Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel engaged in a heated battle late on in Sunday's British GP. (Photo: Andy Hone/LAT Photographic)

and engaged in a heated battle late on in Sunday’s British GP. (Photo: Andy Hone/LAT Photographic)

Christian Horner says that the battle between Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso at Silverstone was a fair one, despite some controversy about how much of the run-off area they were using.

Both drivers complained on team radio about their rival exceeding track limits, something that the FIA had brought up before the race. Vettel eventually got past, and pulled away to claim fifth.

“It was two guys going at it hammer and tongs,” said Horner. “And it was great racing. The problem is they’ve introduced all these rules about circuit limits. They’re both professional, they’re both going to be pointing out the errors of the other. At the end of the day it was great racing. Sebastian made a massive move.

“It was on the limit, but it was racing, firm racing. Seb made his move stick, and he was very, very brave. Fernando is the type of driver that you can go wheel to wheel with like that, and he’ll just about give you the space, but no more.”

Both drivers received warnings from the FIA about exceeding track limits.

“They were both on the limit. It was six of one and half a dozen of the other. It would be wrong to penalize one of them. Fernando was benefiting at Turns 9 and 18 constantly, which Sebastian was quick to point out. And Sebastian was doing whatever he could to try and pass him.

“Charlie [Whiting] pointed out a couple of times track limits to Seb, and Alonso got a warning flag, which was for track limits. The problem is when you’ve got run-off like that, and it’s quicker, drivers are going to want to abuse it.”

Horner said that the FIA made the right calls: “I think that we’ve just made a move to allow a bit more freedom to allow the guys to race. I think that’s a good thing. The problem is there have got to be rules, but where’s the line? And you’ve got to give the stewards a degree of freedom to make sensible decisions.”

Championship opens up as Rosberg breaks down:

Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England. Sunday 6 July 2014. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG, retires from the race with gear box issues. World Copyright: Alastair Staley/LAT Photographic. ref: Digital Image _R6T2629

, Mercedes AMG, retires from the British GP with gearbox issues. (Photo: Alastair Staley/LAT Photographic)

Nico Rosberg lost his shot at winning the British GP to a mechanical gearbox problem that left him stranded at trackside on the 29th lap.

Rosberg was just ahead of Lewis Hamilton at the time, and it was not yet clear how their respective strategies would play out. It was his first retirement of the year after he had finished first or second in the eight previous races, and it leaves him just four points clear of Hamilton.

Rosberg said he’d seen signs of an issue earlier in the race.

“There was one thing already before the start,” he said, “or just after or something like that, which was weird. And then after that it sort of got worse and worse from Lap 20 onwards. There were some occasions where I had neutral so I had to pull the clutch and go again, and then it just got worse and worse.

“My mentality changed to, ‘O.K., let’s stop racing Lewis, and let’s just try and get this thing to the end somehow,’ because I have such a pace advantage, and I know that I can do some pretty radical things to try and keep this gearbox alive. But it was a mechanical problem, and there wasn’t anything that could be done.”

Rosberg said he would try find some positives: “What can I say, it was just a reliability problem, and a pity. So now we need to review it, and as always we need to push on and try and keep on working on any small reliability issues that we’re having, as we have done, and as we’re still doing.

“It’s difficult to find so many good feelings today, but tomorrow we’ll try to look for them again. I’m in the lead the championship.”

Gutierrez lands grid penalty for German GP:

Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England. Sunday 6 July 2014. Pastor Maldonado, Lotus F1 and Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber C33 Ferrari collide on track. World Copyright: Charles Coates/LAT Photographic. ref: Digital Image _J5R8719

Esteban Gutierrez (right) collides into the Lotus of Pastor Maldonado (left). (Photo: Charles Coates/LAT Photographic)

Esteban Gutierrez has received a three-place grid penalty for the German GP after his clash with Pastor Maldonado at Silverstone.

The two made contact at Club corner while battling with Jules Bianchi, and the damage led to the Sauber driver going off into the gravel a few corners later.

Gutierrez said: ” When I tried to overtake him in turn 16 he braked and did not leave me enough space. I was already beside him and could not avoid a collision with him.”

The FIA stewards determined that he was “predominantly at fault” for the incident.

Gutierrez had a 10-place unsafe release penalty at Silverstone and picked up five more places for a gearbox change, but in the end he lost only five in total as the rules ensured that three other cars had to start behind him.

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