Race Report: Hamilton steals win, Max and Charles steal show at British GP

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The good news for the 70th British Grand Prix was that it will now continue at Silverstone through 2024 as the owners, the BRDC, inked a deal this week with Liberty Media. What better way to celebrate that signing than with a British champion winning a record-breaking 6th British Grand Prix? That’s what the plan was and that’s exactly what happened.

Lewis Hamilton missed out on pole position to his teammate, Valtteri Bottas, by just .006s and while that wasn’t what he wanted, the race was a different story and looking good for Mercedes who enjoyed their 63rd front row lock out on Saturday.

Lewis eventually passed Bottas as he ran a longer first stint and a Safety Car period handed him a free pit stop and allowed the champ a single-stop strategy to take the win away from his teammate. The two had some battles in the early stages of the race but Lewis managed the gap between them after the safety car and took a emotional win at his home race while the best racing all happened behind him.

Win

Another win for Mercedes as they secured yet another 1, 2 finish and it was a record-breaking win for Lewis Hamilton having bested Alain Prost and Jim Clark for the most British GP wins at 6. That’s rare air and a fitting result for the 70th British GP.

A win for Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc who finished third and had the race’s most exciting battles with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. There was no doubt that Leclerc rubbed the FIA’s nose in their own ruling in Austria but racing Max hard, making his car wide and running terrific defensive lines. He wasn’t going to make anything easy for Max and they passed and re-passed each other several times and he forced the FIA to eat their own dog food in not reviewing or penalizing the hard, good racing. A Brilliant move on his part but only shadowed by his terrific passing which Paul Charsley termed wonderfully creative and I agree. Since Canada, Leclerc is certainly the most convincing Ferrari driver.

A big win for Carlos Sainz and McLAren as they were seriously challenged for best-of-the-rest by Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo. Sainz held on to 6th place and helped McLaren retain their position as best-of-the-rest. A great drive by an inspired driver and team.

A win for both Renault’s getting back in the points and challenging for best-of-the-rest. Also a win for Kimi Raikkonen who hauled his Alfa Romeo up into the points after having a difficult weekend and Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat who was bested by his teammate all weekend long but managed to finish in the points and ahead of a Renault.

A win for Pierre Gasly who finished 4th after inheriting the spot from Max Verstappen’s incident with Sebastian Vettel. The best result since he joined the team and a much-needed performance from the Frenchman on Bastille Day.

A big win for Silverstone who fielded 140,000 spectators and with Max and Charles, put on a terrific race that is one of, if not the, best races of the season so far. The battles between Max and Charles were fantastic and even the midfield squabbles between Carlos and Dan were fun to watch.

Fail

A fail for Valtteri Bottas but not of his making. The timing of the Safety Car blew his race and to be honest, I’m not sure why it required a full safety car and not just a virtual safety car. The key for Bottas was a good start and he had that and was leading the race but the safety car kicked him in the crotch and ruined what was a chance to reduce his points deficit. Very unfortunate timing and a bummer that the stranded car of Antonio Giovinazzi couldn’t be recovered quicker with just a virtual safety car but when there is a tractor on track, I suppose that’s the reason.

A fail for Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel who was passed by Max Verstappen’s Red Bull and then he ran into the back of Max’s car in a mirror image of Daniel Ricciardo and Max in Baku. Like Dan, the front wing lost downforce and Vettel tried to move to the right under braking but wasn’t decisive enough with the move and ended up hitting Verstappen although both cars continued the race. It cost Max 4th and possibly 3rd place, handed Pierre Gasly 4th and cost Vettel a 10s penalty. Vettel quickly went to Max and apologized for the incident and it is hard to not think Sebastian had the stuffing taken out of his since Canada.

A fail for Lando Norris who got caught out by the safety car after running strong and holding off the Renault’s of Ricciardo and Hulkenberg. It is unfortunate as he had a good race going and would have been there or thereabouts with Sainz in the end.

A fail for Alex Albon who also lost out and had a really tidy race going battling for points. A fail also for Racing Points Sergio Perez who may have had a points finish had he not tried to dive down the inside of Hulkenberg losing his wing in the process.

WTH

A WTH for both Haas F1 drivers with Romain Grosjean spinning in pit lane, Kevin Magnussen having a miserable qualifying and then both drivers hitting each other and taking both cars out of the race. This weekend looked as ridiculous as their title sponsor at this point.

I’m not sure why the press hammered Lewis Hamilton about not being very British after qualifying on Saturday but I suppose the accusations of being a tax dodger in Monaco and his jet-set lifestyle in America and around the world adds to the criticism. I even read that some say he doesn’t sound British enough these days. That seems rather harsh to me as many F1 champions from Britain lived in Monaco and little was said. In return, I found Lewis’s podium ceremony tough to watch as he clung to a British Union flag and draped himself in it every moment he could. Lewis! Your’re British and there is really no getting around that. As a Yank, any time I think of you, I think of your British-ness. Don’t play into the criticism and engage in overwrought attempts to appear more British.

British GP Results

POSDRIVERCARLAPSGAP
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes521h21m08.452s
2Valtteri BottasMercedes5224.928s
3Charles LeclercFerrari5230.117s
4Pierre GaslyRed Bull/Honda5234.692s
5Max VerstappenRed Bull/Honda5239.458s
6Carlos Sainz Jr.McLaren/Renault5253.639s
7Daniel RicciardoRenault5254.401s
8Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo/Ferrari521m05.540s
9Daniil KvyatToro Rosso/Honda521m06.720s
10Nico HulkenbergRenault521m12.733s
11Lando NorrisMcLaren/Renault521m14.281s
12Alexander AlbonToro Rosso/Honda521m15.617s
13Lance StrollRacing Point/Mercedes521m21.086s
14George RussellWilliams/Mercedes511 Lap
15Sebastian VettelFerrari511 Lap
16Robert KubicaWilliams/Mercedes511 Lap
17Sergio PerezRacing Point/Mercedes511 Lap
Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo/Ferrari18Spun off
Romain GrosjeanHaas/Ferrari9Accident damage
Kevin MagnussenHaas/Ferrari6Accident damage

Driver’s Championship

POSDRIVERPOINTS
1Lewis Hamilton223
2Valtteri Bottas184
3Max Verstappen136
4Sebastian Vettel123
5Charles Leclerc120
6Pierre Gasly55
7Carlos Sainz Jr.38
8Kimi Raikkonen25
9Lando Norris22
10Daniel Ricciardo22
11Nico Hulkenberg17
12Kevin Magnussen14
13Sergio Perez13
14Daniil Kvyat12
15Alexander Albon7
16Lance Stroll6
17Romain Grosjean2
18Antonio Giovinazzi1
19George Russell0
20Robert Kubica0

Constructor’s Championship

POSCONSTRUCTORPOINTS
1Mercedes407
2Ferrari243
3Red Bull/Honda191
4McLaren/Renault60
5Renault39
6Alfa Romeo/Ferrari26
7Racing Point/Mercedes19
8Toro Rosso/Honda19
9Haas/Ferrari16
10Williams/Mercedes0
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Fast Freddy

Maybe F1 should adopt the NASCAR rule that closes the pits until the safety car gathers the field up. That way everyone has an equal chance to pit if they want. Although having the whole field come in for a pit stop at the same is sure to have a few shunts.

subcritical71

Leclerc – “Since Canada, Leclerc is certainly the most convincing Ferrari driver.” I’ve mentioned it before, but before Canada LEC’s efforts were foiled by team orders. Then in Canada the team orders subsided and LEC is now the most convincing driver. I would argue he has been since Melbourne but it was disguised by his own team. VET may be a great driver but LEC is showing signs of being better this year. Only 3 points separate teammates with advantage VET and it would be a bigger gap, but the other way around, if team orders were not already deployed.… Read more »

Fast Freddy

I’d also add that Verstappen has matured some and he backs out of challenges he once would of charged into. I believe Leclerc will too. Wish they could both be in cars that could reliably challenge Mercedes for the win.

Ayo

Tod,

Great site and podcast

Lewis is British. To some that’s not enough. I reckon as grows older and long after his achievements in this sport he won’t have engage in over sought attempts of Britshness.

At this to time and where we are right now it might be the best reponse to those eager in the press to question and qualify his Britishness.

Ayo

Thanks Tod

F1Great

Great drive by LH.
Good defence by Leclerc over MV.
Good drive by VB but 25 second deficit suggests SC not the winning factor. LH was 18 seconds ahead by SC, which gave LH time to get in and out on fresh tyres.

Joe

I don’t care how it happened, I just want to point out that Russell in a Williams beat a Ferrari at least once this season.

Tough for Seb, I agree he’s deflated and probably desperate. Good job apologizing and owning up to his error. Brilliant racing with Charles and Max.

jtr

Vettel was even classified below Kubica once the 10-second penalty was applied. Gotta consider it a minor win for Williams that they finished ahead of Vettel and Perez this weekend after finishing ahead of KMag last race. They’re consistently running just fast enough to beat cars that lose time in an incident, which is better than we could say about them at the start of the year. This was also by far their best qualifying round, in terms of percentage-delta off of pole time. They’re sloooooowly working their way to a position where they should be able to fight with… Read more »

Joe

I’m hoping and praying. I watched Claire interview with Nico Rosberg, and I was pleasantly surprised at the determination to refocus on racing that she pushed. It may be pr, but I know from experience when a company loses sight of their core purpose, they fall. They can either double down on it, or retreat, regroup, and reengage. I think that is what is happening. But it begs the question, where did they go off the rails?

Dan Cooper

Good points about Lewis’s flag tactics, Nice summary of a fun race. Disagree slightly that this Max rear ender was like the earlier one, Max switched hard in front of Daniel at the last minute, that stalled the wing and caused the crash. In this one Seb just had all the choices in his hand and came in too hot and blew the braking. I think the earlier one was 50/50 or Max’s fault. This one is all Seb. I bet he will retire at the end of this year and wish he’d done so a year earlier. I know… Read more »

The Captain

I gotta say, ‘Mercedes corrected’ F1 is actually pretty exciting right now.

Fabio

‘ I’m not sure why it required a full safety car and not just a virtual safety car.’ The cynic in me says, that a VSC wouldn’t have put LH in the lead….
Still, a fantastic race, just need to ignore the Mercs.
Great to see such proper racing.

jtr

Definitely can’t help but notice that they deployed an unnecessary safety car at juuuuuust the right moment to steal a win for the hometown hero. The safety car was back in so quickly that I’m not sure it even gathered up all the cars! I would have though it could have been handled under a quick VSC or ever double-yellows at the end of the hanger straight, though I can understand why they don’t use double-yellows for a tractor in the gravel anymore after Bianchi’s fatal accident.

F1Great

If Tractor needed the Safety Car is compulsory