x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

How it happened: Vettel supreme in Britain

The Red Bull driver dominates from start to finish ahead of teammate Mark Webber and Rubens Barrichello.

Sebastian Vettel ran a sterling race at Silverstone from start to finish to pick up his second win of the season.
Sebastian Vettel ran a sterling race at Silverstone from start to finish to pick up his second win of the season.

Sebastian Vettel dominated the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, beating his Red Bull teammate Mark Webber by more than 20 seconds. It is the German's second grand prix victory of the season and it helps open up the championship standings after Rubens Barrichello finished third to close the gap on championship leader Jenson Button who could only manage sixth. Here is how the action unfolded. Lap 60 Webber comes in second, Barrichello third. Massa drives a solid race for fourth. Rosberg takes fifth, Button settles for sixth. Trulli finishes seventh, Raikkonen picks up the final point in eighth. Lap 60 And Sebastien Vettel wins his second grand prix of the season. A truely dominating showing at Silverstone. Lap 59 Vettel leads, Button remains content with sixth. Raikkonen has staved off Glock. Lap 58 Button has closed Rosberg, but he does not look interested in risking in taking over the Williams. It is ashame, but understandable. Lap 56 Vettel leads by 20 seconds. Webber leads Barrichello by 20 seconds. The top three are set. All eyes are on fifth and sixth. Nico has four laps to survive Button's late charge. Massa may be too far ahead for any late drama. Lap 55 And so it proves. he is taking a second a lap out of Rosberg's lead. The previous lap it was a second and a half. Meanwhile Raikkonen is under pressure from Glock for the final point. Lap 51-54 Button has salvaged some points it seems as it looks like a routine finish to the race. The extra couple of points will work wonders. Vettel remains in front. However, Massa and Rosberg have been on the radio complaining that they are struggling on the hard tyres. Could Button make a last push for more points? Lap 50 Vettel stretches his lead back past 20 seconds with ten laps to go. Lap 47-48 Button pits in. Out in 6.3 seconds. He comes out in sixth ahead of Trulli and Raikkonen. A bit better for the Briton. Its stands as Vettel, Webber, Barrichello, Massa, Rosberg, Button, Trulli and Raikkonen as the top eight. Lap 46 Webber pits in a lap after and Vettel regains the lead. Barrichello pits too. Quickly out and he is back out in third very comfortably. Lap 44-45 Massa pits, as does Vettel. Webber leads for the moment. Massa picks up fourth after gaining on Rosberg. Lap 43 Rosberg pits. He is out very quickly in 6.4 seconds. Hamilton has been in the wars today. He decides to go off-road after spinning and somehow keeps his McLaren in tact. His missus Nicole Scherzinger looks on in despair, then relieved. Lap 41-42 Raikkonen is making progress on sixth place, held by Trulli. The Finn is primed to take him when the second spell of pits start. He goes in and is out in 7.5 seconds. He falls back to tenth. Lap 40 Yes, Rosberg is shaving a tenth of a second a lap on Barrichello. Massa is also being towed along in fifth. Lap 39 Bourdais retires too. Rosberg is closing in on Barrichello in third. Vettel holds a 18 second lead. Lap 37 Heikki retires, it seems that there was more damage to his car than a puncture. Lap 36 As you were at the front. Rosberg's charge on third looks likely to be the only racing action. A mention to Fisichella in the Force India, he is tenth. Button remains eighth and incident free. Lap 34 Oh no, crash time. Sebastien Bourdais ploughs into the back of Kovailainen, who was doing a bit of weaving. Heikki gets a puncture and just makes it to the pits. Bourdais somehow makes it back and pits. Lap 32 Rosberg has been given the green light by his team, to have a go at Barrichello in third. Heikki Kovalainen finally pits for his one and only stop. He comes out ahead of Hamilton. Lap 30 Vettel has been told to save his tyres. He holds such a lead over Webber its unlikely he can be caught. Lap 29 Hamilton wins a mini-battle with Alonso, but then Vettel, lapping the heated battle of the ex-teammates nearly falls foul of a ballsy move by the world Champion. Alonso re-takes 17th position. Lap 28 Barrichello is falling backwards and is threatened by the Massa-Rosberg scrap. The battle down the grid, involving Hamilton, Kubica and Alonso is still going strong. Lap 27 Webber is starting to pull away from Barrichello after the pit-stop saw him edge out in front of the Brazilian. He is fives seconds ahead. Lap 26 Vettel holds a 21 second lead as the lap goes without any incident. Lap 25 So after the first round of pit-stops, Vettel leads Webber, Barrichello third, Rosberg fourth, Massa fifth, Trulli sixth, Raikkonen seventh and Button who says over the radio that he has no grip in eighth. Lap 22-23 Massa is the longest to stay out from the front-runners. After the first series of pits, Nakajima provides the biggest error, dropping from fifth to 10th. Massa comes out in fifth. Top strategy work by the Ferrari team. Lap 21 Vettel pits. And he holds a huge lead over Rubens and Webber, who are scrapping for second. Lap 19-20 Barrichello pits, as does Glock. The Brawn driver comes out in fifth. Vettel is starting to lap drivers already. His teammates Webber pits. Oooh, perfection, he takes over Barrichello out of the pits. Lap 17 Trulli and Button both pit. Its a mechanics race. Trulli gets out in front and retains his place but Button has put a bit more fuel in. Button elects hard tyres. Lap 16 From the Raikkonen and Nakajima pit-stop tussle, the Ferrari driver comes out ahead of the Williams man. Lap 14 It is a slowish pit for the Japanese Williams driver, Button seems to be struggling to keep up with the Toyota's as he makes no imprint on Trulli's seventh place. Kimi pits. Lap 13 Alonso has a moment as he continues to battle with Heidfeld. Williams are getting ready for a Nakajima pit-stop. The first of the grid to pit. Lap 11 It is a good race for Williams so far. Nakajima looks set in fourth while Rosberg looks comfortable in sixth. Vettel's fastest lap is a second quicker than anybody elses. Lap 10 Vettel continues to lap a second quicker than Barrichello and teammate Webber. It was always going to be a struggle for Brawn GP who earmarked Silverstone to be a struggle for the team. But they must be shocked by how far they are behind Red Bull. Lap 8 All the action is further down the field as the contest for 12th, 13th and 14th hots up between Heidfeld, Alonso, Kubica and Hamilton. First to eighth seems settled for now. Lap 7 As you were, Vettel is speeding ahead, reports from Brawn is that the tyres are just not warming up for them to mount a challenge. Lap 6 Alsono is on Heidfeld's rear wing as Fisichella pulls away from the slow BMW at a rate of a second a lap. Vettel is destroying this circuit. Lap 5 Barichello and Webber could be the battle today as Vettel is pulling even further away. Alonso loses 13th to Kubica. Heikki Kovalainen goes to 19th after a inconspicuous yet disappointing start. Lap 4 Vettel is cruising on a heavy tank. He opens up a 5.2 second lead. BMW's Nick Heidfeld needs a wing, but the German refuses to go in and change. Lap 3 Vettel is going strong as the race settles down after the initial scramble for places. Button is closing in on Trulli in seventh. Lap 2 Lewis Hamilton races to 14th from 18th, then to 12th after taking Alonso, but then back to 15th. Remarkable. Lap 1 GO GO GO! A perfect start for Vettel who gets off without any incident. Button is going backwards and loses three places to ninth from the start. He is stuck behind Massa's Ferrari. So after one lap. Vettel leads from from Barrichello, Webber, Nakajima, Raikkonen, Rosberg, Trulli and Button who re-takes eighth after Massa runs wide. There are some ominous black clouds lurking over the circuit. Button says he would prefer a drop of rain to help his push, the fans do not after last year's lashings of rain. It is a bit of a contrast from the 29ºC of Istanbul two weeks ago. It is a more brisk 16ºC. The drivers are out on the warm-up lap and it is bad news for Button as the predicted first pit-stop times puts him in before Trulli and Nakajima. Vettel looks in such a strong position. Adrian Sutil starts in the pits after his crash. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Will it be Red Bull dominating today? Vettel and his teammate Mark Webber look to have the measure of the rest of the field despite Rubens Barrichello sandwiched in between the two cars on the grid. Can Button make a charge from sixth? According to The National's Graham Caygill: "Qualifying indicates that Red Bull would have a one-two hadn't Webber been held up on his flying lap. "Vettel has a three tenths advantage and having a heavier fuel load it looks like he has performance to spare. So barring any problems, he looks favourite for the win. "It is just what the season needs after a period of domination from the Brawn GP team." "It is all about damage limitation for Button today. Realistically fourth is his best chance of a result and I do not think he has any answers to the Red Bull Charge." As ever, there are many celebrities out on the grid soaking up the atmosphere. There is 100,000 around the Northamptonshire circuit, making the British GP a cauldron of noise. Spotted so far is the former Manchester United forward Eric Cantona. So yes, we have found Eric, its not that difficult. He is here as a guest of Renault. Elsewhere, Victoria Pendleton, the British Olympic gold medallist track cyclist is a guest of Brawn GP, while Chelsea's Michael Ballack and Manchester United's Michael Carrick are loitering about trackside.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hello and welcome to the eighth round of the Formula One season. We are at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix. There have been 13 British GP winners on their home track, however the world championship leader Jenson Button has written off his chances of joining the likes of Stirling Moss, Jim Clarke, Jackie Stewart, Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill and Lewis Hamilton. Button, who holds a 27-point lead from the first seven races, has qualified sixth on the grid and he believes it will be an uphill struggle. Jenson Button has virtually written off his hopes of a British Grand Prix victory in the wake of his worst qualifying run of the year. "I think it is almost impossible to win. I just haven't had the pace all weekend," said a disappointed Button. "I was hoping for something a bit better. Being sixth is a lot worse than what I thought it would be, so it's going to be a difficult race. "The problem is we've struggled with tyre temperatures because it is so cold. We have to hope tomorrow we can get the tyres to work. "In qualifying I struggled massively with grip ? we struggled as a team to do that. "It is good we are on the front row as a team, but disappointing for me back in sixth. "In fact, I would be massively disappointed in qualifying sixth if it was anywhere around the world at the moment, not just here." His closest championship rivals in Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, and teammate Rubens Barrichello, start first, third and second respectively. Jarno Trulli and Kazuki Nakajima are fourth and fifth on the grid. The German's Nico Rosberg and Timo Glock are seventh and eighth. Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso complete the top ten on the grid. Lewis Hamilton, the defending world champion, starts on the back-row of the grid with only the Toro Rosso of Sebastein Buemi behind him. This could be the last Formula GP held at this circuit for some time to come, with Donnington set to take over the mantle from next year, but as always it will be as exciting as ever. Follow the race as it unfolds at 4pm. snelmes@thenational.ae *With Agencies