Gearbox failure brings Vettel’s British Grand Prix to a halt

Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel
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A gearbox failure 12 laps from home cost Sebastian Vettel an almost certain victory at the British Grand Prix.

The German was comfortably leading around Silverstone before fifth gear broke, damaging the rest of the gearbox and forcing him into retirement.

With Fernando Alonso finishing third, Vettel’s championship lead is now down to 21 points ahead of next weekend’s German Grand Prix.

After the race, Vettel said: “Obviously it’s quite disappointing to retire when we were only a few laps from the end.

“We had a gearbox issue, I think fifth gear broke and damaged the rest of the gearbox as well, so it was not possible to carry on.

“It’s a shame because we were in a good position and it’s a nice race to win here, so I guess we have to come back next year and try again.

“It’s good that it’s only a short time until the next race.”

While Vettel was left to lick his wounds, Webber’s brilliant drive to second was the perfect send off after he announced his retirement last Thursday.

“What a day!” he said. “I don’t think any of us expected it to unfold like this. The start was pretty bad - we have to look into that as we have had a good run of starts recently.

“I was praying for a safety car, but not for the reason they were coming, as you knew you could be next. When you have something like that, it’s Russian Roulette; when you see that many tyre issues for the fellow competitors then it’s never comforting. I made the most of those safety cars – and today the strategy was one of the best we’ve done.

“It would have been nice to have had a few more laps, but that’s how it was today.”