Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, who early in the race had been as low as 11th on pace while conserving his tires, came alive at this point and overtook the second Red Bull on the 51st lap, but Webber was able to retaliate on the 53rd.
That set up some mighty side-by-side racing between the two as Webber blocked and Hamilton ducked and dived behind him.
On the very last lap Hamilton hung tough down the inside going into turn one and Webber had to concede. As he and Hamilton had fought, Perez got a second wind after dealing with an attacking Alonso, and passed the Red Bull as Webber lost momentum after Hamilton’s pass.
Alonso had grabbed second at the start, but after Vettel passed him later that lap after judicious use of his KERS, the Spaniard stopped for new tyres on the seventh lap, then had to duck in again on the ninth when his DRS rear wing flap stuck in the open position. That dropped him way back, and left him to fight back – without DRS – for the rest of a disastrous afternoon for Ferrari in which he’d eventually finish eighth.
Rosberg finished a frustrated ninth in a race in which he had earlier run way ahead of his team mate, while Button got the better of Perez in their heated battles, but ultimately also had to make a fourth stop and thus dropped to tenth.