British Grand Prix 2012

/ Commentary

Race

13:02 It will be interesting to see if Webber - on softs - can beat Alonso - on hards - off the line. The grid has formed and the lights are on...

13:01 The cars are coming round to the grid and Schumacher is told that Mercedes expects a dry race throughout...

13:01 Alonso is also on the hards, as are Rosberg and Hulkenberg, Ricciardo, Glock and both HRTs

13:00 We've got a real mixture of tyre compounds surprisingly. Button, Hamilton and Kobayashi are on the hard tyres as we start the formation lap

12:59 Tom emails in from California to say: "It's great to hear the news on de Villota, we need to have more women in auto racing I.e. Danica Patrick et al, it makes it much more interesting for everyone."

12:57 We've had a tip for Vettel to win, and we've also had a question about car set-up. The setups between wet and dry don't really change other than potentially a front wing adjustment which can take place at the first pit stop if needed. The ride height changes automatically in the wet because the tread depth is so much greater on the wet tyres

12:56 I agree with Nael who's emailed in to say: "I think everyone will start with soft as they will be counting on rain to fall soon after… so degradation wont be an issue"

12:55 Five minutes before the race and we have our first prediction in from Dylan: "It could be a race of two wildly different scenarios. One where it remains dry throughout, and based on the pace shown in Valencia the RBR will have an advantage....the second where it does rain at some point and it becomes anyone's race, but I'll put my money on either Alonso or Schumacher to win in changeable conditions!"

12:53 Some not so good news is that we only have 23 cars starting this race now. Petrov's problem is terminal and he will not take part in the race. It appears to be an engine failure. Such a shame as the dry weather would have given Caterham an opportunity to analyse its heavily updated car

12:52 Just a quick update on Maria de Villota - Marussia team principal John Booth has just told Sky that she has continued to improve and the hospital have reduced her sedation. She is awake and talking to her family. Excellent news.

12:50 Vamsi has emailed in from India to ask: "Now, what will be the tyres of all the drivers since its not a wet race anymore and we had a wet session of quali yesterday? This would be an advantage for the rest of the pack who are below 10th place.."

That refers to which tyres drivers can start on, and the whole field gets a free choice of tyres now that it's a dry race.

12:48 The sun is shining right now and the track is bone dry. We could in effect see two races if it rains though as different cars are quick in different conditions

12:45 We'd love to hear from you throughout the race, and if you want to get in touch you can do so either by emailing us at the link above or via Twitter @ESPNF1

12:40 Off the track, Silverstone has managed to get the car parks to a condition which allows everybody to attend today. Let's hope they see a great race after the difficulties this weekend. I have the feeling they just might...

12:37 Vitaly Petrov has stopped at the pit lane entrance having been on his way to the grid. A bit of smoke was coming out of the back of his Caterham and the mechanics are pushing it back to the garage now

12:35 Having said that, the weather forecast says there will be rain at 1pm - just as the race starts! Laurence has gone out in to the paddock to look at the sky and reckons we'll be dry at the beginning of the race though

12:32 Now I know the first question you'll all want answering is 'Is it raining?' Well no, it isn't. In fact, the sun is currently out and we look set for a dry start to the race at least.

12:30 Hello and welcome to ESPNF1's live coverage of the British Grand Prix. Fernando Alonso starts from pole position for the first time in 2012 ahead of Mark Webber and Michael Schumacher. First and second in the championship are one and two on the grid...

Lap 1

Alonso violently chops across Webber at the start, while Massa beats Vettel off the line. Raikkonen almost hits Vettel but drops behind Maldonado, while di Resta goes off at Aintree with a puncture.

Hulkenberg loses out to Perez in the final sector

Lap 2

Great racing in the midfield. Grosjean runs wide at turn one and Button tries to get through in to Farm, but Kobayashi goes round the outside of them both and then dives up the inside of Grosjean in to Aintree. Grosjean regains the positon though but Kobayashi is now through in to 12th at Club. Grosjean pits

Lap 3

Alonso leads by 0.6s and isn't pulling away. DRS is enabled and lots of drivers within a second of each other. Massa is pressuring Schumacher for third, while Grosjean has a slow stop.

Massa challenges Schumacher in to Copse, doesn't make it and comes under pressure from Vettel. Great racing side-by-side through Maggotts and Becketts and Massa holds on.

Lap 4

Alonso leads by 0.8s as Perez sets the fastest lap in 9th place

Di Resta is out already. He pits for a second time but the puncture has further damaged his car.

Lap 5

Massa now the fastest man out there and he's half a second behind Schumacher - who has dropped 1.7s behind Webber. The race has settled down a touch after a manic opening few laps.

Grosjean is the fastest man on track but 31 seconds off the lead after his pit stop.

Lap 6

Alonso pulls 1.3s of Webber, while Hamilton radios in to say "I have no pace". He's on the hard tyre and not making progress from eighth at present. No word of any rain so far and the sun remains out

Lap 7

Alonso stretches his lead to 1.8s and we're getting a queue behind Schumacher in third place - 4.2s off the lead. Massa uses DRS and challenges in to Brooklands and so nearly taps Schumacher's left rear but just backs out enough.

Rosberg struggling with his rear tyres down in 14th place

Lap 8

1.9s the gap between Alonso and Webber, but Schumacher has dropped 5.3s off the lead. Replays show Vettel clipping Massa's rear on the first lap and it appears that a bit of diffuser breaks off the Ferrari.

Hamilton is told only Alonso's pace is better than his given the tyre difference - they;re the only two on hards in the top ten

Lap 9

Alonso now leads by 2.6s. Grosjean sets the fastest lap and has cleared Pic, Karthikeyan and de la Rosa

Button complains of understeer over the radio after being told he's showing good pace.

Lap 10

Webber is told to keep pushing at that he can go a bit further on these tyres.

Perez has a look up the inside of Hamilton in to Farm but decides against a move. They're all in the queue behind Schumacher.

Grosjean is now past Glock too as Red Bull mechanics come out... Vettel is in the pits

Lap 11

Hard tyres for Vettel. He's rejoined ahead of Ricciardo in 14th place.

Massa says his tyres are OK and that he's "much quicker" than Schumacher. Right on cue, Massa dives up the inside in to Stowe - Schumacher made it hard but a great move. It's like the 2008 Massa

Lap 12

Alonso set the fastest lap to open up a four second lead. Maldonado and Perez both pit for hards and rejoin behind Ricciardo.

Maldonado's taken Perez out at Brooklands. He was on the inside and they slide wide together. Perez has stopped while Maldonado limps round with a puncture

Lap 13

Schumacher in to the pits as Vettel sets the fastest lap. No safety car but DRS is disabled because the yellow flags are at the end of the DRS zone.

In fairness to Maldonado, Perez was trying to go round the outside of him and the Williams had some oversteer which forced him wide in to the Sauber. Perez kicks clear air after getting out of the car. It's Maldonado's error, but far from reckless

Lap 14

Massa pits for hard tyres, Raikkonen does the same. Massa's come out behind Vettel who has used the undercut to jump Schumacher. Raikkonen is behind Schumacher who has just passed Ricciardo as DRS is re-enabled.

The Perez and Maldonado incident will be investigated after the race.

Webber pits for hard tyres to cover off Vettel and stays ahead.

Lap 15

Button has passed Senna but now has Vettel all over the back of him - the McLaren hasn't pitted yet. Vettel is through in to Vale

In comes Alonso to respond to Webber's stop. Hamilton leads having not stopped.

Lap 16

Hamilton's pace is decent but he's now losing time to those on new tyres - Massa goes round the outside of Rosberg in to Brooklands and then passes Button between Copse and Maggotts

Lap 17

Webber sets the fastest lap as Button pits. He puts on soft tyres and loses out to Rosberg on the pit exit. 14th place for Button.

Hamilton has Alonso just 0.9s behind him now as he extends the stint. He's told to push and is running more quickly than Schumacher behind him in sixth.

Lap 18

If Hamilton doesn't lose too much time fighting with Alonso then he could be looking at fifth place when he pits. Grosjean has made his way up to eighth now and is running at the same pace as his team-mate in seventh, albeit 4.3s behind.

Alonso has a look in to Vale but doesn't pass.

Lap 19

Now Hamilton and Alonso are fighting it out and Alonso gets the run to pass out of Village corner. Hamilton dives back up the inside in to Brooklands but runs wide and Hamilton retakes the lead. You could hear the crowd when he tried that move, great atmosphere.

Hamilton told to follow Alonso on the radio - he lost two seconds with that battle

Lap 20

Raikkonen closing in Schumacher for sixth place. Grosjean catching the pair of them too. 20 seconds cover first to eighth place

Button has passed Rosberg for 12th and is the fastest man out there at present.

Lap 21

Hamilton stays out but is a second off the pace. He's told to pit on the next lap as the McLaren pit crew were ready for him, but they've now gone back in... And back out for him, Hamilton pits

Webber is 5.1s behind Alonso in third place now.

Lap 22

Hamilton puts on a set of softs - a quick stop and he rejoins just behind Schumacher and Raikkonen. Seventh for Hamilton but with fresher tyres. The pit stop was 2.8s, great pace from McLaren

The top four all post lap times within a tenth of each other.

Lap 23

Webebr brings the gap down to five seconds at the front, while Vettel is 3.3s further back in third place and Massa 10.9s back in fourth.

Vettel is told there's a bit more potential for him in sector one.

Hamilton is on a new set of tyres and following Schumacher and Raikkonen. Nael says: "I wouldn't wanna be hamilton behind those 2"

Lap 24

Raikkonen uses DRS to pass Schumacher in to Brooklands. Hamilton all over the back of the Mercedes now and he passes in to Copse. How quick are Raikkonen and Hamilton in cleaner air?

No sign of any rain as yet, or any talk of it from the teams

Lap 25

Raikkonen sets the fastest lap. He's 17 seconds off the lead. Alonso is 4.8s ahead of Webber now as Vettel's pace drops off slightly.

Alonso pumps in the fastest middle sector to show he's controlling the pace

Lap 26

Fastest lap from Alonso. Hamilton can't keep up with Raikkonen ahead of him - 0.3s slower on that last la. Grosjean is catching Schumacher and 1.8s behind.

Maldonado uses DRS to pass Glock for 17th place as he recovers from his puncture. Perez has just told Sky that he wants the FIA to punish Maldonado heavily "as it's not the first time he's done something like this"

Lap 27

Grosjean pits for a set of hard tyres and rejoins in 14th place.

Lap 28

Alonso extends his lead to six seconds. Webber with a slower lap and he loses 0.5s to Vettel. Hamilton pits again for a set of hard tyres. He comes out between Rosberg and Grosjean

Lap 29

Raikkonen is the quickest man out there, he's 4.8s behind Massa. He's 16.2s off the lead. Hamilton manages to keep a gap to Grosjean and will start to attack Rosberg who has Button ahead of him

Lap 30

Hamilton dives down the inside of Rosberg in to Copse, and Grosjean puts a great move on the Mercedes in to Maggotts at high speed. He's a good racer. Button is told "don't lose time to Lewis, don't worry about Lewis"

Lap 31

Webber cuts the gap to 5.2s at the front.

Button is basically told to let Hamilton through, but he doesn't pick the best time for it. Hamilton passes in to Copse but Grosjean uses his momentum to pass Button too. Button and Vettel pit

Lap 32

Raikkonen's pace has just dropped off a touch and he's dropping away from those ahead now.

Grosjean close behind Hamilton through Copse after the two of them lapped an HRT.

Lap 33

Vettel's pace is good and he will be a threat to Webber with the undercut if the other side of the Red Bull garage doesn't react. It does react - Webber's in.

Lap 34

Vettel with the fastest lap but he's not close enough to jump Webber. Kobayashi battling with Schumacher for sixth place but he's unable to find a way past so far on this lap.

Lap 35

Alonso is 15 seconds ahead of Massa who is now second as neither has pitted for a second time. Raikkonen pits for a new set of hard tyres and is back out on track. Schumacher in too.

Hamilton still with Grosjean close behind him and Grosjean is through thanks to DRS. Raikkonen rejoined behind Hulkenberg in seventh but has passed him using DRS.

Lap 36

Massa pits for hard tyres but Alonso stays out. Alonso is losing time to Webber now, who sets the fastest lap of the race. Alonso is going for a longer stint here.

Lap 37

Alonso stays out, Webber sets another fastest lap which is then beaten by Raikkonen. Grosjean does a time 0.001s slower than his team-mate. Lotus is quick but just not close enough to challenge.

Alonso pits.

Lap 38

It's soft tyres for Alonso - not what I'd say is the ideal tyre to be on at this stage. He needs to do 15 laps on them, and Webber has him in his sights.

Kobayashi has run over his pit crew. He's dragged back in to the pits and nobody seems seriously hurt. He's locked up and slid through his pit box, and knocked four people over

Lap 39

Alonso's lead over Webber is just 3.9s now. Grosjean sets the fastest lap while Massa is closing in on Vettel slightly. He's 4.3s behind.

Replays show a slow stop for Rosberg and it's dropped him down to 15th place.

Lap 40

Alonso responds to open up the gap to 4.4s. Grosjean with another fastest lap and if he doesn't need to pit again he'll be eyeing up fifth place. He pitted on lap 26 for this set of tyres but is now just 3.6s behind his team-mate ahead

Lap 41

A good battle forming between Hulkenberg, Senna and Button for ninth place. Two seconds cover all three.

Hamilton's pace is not good and he's actually losing a bit of time to Schumacher who is 3.9s behind him.

Lap 42

At the front and Alonso appears to be looking after his tyres. The gap to Webber is now down to 3.5s, while Grosjean continues to set fastest laps and is now just 20 seconds off the lead

Lap 43

Gap down to 3.3s. This race isn't over. Vettel has dropped nine seconds off the lead and has Massa catching him slowly. That gap is now 3.3s.

Schumacher continues to reel in Hamilton - the gap now 2.5s. Line astern for Hulkenberg, Senna and Button

Lap 44

The gap at the front is down to 2.2s. Alonso is struggling. He's losing over 0.8s to Webber a lap and 1.5s to Raikkonen in fifth.

Webber takes 0.5s out of Alonso in the middle sector. Nine laps to go and Webber is gaining

Lap 45

The gap is now just 1.3s at the front. Battle has been joined. Vettel is 5.9s further back - can he get there too? Massa is ten seconds off the lead with seven laps to go and lapping over a second a lap quicker than his team-mate.

Senna defends from Button in to Stowe

Lap 46

I did say I didn't think the soft tyre was the best one to have on at the end of the race and so it's proving. Webber just half a second behind and all over the back of Alonso.

Schumacher within 0.8s of Hamilton now too. A few sitting ducks around the track.

Lap 47

Webber is getting held up by Alonso now and Vettel closes to 5.7s off the lead. Webber needs to find his way past soon. Raikkonen flying and 11 seconds off the lead but running out of laps.

Schumacher uses DRS to cruise past Hamilton. Hulkenberg doing a great job to keep holding off Senna and Button.

Lap 48

Five laps to go and Alonso continues to hold up Webber. You feel it's only a matter of time though. And Webber uses DRS to take the lead! Alonso made it hard but Webber went round the outside with a good move.

Lap 49

Webber set the fastest lap in passing Alonso and is pulling away. Can Vettel catch Alonso? He's 4.3s back. Raikkonen is now just 1.5s behind Massa in the battle for fourth place. The top five all visible on the Hangar Straight, but none that close to challenge each other.

Lap 50

Alonso suddenly responds and pegs the gap to Vettel. He's not falling back quickly from Webber either.

Raikkonen with the fastest lap and he's now just 1.1s behind Massa. 10 seconds covers the top five.

Lap 51

Make that 9.4s. Raikkonen with another fastest lap and he's within a second of Massa now. He's made a mistake though and gone wide at Farm - could stop him getting past.

Senna all over the back of Hulkenberg and he uses DRS before going around the outside of the Force India at Brooklands - great move. Hulkenberg has a look back in to Copse but runs wide and falls behind Button and Kobayashi.

Lap 52

Webber starts his final lap with a 2.5s lead. He's calm enough to ask "Is this the last lap mate?" Raikkonen is 0.5s behind Massa, now so that will go to the wire.

Webber comes round the final corner and wins the British Grand Prix! Alonso is second and Vettel third, while Massa just holds off Raikkonen for fourth place.

Webber is relatively calm over the radio, but that's a great result for him. He outperformed his team-mate and put a strong move on Alonso to take victory - he seems to like this track having won here in 2010.

Grosjean finishes sixth after a brilliant drive following his early pit stop for a new front wing. Schumacher is seventh with Hamilton eighth, Senna ninth and Button in tenth place.

Hamilton does some doughnuts for the home crowd - he might get in trouble from that but good to see.

Webber is congratulated by Vettel as he climbs out of the car. Kovalainen runs over to congratulate him too, he'll be a popular winner at Silverstone. Hamilton and Button walk in to the pit lane together - it was a bad day for McLaren. Eighth and tenth and both cars over half a minute behind the winner

Webber leaps up on the podium and has a big smile on his face. Rodrigo emails in to say: "There you go!!!!! Webber all the way....Advance Australia Fair will play today!!!! I already got my hand on my chest ready to sing and salute!!!!"

Craig emails in to ask: "What's the FL next to Kimi"s name in the results?" It means he set the fastest lap, Craig.

As the national anthems ring out on the impressive new podium it's time for us to go and find out what all the drivers have to say following the race. Webber is just 13 points behind Alonso now in the championship, and make sure you stay with us on ESPNF1.com for all the reaction to the race. Live coverage will be back for the German Grand Prix. See you then.