Their battle reached its climax with just a handful of tours left, with Schumacher - struggling with a 'spongey' brake pedal from the opening stages - clearly slower than the Williams. On more than one occasion, Barrichello looked to the inside of the Mercedes, only to be rebuffed, but Schumacher's early defence was nothing compared to the attempted block that came with Barrichello alongside him on the pit straight.
Somehow, the two cars avoided the contact that would have resulted in a serious accident, but Barrichello, despite breaking back into the points, was quickly on the radio, calling for sanctions against the German, who ended the race under investigation.
With Barrichello's strategy failing to pay off, it was left to team-mate Hulkenberg to bring home the biggest haul for Williams, the reigning GP2 Series champion also claiming his best result of the year in sixth, while the two Saubers celebrated Switzerland's national day by sandwiching Button in eighth, Kamui Kobayashi
having come from the back row of the grid.
Webber's win takes him back to the top of the standings, now four points clear of the luckless Hamilton, and 14 ahead of his team-mate, who vaults past Button into third overall. Alonso, meanwhile, after a second successive podium has closed to within six points of Button, and less than a race win - gifted or otherwise - from the new leader.
Red Bull also leads the constructors' standings, the 1-3 result easily out-scoring Button's eighth and handing the Milton Keynes team an eight-point advantage as F1 heads into its summer break.