Victory at home for Hamilton
Defending champion Lewis Hamilton bounced back from a false start and potential tyre choice misjudgement, to win a rain affected British Grand Prix at Silverstone ahead of Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
Although seemingly set for a race long battle with Rosberg and the Williams pair of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, Hamilton’s self-called decision to pit for intermediate tyres on lap 44 allowed him secure a third victory at home in front of 140 000 partisan spectators.
“I think it's the first time in my Formula 1 career I perfectly made the right choice as I could see the rain coming more. It was a really tricky race, one of the trickiest races I’ve had for a very long time,” Hamilton told Sky F1 after the race.
“I could see the crowd in the corner of my eye and l didn’t want to drop it for them and l could see the rain coming as well. I thought ‘this is it’ and when I came out I was just hoping it would rain. It wasn’t luck, it wasn’t genius, it was just for once the right call. Sometimes you get it right, sometimes you get it wrong”.
Having succeeded in passing both the quick starting Williams’ and catching his teammate as it started spitting on lap 36, Rosberg’s decision to stay out as Hamilton pitted, occurred as the rain, which momentarily stopped, started intensifying.
“I had to take that chance, because following Lewis into the box is a definite lose. So I had to stay out. That's where I lost it, but fair play to Lewis,” Rosberg said.
Despite securing yet another pole position lock-out in qualifying, a slow starting Hamilton was immediately overtaken by Massa as the lights went out with Bottas, who managed to jump Rosberg, threatening to follow his teammate and make it a Williams one-two. Hamilton however managed to fend the Finn off as proceedings then came unstruck with the deployment of the safety car.
Going into turn three, Lotus teammates Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado touched, which caused McLaren’s Fernando Alonso to half-spin as he tried to take avoiding action. The Spaniard however collected the side of teammate Jenson Button, resulting in the elimination of three cars and yet another seemingly miserable weekend for the struggling Honda powered team.
At the same time, a sudden burst of power saw Dutch rookie Max Verstappen, losing the rear of his Toro Rosso at the fast Maggots-Becketts section, ending up in the barrier. It would turn out to be a weekend to forget for the team as Carlos Sainz Jr retired with mechanical failure on lap 32.
With the safety car back in after three laps, Hamilton’s attempt to overtake Massa nearly came to tears as the double-world champion left braking to late, ran wide at the final corner and allowed Bottas into second.
Although appearing to show more pace than Massa, and confirming this with a series of radio messages, Bottas was unable to pass as Hamilton’s earlier first stop saw him jumping the Brazilian to take the lead. With the Brit clearing off, a swapping of positions after the first round of stops resulted in both Williams coming out ahead of Rosberg until the rain intervened.
Unable to replicate their dry weather progress, and with Rosberg passed, both Massa and Bottas were overtaken by Vettel who had been running in sixth throughout most of the race.
Behind the top five, Red Bull’s Danill Kvyat finished sixth ahead of the revised Force India of Nico Hulkenberg, while an early stop for intermediates on a still mainly dry track and subsequent further stop, left the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen down in eighth.
Despite the collision with Button, Alonso managed to salvage his first point of the season by finish tenth behind the second Force India of Sergio Perez.
The next round sees the F1 circus making its way to the Hungaroring for the Hungarian Grand Prix on July 26th.
BRITISH GRAND PRIX RESULTS
|6.||Danill Kvyat||Red Bull||+01:03.955|
|7.||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||+01:18.744|
|8.||Kimi Raikkonen||Ferrari||+1 Lap|
|9.||Sergio Perez||Force India||+1 Lap|
|10.||Fernando Alonso||McLaren||+1 Lap|
|11.||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber||+1 Lap|
|12.||Roberto Mehri||Manor||+3 Laps|
|13.||Will Stevens||Manor||+3 Laps|
|DNF||Carlos Sainz Jr||Toro Rosso||32 laps, powerunit|
|DNF||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||21 laps, gearbox|
|DNF||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso||3 laps, spun-off|
|DNF||Romain Grosjean||Lotus||0 laps, accident|
|DNF||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus||0 laps, accident|
|DNF||Jenson Button||McLaren||0 laps, accident|
|DNS||Felipe Nasr||Sauber||engine failure|
|7.||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||36|
|8.||Danill Kvyat||Red Bull||27|
|9.||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||24|
|12.||Sergio Perez||Force India||15|
|14.||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso||10|
|15.||Carlos Sainz Jr||Toro Rosso||9|
IMAGE sourced from www.newsletter.co.uk
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