webber needed to hear and the Australian pushed on to catch Hamilton and moved into third position with six laps remaining.

Webber then chased down his team-mate in the battle for second, only to be told to hold station on the final lap. Hamilton, meanwhile, had to fend off a charging Felipe Massa for fourth – the second Ferrari having to settle for fifth despite a fascinating duel over the final laps.

Nico Rosberg was sixth for Mercedes with Sergio Perez (Sauber), Nick Heidfeld (Renault), Schumacher and Jaime Alguersuari (Toro Rosso) completing the top ten. The result did little to change the Drivers Standings, with Vettel leading the way on 204 points ahead of Webber (124) and Alonso (112).

Latest Drivers Standings >>>>

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