Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel has expressed his disappointment after suffering his first DNF of the season at the British Grand Prix.

Vettel looked poised to claim his fourth win of F1 2013 at Silverstone, the eighth round in the championship, only for his car to let him down 11 laps from the chequered flag when he lost drive.

The German came to a stop on the start-finish straight - forcing the safety car out for the second time of the afternoon - and speaking later the three-time F1 world champion confirmed that a gearbox issue was to blame.

"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," Vettel remarked.

"It's a shame because we were in a good position and it's a nice race to win here, so yeah 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 [in Germany]."

Despite not scoring though, Vettel retained the lead in the Drivers' Championship, albeit with his advantage trimmed from 36 points to 21.

"Obviously to get within 12 laps of winning the race and have a retirement due to a transmission issue is pretty painful, particularly at this venue," added Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, "but Sebastian had done everything right today and it was a great shame."

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