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.
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.
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.
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
|4||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull/Honda||52||34.692s|
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda||52||39.458s|
|6||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren/Renault||52||53.639s|
|8||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||52||1m05.540s|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Honda||52||1m06.720s|
|12||Alexander Albon||Toro Rosso/Honda||52||1m15.617s|
|13||Lance Stroll||Racing Point/Mercedes||52||1m21.086s|
|14||George Russell||Williams/Mercedes||51||1 Lap|
|15||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||51||1 Lap|
|16||Robert Kubica||Williams/Mercedes||51||1 Lap|
|17||Sergio Perez||Racing Point/Mercedes||51||1 Lap|
|–||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||18||Spun off|
|–||Romain Grosjean||Haas/Ferrari||9||Accident damage|
|–||Kevin Magnussen||Haas/Ferrari||6||Accident damage|
|7||Carlos Sainz Jr.||38|