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Sun, 8 July, 2012Webber beats Alonso to sunny Silverstone win

  • Mark Webber (Red Bull RB8). 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix, Rd 2, Practice day. Sepang, Malaysia. Friday 23 March 2012. © Red Bull.

Mark Webber took his second victory of the year in Silverstone on Sunday after a race-long hunt for Fernando Alonso's Ferrari under rare sunny skies in the British countryside. The Australian trailed the Spaniard for all but five laps of the race, as tyre strategy played a key role in the final result.

Alonso's decision to start on the hard compound Pirelli proved pivotal in opening a five-second lead over the course of the first stint, as his main rivals opted to start on the slower soft compound. Fellow front row starter Mark Webber settled into second place, followed by Michael Schumacher, Felipe Massa and Sebastian Vettel.

Alonso's performance on the hard made that the tyre of choice for the second stint, but despite running in clear air the Spaniard was unable to grow his lead beyond six seconds. That left him under serious threat from Webber for the final stint, having had to take on the soft tyre as per the two-tyre rule, and it soon became clear that the Australian would quickly close the five-second deficit.

By lap 45 Webber had close to within half a second of the Ferrari, before making a pass stick around the outside of Brooklands on lap 47 with the aid of DRS. Despite Alonso's best efforts to resist, he was demoted to second, but crucially had enough life in his tyres to stay ahead of Vettel in the sister Red Bull.

An early first pitstop had allowed Vettel to jump from fifth to third, leapfrogging both Schumacher and Massa, but was only able to match Webber's pace thereafter and ran out of laps in search of Alonso.

Felipe Massa recorded his best result of the year by bringing his Ferrari home in fourth place after a convincing drive from fifth on the grid, having fended off a challenge from Räikkönen in the closing laps. The Finn was followed home by team-mate Romain Grosjean who had to recover from last place after a first-lap front wing change.

Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton, Bruno Senna and Jenson Button were the final points scorers.

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