Hamilton scores British Grand Prix victory as Ferrari hit puncture trouble

Lewis Hamilton was victorious at Silverstone after a dominant drive and with a late drama for his championship rival, the Mercedes star has slashed the points gap to Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to a single digit.

Hamilton led from lights to flag, crossing the line 14 seconds ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen completing the British Grand Prix podium.

There was late drama as Raikkonen and Vettel suffered front left tyre problems with three and two laps to go respectively, when running second and fourth.

Raikkonen pitted and rejoined to take third with Vettel – who had reported blistering after a big lock-up – falling right back to seventh position as he had to drive further on his wrecked tyre.

It was Hamilton’s fourth victory of the season, his fourth consecutive British Grand Prix win and fifth Formula 1 triumph at Silverstone.

At the start, Raikkonen challenged Hamilton into the first corner, but the leader held firm and set about building an advantage.

Vettel made a slow start, slipping behind Verstappen before retaking the position only for the Red Bull driver to go back past around him on the outside at the Loop.

The race was neutralised when the safety car was deployed to clear debris after Daniil Kvyat ran wide onto the grass, lost control and hit Toro Rosso team-mate Carlos Sainz.

At the restart, Hamilton pushed clear, first holding a steady gap to Raikkonen before putting the hammer down ahead of the pitstops.

Further back, Vettel put pressure on Verstappen, attacking down the inside of Stowe, only for the Red Bull to hold on around the outside.

Verstappen managed to stay ahead under braking for Vale, squeezing Vettel wide into the chicane and prompting the Ferrari driver to raise his hand in frustration.

Vettel was the first of the frontrunners to pit, with Red Bull reacting by bringing Verstappen in next time around.

But a problem with a wheelnut delayed Verstappen, meaning he rejoined behind Vettel and did not have the pace to respond.

Raikkonen pitted soon after, with Hamilton following suit on the next lap and rejoining comfortably in the lead, ahead of Bottas, who had yet to pit having run deep on softs after starting ninth following a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change.

It wasn’t until lap 33 of 51 that Mercedes called in Bottas, the only driver in the top ten to start on the softs, in for the super-softs, and he rejoined fourth.

He used the fresher, softer rubber to gradually reduce the gap to Vettel and then launched an attack on the run to Club, but the Ferrari driver locked up and kept the position.

On the next lap, Bottas was much closer to Vettel on Hangar Straight and swept around the outside of Vettel with ease before they reached Stowe.

Bottas then inherited second when Raikkonen suffered the tyre issue, with Verstappen pitting late as a precaution and rejoining in fourth, ending a run of three successive retirements.

His team-mate Daniel Ricciardo produced an impressive recovery drive to take fifth, having started P19 after a series of grid penalties for engine component and gearbox changes and dropping to last early on having run into the gravel when trying to pass Kevin Magnussen.

Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg equalled his best finish of the season with sixth, losing out to Ricciardo late on, but his team-mate Jolyon Palmer failed to take the start after reporting brake-by-wire and hydraulic problems on the formation lap.

Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez gave Force India an eighth double points finish in ten races with eighth and ninth ahead of Felipe Massa. They had ended up in a three-way battle that developed as they queued behind the long-running Magnussen before the Haas finally pitted.

McLaren again failed to score – although Stoffel Vandoorne was not far behind Massa in P11. Fernando Alonso retired midway through the race having got up to P14 from his back of the grid start.

So a brilliant result for the home crowd favourite. That was an important victory for Lewis Hamilton in terms of the championship.

The late race drama from Ferrari was unfortunate. Both for the drivers and team. Kimi Raikkonen was heading for second position but a puncture cost The Iceman a runner-up spot. Third was the end result.

As for Sebastian Vettel. This was a difficult race, fighting against Max Verstappen. The championship leader also suffered a puncture, much to the delight of the Silverstone crowd. Sebastian dragged his Ferrari around to take seventh.

Only a single point between the Mercedes driver and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel as the title race hots up. It’s game on for the championship.

British Grand Prix race results, 51 laps:

1    Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes    1h21m27.430s
2    Valtteri Bottas    Mercedes    14.063s
3    Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari    36.570s
4    Max Verstappen    Red Bull-Renault    52.125s
5    Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-Renault    1m05.955s
6    Nico Hulkenberg    Renault    1m08.109s
7    Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari    1m33.989s
8    Esteban Ocon    Force India-Mercedes    1 Lap
9    Sergio Perez    Force India-Mercedes    1 Lap
10    Felipe Massa    Williams-Mercedes    1 Lap
11    Stoffel Vandoorne    McLaren-Honda    1 Lap
12    Kevin Magnussen    Haas-Ferrari    1 Lap
13    Romain Grosjean    Haas/Ferrari    1 Lap
14    Marcus Ericsson    Sauber-Ferrari    1 Lap
15    Daniil Kvyat    Toro Rosso-Renault    1 Lap
16    Lance Stroll    Williams-Mercedes    1 Lap
17    Pascal Wehrlein    Sauber-Ferrari    1 Lap
–    Fernando Alonso    McLaren-Honda    Retirement
–    Carlos Sainz    Toro Rosso-Renault    Collision
–    Jolyon Palmer    Renault    Not started

Drivers’ standings:

1    Sebastian Vettel    177
2    Lewis Hamilton    176
3    Valtteri Bottas    154
4    Daniel Ricciardo    117
5    Kimi Raikkonen    98
6    Max Verstappen    57
7    Sergio Perez    52
8    Esteban Ocon    43
9    Carlos Sainz    29
10    Nico Hulkenberg    26
11    Felipe Massa    23
12    Lance Stroll    18
13    Romain Grosjean    18
14    Kevin Magnussen    11
15    Pascal Wehrlein    5
16    Daniil Kvyat    4
17    Fernando Alonso    2
18    Jolyon Palmer    0
19    Marcus Ericsson    0
20    Stoffel Vandoorne    0
21    Antonio Giovinazzi    0

Constructors’ standings:

1    Mercedes    330
2    Ferrari    275
3    Red Bull-Renault    174
4    Force India-Mercedes    95
5    Williams-Mercedes    41
6    Toro Rosso-Renault    33
7    Haas-Ferrari    29
8    Renault    26
9    Sauber-Ferrari    5
10    McLaren-Honda    2

9 thoughts on “Hamilton scores British Grand Prix victory as Ferrari hit puncture trouble

  1. Championship leader Sebastian Vettel has admitted that his late-race tyre dramas caught the Ferrari team by surprise. Motorsport.com has the full story.

    Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel has denied his British Grand Prix was a “disaster”, despite the late-race tyre issue that cost him places in the closing stages.

    At the halfway point of the season, Vettel’s championship lead has been slashed to one point as title rival Lewis Hamilton won his home race.

    Vettel could only salvage seventh after a front-left puncture on his penultimate lap.

    When asked by Sky Sports F1 if Ferrari was at fault for pitting him too early, as he undercut Red Bull’s Max Verstappen for third, he replied: “I don’t think there’s anyone particularly to blame.

    “Hindsight is great, with hindsight it is easy, but at the time it felt okay. Kimi I think had a similar issues, and his tyres were at least five or six laps fresher. So I think it caught us both by surprise.

    “I think it could have been a little bit better for sure, but disaster I don’t think so. I think we had a good car, especially in the corners. The balance was alright.

    “The brakes caught fire at the start which compromised the start, and from there it was a difficult race.

    “I didn’t get past Max, I did it with the pitstop, and then it was looking like P3, P4. It was clear that Valtteri [Bottas, who finished second] would come, obviously he benefitted in the beginning because I got stuck.

    “Overall small things here and there led to a busy afternoon.”

  2. Driver of the day was awarded to Daniel Ricciardo. The Red Bull driver was forced to start right at the back due to penalties and yet raced well to take fifth. Ricciardo admitted “fifth was the maximum”. Motorsport.com has the details.

    Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo says fifth place from 19th on the British Grand Prix grid was the best he could’ve hoped for in a race that included him going off track early on.

    Ricciardo suffered a turbo failure in qualifying at Silverstone which meant new engine components were required – and he started ahead only of Fernando Alonso’s McLaren.

    A charge through the field was initially hampered by a trip through the Luffield gravel trap.

    But he was aided by late-race drama for Sebastian Vettel, which gifted him fifth place on the penultimate lap.

    “The whole race was a fight,” said Ricciardo. “I made a really good restart and got two cars by Turn 4.

    “I was going for three and probably got over-optimistic on the outside of Grosjean, and he didn’t give me much room, but I probably shouldn’t have been there. Wasn’t the smartest place for me to put the car.

    “I probably damaged a bit of the floor, fell back to last again, but the whole race I was pushing and got back up to fifth – it was fun, good times!

    “To get fifth, I couldn’t ask for much more – I think in the end fifth was the maximum.”

    When asked how easy it had been to carve his way through, he replied: “It wasn’t easy; once I came back through the field it wasn’t as easy as I’d hoped. I had a fight on my hands all the way.

    “Sebastian’s problem gave me fifth, so ‘danke Sebastian!’

    “It was a crazy race, I went through the field and that was fun, just to have a battle the whole time.”

  3. Lewis Hamilton was made “stronger” by unfair media treatment according to team boss Toto Wolff. Motorsport.com has the news story.

    Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff says Lewis Hamilton’s dominant British GP win shows he has been made “stronger” by recent criticism from the media.

    Hamilton’s decision to skip the pre-British GP weekend London F1 Live event, which was attended by the other 19 drivers on the current grid, proved controversial – and was questioned by several of his country’s mainstream media outlets.

    But the whole situation was soon overshadowed by an imperious showing from Hamilton at Silverstone, as the Mercedes man took a comfortable pole position and cruised to victory.

    Taking to Sky Sports after the race, Wolff – who previously said the recent criticism of Hamilton was akin to an “insult” – felt his driver delivered the perfect response to his detractors.

    Wolff said: “I have a sense of fair and not fair, and I can’t comprehend why you need to destroy the hero before his home race with nonsense that’s not even true.

    “So media have been hitting out on him for no reason, and it’s just a consequence he comes out stronger.”

    Faced with questions about him skipping London at the start of the weekend, Hamilton said he “needed to prepare the best way” for a race that could prove crucial in the title contest.

    Asked about his race weekend preparation in the aftermath of his British GP win, he said: “There is no reason to question my preparation.

    “I have more poles than most, I am building up the wins – if you don’t know that my preparation is on point, then I guess you never will.”

    Hamilton, who led a Mercedes 1-2 by 14 seconds over teammate Valtteri Bottas and is now just one point off championship leader Sebastian Vettel, described his and his team’s British GP performance as “genuinely faultless”.

    “I was very, very fortunate, the team did an exceptional job this weekend,” he said.

    “The car felt great and we were genuinely faultless.

    “Valtteri did an exceptional job to come back, so perfect weekend for us as a team.”

  4. Pirelli says initial analysis of Ferrari’s tyres after the British Grand Prix showed that Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel’s failures were caused by totally different issues.

    Ferrari suffered a double blow in the closing stages of the Silverstone race when both Raikkonen and Vettel were forced to pit with tyre problems.

    Raikkonen’s tyre tread appeared to come apart on lap 49, while Vettel suffered a total failure one lap later. The incidents meant Raikkonen dropped to third, while Vettel slipped to seventh.

    Pirelli has begun an immediate investigation into what happened, but a spokesman said its first examination of the rubber suggests that the two incidents were not caused by the same problem.

    Raikkonen’s issue was caused by the tread of his tyre coming away, with the tyre not actually losing any air as he returned to the pits.

    Vettel, on the other hand, suffered a puncture. Pirelli is examining whether a lock-up that Vettel had a few laps beforehand, as he battled Valtteri Bottas, could have contributed to the problem.

    Ferrari admitted it had been caught by surprise over the problems, although it was clear both its driver were pushing hard at the end while race leader Lewis Hamilton was able to back off in the closing stages to manage a small blister he had suffered.

    Vettel said: “Hindsight is great, with hindsight it is easy, but at the time it felt okay. Kimi I think had a similar issues, and his tyres were at least five or six laps fresher. So I think it caught us both by surprise.

    “I think it could have been a little bit better for sure, but disaster I don’t think so. I think we had a good car, especially in the corners. The balance was alright.”

    Source: Motorsport.com

  5. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen commented that a podium result was out of reach, even without late pit stop. Motorsport.com has the story.

    Max Verstappen says it was the right call to pit for fresh tyres near the end of the British Grand Prix, despite the chance of grabbing an unlikely podium finish from Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.

    Verstappen, running fourth, pitted just after second-placed Raikkonen suffered a front-left delamination. But Max too was at risk of suffering a failure due to repeated locking of his front-left tyre.

    Verstappen finished fourth, 16s behind Raikkonen, but said he didn’t have any podium hopes – especially after a slow first pitstop due to a sticky left-rear wheelnut.

    “You have to be realistic – we were just not fast enough for the podium on pace,” said Verstappen. “I think this was the best we could do.

    “I got lucky with Seb’s puncture, so this is OK. And I finished the race as well.”

    When pressed if he had needed the second pitstop, he replied: “You never really know, I just started locking a lot the inside-front wheel, the left front. Just to be sure, we pitted.

    “All the fast corners are to the right, so it’s quite normal you start wearing the left-front. We pitted quite early, so at one point you start to struggle as the rubber comes off and there’s a bigger risk of punctures, of course.

    “It is a positive day. I think in the race we looked a little bit better than in qualifying, we just need to understand why we were struggling that much. I’m happy to finish and fourth is not too bad.”

    Verstappen was earlier embroiled in a huge battle with Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari, repelling numerous attacks by the World Championship leader.

    “I knew I was quite a bit slower than him, but I just tried to stay in front with every possible thing I could do,” said Verstappen of Vettel.

    “And luckily he didn’t pass me on-track, so I’m happy about that.”

  6. British Grand Prix race review as reported by Formula1.com.

    Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton won the British Grand Prix for the fifth time on Sunday – matching the record of Jim Clark and Alain Prost – to cut Sebastian Vettel’s championship lead to just a single point after late tyre dramas hit both Ferraris. They allowed Valtteri Bottas to grab second from Kimi Raikkonen to secure a Mercedes one-two, as Vettel trailed home seventh.

    Red Bull – off the pace of the frontrunners all afternoon – were the key beneficiaries, with Max Verstappen fourth and Daniel Ricciardo – the fans’ Driver of the Day after battling his way up from P19 on the grid –fifth.

    Behind them, Nico Hulkenberg secured a superb sixth place for Renault – some consolation for the French team after Jolyon Palmer in the sister car went out with hydraulic problems on the formation lap.

    The Force Indias of Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez took the flag in eighth and ninth respectively, with Felipe Massa the final point scorer for Williams in tenth.

    On a perfect afternoon at his favourite track, Hamilton delivered in style for his fans, starting from pole, leading all the way and setting the fastest lap of the race.

    “I see you out there!” Hamilton told the fans over his radio as he toured in, after a pluperfect performance in which his only significant concern was some blistering on his soft Pirelli tyres just past mid-distance.

    Hamilton took the lead, nursed it during a safety car intervention after the Toro Rossos of Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat had collided on the first lap, then simply controlled the race until the end.

    All of the action took place behind him. Raikkonen pushed him as hard as he could, which this day was not enough to worry Mercedes, as Vettel never ran higher than third after losing a huge amount of time trapped behind a boisterous Verstappen who had out-fumbled him in the opening corners with a superb move round the outside at Loop.

    The two later came close to swapping paint at Stowe and Club on the 14th lap, after which Ferrari brought their man in and got the undercut on the Dutchman when his left rear wheel’s nut proved sticky during his stop a lap later.

    As Red Bull fell back, Bottas in the other Mercedes was pushing forward. He moved ahead of Verstappen after the latter’s pit stop on the 19th lap, then ran long on his soft tyres, climbed to second behind Hamilton as the Ferraris stopped, then battled after them on his supersoft tyres after pitting on the 32nd of the 51 laps.

    Vettel succumbed as the Mercedes slammed past going up to Stowe on the 43rd lap, after an attempt round the outside there the previous lap hadn’t quite worked out, and then Bottas began to slice into Raikkonen’s advantage as he sensed a possible Mercedes one-two.

    But in the end he didn’t need to push so hard, because the Ferrari’s left front tyre started to delaminate, forcing Raikkonen into the pits. Red Bull also brought Verstappen in, which ultimately lost him the podium slot, because just as it seemed Vettel would inherit it, the German’s car suffered exacty the same failure as team mate Raikkonen’s.

    As that dropped him down the order with a pit stop, Raikkonen recovered to take the final podium position ahead of Verstappen, as Ricciardo’s superb afternoon of recovery took him from the back of the grid to fifth.

    And Vettel’s misfortune handed back to Renault the sixth place that Hulkenberg had looked like taking all afternoon until his engine started de-rating and he could no longer fend off Ricciardo.

    Vettel’s seventh place earned him six points, so he now has 177 to Hamilton’s 176, at the notional midpoint of the season.

    Force India scored another chunk of points, as Ocon forced by Perez at the start and stayed there for the rest of the afternoon, and Massa made best use of soft tyres to begin with and supersofts at the end to snatch the final point for Williams.

    Stoffel Vandoorne couldn’t quite turn his top 10 qualifying position into points with 11th for McLaren, who lost Fernando Alonso at just over half distance with mechanical problems. Haas took 12th and 13th with Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean, as Marcus Ericsson was Sauber’s top finisher in 14th ahead of the delayed Kvyat, who got a drive-through penalty for rejoining the circuit unsafely and thus causing the collision with his team mate.

    Lance Stroll was 16th for Williams with some ‘aero loss’ late in the race, leading home Sauber’s Pascal Wehrlein.

    Thus the complexion of the world championship fight has been turned around in one afternoon, on which the huge British crowd got exactly what it came for.

  7. Kimi Raikkonen says “everything felt normal” before the front left tyre on his Ferrari suddenly failed and cost him second place in the British Grand Prix.

    Raikkonen was running a comfortable second to Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes in the closing stages at Silverstone, when a delamination of the front-left, soft-compound Pirelli on Raikkonen’s Ferrari forced him to make an unscheduled second pitstop.

    The problem meant Raikkonen ultimately trailed home third, allowing Valtteri Bottas to complete a one-two result for Mercedes and help Lewis Hamilton close to within a point of Sebastian Vettel at the head of the drivers’ championship.

    Vettel also suffered a front-left tyre failure, which dropped him from third to seventh in the race results, while Red Bull had to bring fourth placed Max Verstappen into the pits for a precautionary stop.

    Both Vettel and Verstappen complained about blistering on their front tyres in the second half of the race, but Raikkonen said his rubber failed without warning.

    “Everything was going more or less normally,” Raikkonen explained. “The gap was fine for us. Two laps from the end, I don’t know what happened – before Turn 6 [Brooklands], under the tunnel, the tyre didn’t explode but the rubber part came off suddenly.

    “I don’t think I hit anything, everything felt normal before, luckily I came back. I struggled a bit after that because the tyre was flapping around, [but] we managed to get a decent position.

    “I was very unlucky and, in a way, lucky, but didn’t want to see the same happen to Seb and then a lap later – I don’t know what happened.”

    Raikkonen spent the entire race in fruitless pursuit of Hamilton and said Ferrari simply lacked the pace to challenge Mercedes properly at Silverstone.

    “It wasn’t the easiest feeling,” Raikkonen added. “We had all weekend a few places that were quite difficult for us and in race it was similar to Friday.

    “I tried to hang on to Lewis, tried to keep the gap, but just didn’t have enough speed. We could have been second, but we have some work to be done.

    “We had a decent start, but once we fall behind, we had no real chance to beat them.”

    Source: Motorsport.com

  8. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel has claimed Red Bull’s Max Verstappen is still “a bit jumpy” in braking zones. Motorsport.com has the story.

    Sebastian Vettel believes Max Verstappen is still “a bit jumpy” when defending his position, following their wheel-to-wheel battle in the British Grand Prix.

    Verstappen’s defensive driving has come under fire in the past, with F1’s rules previously being tweaked to clarify what drivers are allowed to do to hold onto their position, particularly in braking zones.

    Vettel and Verstappen briefly fought a fierce battle for third place at Silverstone in the first stint of the race, each going off track once through Stowe and Club, with Vettel suggesting on the radio that he felt Verstappen moved in the braking zone for the latter.

    “It’s not right to say I expected it, but we know he is a bit jumpy on that,” said Vettel when asked by Motorsport.com about that message.

    “He is trying to defend as hard as possible, but at some point you need to stick to your line.

    “I’m sure he will calm down, it’s still not that many races he has done.”

    When asked if he felt Verstappen overstepped the mark, Vettel added: “No, not really, but you can argue on that – what did it bring him?

    “The fact that I ran out of tyres and it blows up, that’s something nobody could’ve seen.It was clear we were faster, we got him in the pitstop.

    “We weren’t fighting anybody else so it’s fine. He has calmed down a lot already, so it’s normal.”

    Vettel also had a close fight with Valtteri Bottas through Stowe, but he said he had no problem with the Mercedes driver.

    “In Stowe I had something similar [twice], I was on the inside – once trying to attack Max and then trying to defend from Valtteri,” he said.“It looks like the track can be very wide there!

    “In the end [the battle with Bottas] didn’t make or break our race.I probably didn’t get too lucky twice there, but it was fine. I didn’t have a problem with what he was doing.”

  9. Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat feels singled out by the Formula 1 stewards after his team-mate crash. Motorsport.com has the details.

    Daniil Kvyat feels he is being singled out by Formula 1’s stewards, having been given a drive-through penalty for the second race in succession after his British Grand Prix collision with teammate Carlos Sainz.

    Both Toro Rosso drivers collided on the opening lap of the Silverstone race as Kvyat ran off the track at Becketts, collecting Sainz as he rejoined the road.

    Sainz was eliminated on the spot, but Kvyat was able to continue, albeit being handed a drive-through penalty.

    The Russian, who eventually finished 15th, had also picked up two penalty points on his license for a total of nine. This means he will be suspended for a race if he gets another three points before October 23.

    Speaking post-race about the incident, Kvyat said he felt that he and Sainz were both equally to blame for the clash, and that his punishment was overly harsh.

    It followed a similar penalty in Austria, where Kvyat was involved in a Turn 1 crash that ended both Fernando Alonso and Max Verstappen’s races.

    Asked if he believed the stewards were punishing him in particular, he said: “I believe so. A drive-through is a drive-through, it’s an extremely strong [punishment].

    “I saw stronger incidents and they punish five or 10 seconds [added to] the pitstop. For me I believe [they should] keep doing that.

    “I don’t understand this, and it doesn’t feel very nice. It makes everything look a lot worse than it really was.”

    Kvyat added that his relationship with Sainz has “never been fantastic” and that he saw little point in trying to discuss the incident with the Spaniard.

    “I don’t expect anything to change,” said Kvyat. “To be honest, I don’t think anyone had any intention to be aggressive with each other there.

    “I left him room at Turn 11 [Maggotts], and I expected him to collaborate with me also in Turn 12. But this collaboration didn’t happen. That’s why it’s so frustrating.”

    For his part, Sainz refused to directly comment on who was to blame for the collision, as he felt that discussion should remain within the team – although he did say the accident was “out of my control”.

    “I’m not going to give any opinion about it because I think it’s something that needs to be kept internally and to be analysed internally,” Sainz said.

    “I think the images speak for themselves so I’m not going to comment.”

    Asked by Motorsport.com to describe the incident, he said: “We were battling, giving each other quite a lot of room, going into the fast corners, until one car lost control and hit the other one.

    “[It is] something that will be discussed inside the team and I don’t want generate any polemic, because I think the team has enough with two cars crashing out in the first lap.”

    Pressed on whether he could’ve done anything to avoid the crash, Sainz said: “I’ve talked enough about the accident.

    “When you give each other space and you leave, like I did, two car lengths, for him to rejoin the track, for me there’s nothing really to comment.”

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