The British Grand Prix never fails to deliver, and this year’s race was no exception. The stands were packed and over 140,000 spectators gathered at Silverstone to watch what turned out to be an exciting race with plenty of wheel to wheel action, literally, and plenty of gutsy overtaking from start to finish. Even a safety car was thrown in for good measure to add even more action into the second half of the race.
Lewis Hamilton won the British Grand Prix for the sixth time in his career, making history as the only driver to have won it six times. It was also his 80th career victory. He even managed to get the fastest lap of the race on the final lap into the bargain, on tyres that had done over 25 laps, making it another one-two for the Mercedes team with Valtteri Bottas crossing the finish almost 25 seconds behind his teammate in second place.
Whilst Hamilton had to work hard for his win, battling teammate Valtteri Bottas, who had claimed pole position, it was however Charles Leclerc who was the driver of the day though as far as I was concerned, for his creativity and sheer guts in making overtaking manoeuvres that many would consider not doable.
Hamilton commented after the race that: “I remember my first win here in 2008 and the feeling that I had coming out of Brooklands and going down the straight and seeing the crowd, it felt so reminiscent of that today – the excitement and happiness and joy that I felt were exactly the same as back then. I’ve done so many races now, and you would think that after so many races you’d get used to it and the feeling would numb down, but it felt like it was the first win I ever had. Valtteri drove a very strong race and we had a really good fight in the beginning; I nearly got him going into Turn 7, but he was next to me and I couldn’t really close the door. After that I backed off a little and waited for the pit stops, hoping that I could maybe overtake him in the pits. I extended my first stint for a few more laps, then the Safety Car came out and that was perfect timing for me as I came back out in front of Valtteri. I’m really grateful to all of those people that have helped me achieve this today; I have this incredible team behind me and it’s really amazing to be a part of it, to be breaking down walls and records and pushing the limits and boundaries every weekend.”
The British Grand Prix proved to be a challenging one for Ferrari despite Charles Leclerc taking the team’s ninth podium of the season, finishing third. But a disappointed Sebastian Vettel was unable to score any points following his battle with Max Verstappen and eventually running into the back of the Red Bull on lap 37.
Vettel was deemed to have caused the collision by the Stewards and given a 10 second penalty which was added to his final race time, dropping him to sixteenth and promoting Leclerc to third.
Following the race, Charles Leclerc said: “It was a good day for me. This was by far the most fun race of my Formula 1 career to date. From inside the cockpit, the duel with Max was really enjoyable and I reckon those watching it at home or at the track also thought it was a good show.”
“In a way, I have to say that what happened in Austria allowed me to understand how aggressive I can be in the race and I didn’t hold back. It was also a good fight with Pierre: to overtake him I had to be daring because he was very quick down the straights.”
“From a technical point of view, I think we need to further improve our race pace and how we manage the tyres, because today we struggled a bit.”
Sebastian Vettel said of his collision: “Regarding the incident with Max, it was my mistake and I spoke to him afterwards and apologised. I had thought a gap would open up on the inside but it didn’t and it looked for a second as if he was pulling into the middle but he stayed left, but by that time it was already too late, I was too close and I couldn’t avoid the crash. Ferrari and Red Bull have been very closely matched in the last few races and I think it would have been difficult to fight Max off anyway.”
“Apart from that, our race pace was really good, and the initial laps went well, and I benefited from the Safety Car to get ahead of three cars. I don’t think we could have won today, but I’m not happy that I didn’t even score any points.”
McLaren put in another strong performance with Carlos Sainz finishing sixth and Lando Norris just missing a point scoring position by finishing 11th.
Renault continue in their improved performance, with both drivers scoring points today, with Daniel Ricciardo coming seventh and teammate Nico Hulkenberg finishing 10th.
Haas F1 Team
The Haas F1 Team had a very disappointing British Grand Prix with neither car finishing following an opening-lap incident. Romain Grosjean qualified 14th and teammate Kevin Magnussen 16th, so they were both towards the back of the grid, and whilst jostling for position on the opening lap, the two cars managed to collide with each other, resulting in both getting punctured rear tyres. Magnussen retired after just six laps and Grosjean after nine thanks to the accident damage they sustained.
The top ten finishers in the British Grand Prix were: Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, Charles Leclerc, Pierre Gasly, Max Verstappen, Carlos Sainz, Daniel Ricciardo, Kimi Räikkönen, Daniil Kvyat and Nico Hulkenberg scoring the final point.
Lewis Hamilton has extended his lead in the Drivers’ Championship on 223 points, with teammate Valtteri Bottas not far behind him on 184 points. Max Verstappen is now in third place on 136 points, just ahead of Sebastian Vettel on 123. Charles Leclerc’s strong performance today put him just 3 points behind Vettel with 120 points.
Meanwhile Mercedes have extended their lead in the Constructors’ Championship over Ferrari with 407 points to the Italian team’s 243, with Red Bull in third on 191 points. McLaren are the best of the rest in fourth with 60 points.
Make a note in your diary that the 11th round of this year’s Formula One World Championship takes place at Hockenheim with the German Grand Prix on 28th July.
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man Behind The Wheel, a professional photographer and former saloon car racing driver.
Photographs courtesy of Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Scuderia Ferrari Press Office, McLaren and Haas F1 Team