Lewis Hamilton won today’s British Grand Prix in dominant fashion to record his first win at Silverstone since that wet race in 2008. Hamilton was joined on the podium by Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo after a gearbox issue brought Rosberg’s race to an early end.
In the rain affected qualifying, both Ferrari’s were caught out in Q1 so found themselves starting from 16th and 18th. With both cars being out of position, the Ferrari team opted to start their drivers on the orange branded hard tyres, in a bid to go further in the first stage of the race.
Come the start of the race, a great start for Rosberg saw the pole sitter go into turn one unchallenged. But for fellow front-row sitter Sebastian Vettel, he failed to get a good launch from his box and began to slip down the field. Like in Austria, Hamilton needed a good start after a poor qualifying.
Thankfully for the home crowd, Hamilton was able to gain a few positions at the start to move up to fourth place behind both McLaren’s and Nico Rosberg. But the first lap of the race was brought to an abrupt end, only as far as the Wellington straight, as the red flag was brought out.
As the field filtered through the loop section of the track, Raikkonen ran wide in his Ferrari coming out of Aintree. As he returned to the track, he sent his car into a spin across the track. In the opening stages of a race, cars are close together so when Kimi returned to the track, mid spin, he went across the path of the back-markers. This caused Kobayashi in the Caterham to suddenly shoot to the left in order to avoid the Ferrari, but for Massa, his race was brought to an end.
As Massa approached the crash zone, he saw the stricken Ferrari very late due to the Caterham directly in front of him. When Felipe braked sharply to try to avoid Kimi his Williams span. Unfortunately for the Brazilian marking his 200th grand prix start this weekend, after his Williams span under breaking he absorbed terminal damage when he made contact with Kimi’s Ferrari.
Whilst under the red flag, the field had to return to the grid in the order they were running. But Max Chilton in his Marussia came into the pit lane instead after receiving damage to his car. This brought himself an investigation by the race stewards for entering the pit lane under a red flag. It is unsafe for a car to enter the pit lane under the red flag as team personnel from all the teams are preparing to go to the grid to work on the cars. In the end, the result of the investigation saw Max Chilton receive a drive-through penalty.
The order whilst under the red flag was; Rosberg, Button, Magnussen, Hamilton, Vettel, Hulkenberg, Ricciardo, Kvyat, Bottas, Bianchi, Sutil, Gutierrez, Alonso, Maldonado, Ericsson, Grosjean, Vergne, Perez, Kobayashi, Chilton. With Massa and Raikkonen out of the race.
Come the restart of the race, Rosberg managed another great pull away to stay in the lead ahead of Button, and across the first lap of the restart there were no changes to the order. But on the following lap, Hamilton closed right on to the back on Magnussen for third. Going down the old pit straight, Hamilton faked a move to the outside of the McLaren but cut back inside in a bid for the inside line into Copse. But as Hamilton aborted the move, Magnussen ran in deep and off the track giving Lewis an easy pass. One lap later, Lewis was having another easy pass on a McLaren as he got past Button into Brooklands for second place. Unfortunately for Hamilton, by the time he had managed to overtake both McLaren’s he was five seconds behind his team-mate.
As Hamilton tried to close the gap to Rosberg, the two men clearly on a mission were Fernando Alonso and Valtteri Bottas. With both storming through the field after their poor qualifying yesterday, and both making great moves into Stowe. But for Alonso, his overtakes were soon to be more vital for his race as he was handed a 5 second stop-go penalty for not starting the race in his grid slot.
Come the first round of pit stops of the Mercedes drivers, Rosberg came in for the medium compound tyres, contrasting to what the team put Hamilton on a few laps later. But when Hamilton served his pit stop, a rear left tyre issue meant he lost an extra second to his team-mate.
As it would happen however, this one second would not cost Hamilton as the medium tyres turned out to be the better tyres to be on at this stage of the race. With this, Hamilton was catching Rosberg at a rapid rate and soon would have been right behind his team-mate for a battle for the lead. A battle that was taken away from the spectators as a gearbox issue struck in Rosberg’s Mercedes, ultimately causing him to retire. Rosberg had reported that he was suffering a problem on upshifts and along with the team, was trying desperately just to get it going again in order to finish the race. In the end this could not be done and Nico was forced into taking his first DNF of the season.
Now with Lewis storming away into the distance out in front, Bottas was running in second place. Just two weeks after Austria in which he secured his first podium finish in Formula One. But a little further back from Bottas, there was a three car fight for fifth between Vettel, Alonso and Magnussen.
Going into Brooklands the fight began with Alonso trying to make his way around the Red Bull, but the fight with Vettel saw Magnussen close in from behind and have a look down the inside through Luffield. But as the three pushed heavily down the old pit straight, Vettel pulled to the right to cover Alonso, and as the two went into Copse side-by-side Alonso put all his faith into Seb that he would back out as the Spaniard took the corner flat out.
A few laps later, this battle was far from over as DRS helped Vettel make a move around the outside of Alonso down the Wellington straight. Then out of nowhere, as the two entered Luffield, Fernando took the inside line to stay ahead of the German.
This fight would continue for many more laps before lap 48, when Vettel got past Fernando into Copse. Earlier that lap Seb had got past Fernando down the Wellington straight thanks to DRS once more. But like the earlier occasion, Alonso regained the position into Luffield. Yet, Seb pushed hard on the exit and was side-by-side with Alonso for the entirety of the old pit straight before having the inside line into Copse.
Entering the final two laps of the race, Jenson Button in fourth place was carrying out a late charge for the podium against Daniel Ricciardo. Before this year Jenson had never finished on the podium at the British Gran Prix. But despite as a late hard push, catching Ricciardo at a rapid rate, it was a little too late and took the chequered flag just behind Ricciardo.
But out in front Lewis Hamilton stormed to the finish line to win the British Grand Prix. After Rosberg’s DNF, Lewis is now just four points behind his team-mate in the drivers championship. He was joined on the podium by Valtteri Bottas in his Williams. Who despite starting the race in 14th position, gained a massive 13 places to take second place and record his best finish in Formula One, to date. Also securing Williams 299th podium place.
After their performances driver of the day for the British Grand Prix is a straight battle between Bottas and Alonso. For me it is between them as their early overtaking was very impressive and both were forced to make their way through the field. Due to the great defending in the battle between Alonso and Vettel, I am giving driver of the day to Fernando. Hopefully in Germany in two weeks time, we will have another great race.
|2||77||Valtteri Bottas||Williams-Mercedes||52||+30.1 secs||14||18|
|3||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing-Renault||52||+46.4 secs||8||15|
|4||22||Jenson Button||McLaren-Mercedes||52||+47.3 secs||3||12|
|5||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||52||+53.8 secs||2||10|
|6||14||Fernando Alonso||Ferrari||52||+59.9 secs||16||8|
|7||20||Kevin Magnussen||McLaren-Mercedes||52||+62.5 secs||5||6|
|8||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||52||+88.6 secs||4||4|
|9||26||Daniil Kvyat||STR-Renault||52||+89.3 secs||9||2|
|10||25||Jean-Eric Vergne||STR-Renault||51||+1 Lap||10||1|
|11||11||Sergio Perez||Force India-Mercedes||51||+1 Lap||7|
|12||8||Romain Grosjean||Lotus-Renault||+1 Lap||11|
|13||99||Adrian Sutil||Sauber-Ferrari||+1 Lap||13|
|14||17||Jules Bianchi||Marussia-Ferrari||+1 Lap||12|
|15||10||Kamui Kobayashi||Caterham-Renault||+2 Lap||22|
|16||4||Max Chilton||Marussia-Ferrari||+2 Lap||17|
|17||13||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus-Renault||+3 Lap||20|
|Ret||6||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes||+24 Laps||1|
|Ret||9||Marcus Ericsson||Caterham-Renault||+41 Laps||21|
|Ret||21||Esteban Gutierrez||Sauber-Ferrari||+43 Laps||19|
|Ret||19||Felipe Massa||Williams-Mercedes||+ secs||15|
|Ret||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Ferrari||+ secs||18|