Fernando Alonso has won the British GP. The double world champ got Ferrari on the top step of the podium for the first time this season after a great drive, finishing ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber in their Red Bulls. Lewis Hamilton finished fourth for McLaren, but not after a final corner scramble with Felipe Massa. The finishing order of the Red Bulls could have been different as well, if not for a last lap team order on pole sitter Webber.

Nico Rosberg (Mercedes GP Petronas), Sergio Perez (Sauber) and Nick Heidfeld (Lotus Renault GP) finished in the next three spots, respectively. The trio made a two-stop strategy work, as opposed to the three-stop race of the front runners. A former winner here, Michael Schumacher managed to get some points today.

He had good pace throughout, but a collision with Kobayashi on lap 9, and the subsequent stop-go penalty he received, spoiled his day. By the way, stop-go penalties replaced drive throughs for this race, as the latter is too light of a penalty on this track. Alguersuari was 10th for Toro Rosso.

Not the craziest race we’ve seen this season, but it’s in the upper half of the exciting scale. All cars started the race on intermediate tyres, thanks to rain throughout the weekend. Webber isn’t the best starter around, and he maintained form by being passed by fellow front row occupant Vettel at the start. He started 10th on the grid, but Hamilton was flying at the start, jumping to 6th within the first few laps. He then went wide on lap 5, but thankfully the runoff was tarmac.

On the same lap, DRS was enabled, and part of Silverstone was already dry. Team Lotus’ Heikki Kovalainen, who managed to enter Q2 yesterday, was the first car to retire after a gearbox problem. After a decent start, the Finn lost fourth gear. He was joined by teammate Trulli later for a double DNF in Team Lotus’ “other home race”.

After the above mentioned lap 9 collision between Schumi and Kobayashi, the German pitted for a new nose and slicks. He came out with blazing laps, and that was the cue for the rest of the field to replace their inters around lap 12. There was plenty of action thereafter, when Button took Massa and Lewis passed Alonso for third.

Hamilton was really flying at this moment and the move on his former “best friend” took plenty of guts and faith that the car will stick off the dry line.

The home boy couldn’t sustain the pace, and Alonso retook his place on lap 24 under DRS. Lewis pitted right after. Meanwhile Kobayashi was penalised with a stop-go for unsafe release in the pitlane. Force India’s Paul di Resta, who is British, saw his promising race (he qualified 6th) crushed with a pit stop disaster – they took out Sutil’s tyres for him, resulting in wasted time.

On lap 27, Webber, Button and Massa pitted and Alonso was showing serious pace at this point behind race leader Vettel. The following lap, both men came in the pits for the defining moment of the race. Red Bull, normally unflappable in pit stops, got stuck with Seb’s left rear, as the championship leader watched Alonso pass by helplessly. Even worst, he came out behind Hamilton, who pitted earlier.

Vettel was all over the McLaren’s gearbox, and it was a cat and mouse game while Alonso pulled away from the duo. Lewis defended very well, and seeing few attempts to get pass fail, Red Bull called in Vettel for his last set of softs. This was on lap 37. Lewis pitted a lap later, but lost his place to the undercutting Vettel easily.

There was drama on lap 41 when Button, who was in 6th, pitted for the final time. He then stopped on the grass just before rejoining the track thanks to a loose front right wheel. Out of the race, and it looks like Button’s bad luck in his home race continues.

Entering the final stage of the race, Alonso held a good lead over Vettel and Hamilton. But on lap 43, McLaren radioed Lewis to tell him to save fuel. This was the cue Mark Webber needed, and the Aussie seized the the chance to take the final podium spot from a helpless Lewis.

He wasn’t contented, racing on to catch, then challenge Vettel, before team orders broke his challenge. “Mark, you need to maintain the gap,” the order went. Webber, we feel for you.

Meanwhile, Massa had a go at Hamilton for fourth, but the tame, tiny Brazilian was never going to pull it off against the aggressive Lewis, and sure enough, he failed. Cutting in from outside, Massa was poked by Lewis but both went on side by side. The final corner saw the Ferrari went wide, to the cheers of the locals.

He didn’t win, but Vettel is still very comfortable in the standings with an 80-point lead over Webber. Alonso is now third with 112 points. The next race is the German GP at the Nurburgring two weeks from now.