Lewis Hamilton has bagged yet another British Grand Prix victory with a 6.9 seconds lead over teammate Nico Rosberg who finished second, closely followed by Red Bull Racing driver, Max Verstappen. However, following a judgment by the stewards over a pit-radio conversation between Nico and Mercedes team, the German driver has been handed a 10 second time penalty, which demotes him to third and elevates Verstappen to second.
The Briton claimed a lights-to-flag victory at his home circuit, totalling his career wins to 47. This is Hamiltons fourth victory of the season and he now trails Rosberg by one point in the championship. It is his fourth British GP victory, leveling Nigel Mansell, and just one win away from Jim Clarks tally of five victories at Silverstone.
Coming back to the race. The weather forecast had predicted 100 per cent certainty of rain showers at the race start. Owing to which, the race started behind the safety car that lasted till lap 5. And as soon as the Mercedes GT S pulled into the pits, most drivers pitted from Wet weather tyres to Intermediates, which changed the order a bit. Understandably, there was chaos in the pit-lane with a number of unsafe releases, of which, the stewards handed Jolyon Palmer a 10 second stop-go penalty.
Around lap 7, Pascal Wehrlein beached his Manor in the gravel at Turn 1, bringing out the Virtual Safety Car and causing the first retirement of the race. Race leaders Hamilton, Rosberg, Verstappen and Ricciardo took this opportunity to switch to Intermediates. By lap 15, Max made a fantastic move on Rosberg and overtook him for second. By lap 16, everyone switched to dry compound, and that lead to another shuffle in the grid. However, the two Ferraris were out from the front run, right from the restart where they pitted for Intermediates – Kimi managed to make places up to sixth, but Sebastian Vettel was stuck behind Fernando Alonso in 11th.
Around lap 39, after a prolonged chase, Rosberg successfully managed to wrestle with Verstappen to take back his second place. Around lap 47, the German was complaining about a gearbox problem, and the team asked him to “avoid the seventh gear” and “shift through instead”. A few laps later, there was a lot of vital information shared between the pit wall and Rosberg, which under the new Radio ban rule, isnt allowed. As a result of which, FIA has made it clear henceforth that the driver must drive the car alone and unaided.
Meanwhile on lap 48, Kimi pulled out a fantastic move on Sergio Perez for fifth, after struggling behind the Force India for a good 5 laps. Perez held off his sixth place ahead of teammate Nico Hulkenberg wth a gap of 0.7 seconds between the two. Sebastian Vettel who started the race from P11 was only able to finish as far up as ninth behind the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz. Seb had his fair share of on- and off-track moments, and almost caused a collision after a prolonged battle with Felipe Massa on lap 30.
The incident between Seb and Massa was investigated, and the German was handed a 5 second penalty. However, the Ferrari driver managed to keep his ninth place finish, but the result drops him down in the drivers title standings. Daniel Ricciardo who finished fourth in the race, has surpassed him in the standings, as the Australian has consistently finished in fourth place on several occasions this season.
Finishing tenth behind Vettel, was Daniil Kvyat, who had a trouble-free run after many races. Massa finished outside of points in 11th place, followed by the two McLarens of Jenson Button and Alonso in 12th and 13th, respectively. Williams Valtterri Bottas finished fourteenth, followed by Saubers Felipe Nasr and Haas Esteban Gutierrez. The race had five retirements – Pascal Wehrlein, Rio Haryanto, Romain Grosjean, Marcus Ericsson, and Jolyon Palmer.
At Silverstone, the main battles were fought at the front of the grid where the top three drivers finished closely behind each other. A takeaway form this race was the Red Bulls pace and some mature driving by young Verstappen, who has out qualified his teammate this weekend and secured his third podium with the team this weekend.
After the British GP, Rosberg leads the championship with 168 points, followed by Lewis at 167, Kimi with 106 points, and Ricciardo has a total of 100 points. Vettel has only added two points this weekend that drops him down to fifth place with a total to 98 points, followed by Verstappen who has 90 points after being on the podium thrice so far this season.