Red Bull Racing's Mark Webber appeared sunk after a first corner clash saw him slip to fifteenth, but a dramatic charge through the field saw him come agonisingly close to victory at the 2013 F1 British Grand Prix.

Webber lined up on the grid in fourth, but contact with Lotus driver Romain Grosjean at the start seemingly put him out of contention. However, as Silverstone became the scene of numerous tyre failures and two safety car periods, the Australian picked his way through to eventually finish within a second of winner Nico Rosberg's Mercedes.

"What a day! I don't think any of us expected it to unfold like this," said Webber. "The start was pretty bad; we have to look into that as we had had a good run of starts recently. Then I had contact with Grosjean and the wing was damaged; the boys did a great job in the stop when they changed it.

"After that we got into the race. 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. I think it worked very, very well.

"I worked hard to manipulate the pace when I had to and then it was Nico and I left at the end. It would have been nice to have had a few more laps, but that's how it was today. It was nearly a really special day, but it was still a nice day."

Webber announced on Friday that he will be leaving F1 at the end of the season, however, his commitment shows no signs of wavering and Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was fulsome in his praise of the 36-year-old's performance.

"For Mark, after a difficult start and being hit at the first corner, he made a great recovery with a good nose change from the guys and his drive from then on was fantastic," Horner confirmed.

"He got his head down, charged his way back through the field and came pretty close to claiming the victory, but nonetheless second place was a great performance from him on a big weekend for the team."

by Philip Barclay