Hamilton wins dramatic British Grand Prix despite clashing with Verstappen

Home crowd favourite Lewis Hamilton won a dramatic British Grand Prix from Charles Leclerc at Silverstone, following an opening lap clash with Max Verstappen which put the Red Bull driver out of the race.

Hamilton was penalised for the controversial incident at Copse corner, just after which Leclerc had surged into the lead before the race was red flagged.

Leclerc led the majority of the restarted race, including while managing an intermittent engine problem, but was unable to resist Hamilton’s late charge back to the front following his lengthy pitstop, where he had served his 10-second time penalty.

Unlike in the sprint race, Hamilton made the better getaway at the first start and was alongside polesitter Verstappen as they raced into Abbey, with the Red Bull hanging on around the outside – nearly going into the runoff area – to lead at the race’s first braking point – Village.

The battle continued, the pair running so closely side-by-side they appeared to touch, down the Wellington straight, at the end of which Hamilton surged ahead on the outside line, with Verstappen then skating over the inside kerbs and to stay ahead, even though it took him wide on the exit.

Verstappen’s tighter entry through Luffield meant Hamilton was able to surge into his slipstream on the national pit straight, diving to the inside and very close to the barriers after Verstappen had moved to cover the inside line for Copse.

There, with Hamilton a long way alongside, the pair collided as they ran through the rapid right-hander, with Hamilton’s left-front clipping Verstappen’s right-rear and popping it off the car, which was spun around at high-speed and sent into the barriers in the outside.

Verstappen hit the tyre wall side on, where he gingerly climbed from the wreckage after the race had been red flagged, from an initial safety car intervention. The Red Bull driver was later taken to a nearby hospital “for further precautionary checks”, per an FIA spokesperson.

Leclerc led at this point after the Ferrari had surged past Hamilton, who had lost speed in the clash with the Red Bull, exiting Copse.

The race was suspended for nearly half an hour, during which Red Bull and Mercedes presented their opposing viewpoints to race director Michael Masi, as the stewards investigated the incident.

At the standing restart on the race’s third lap of 52, Leclerc stayed ahead of Hamilton off the line, while Lando Norris passed Bottas identical fashion to Leclerc at the initial start to run third ahead of the second Mercedes.

Leclerc surged to a 1.2-second lead at the end of the first lap and he kept Hamilton – who had been told to push after being handed a 10s time addition for the incident with Verstappen – at arm’s length for the next phase of the race – where they traded fastest laps in the high one minute, 32 seconds.

Ferrari informed Leclerc that it was switching him to “Plan B” – a one-stopper with an elongated first stint – as Hamilton struggled to make progress following in the dirty air.

But the world champion was able to close in and run in DRS range approaching lap 20 after Leclerc suffered a series of engine power “cuts”, with Ferrari hurriedly having to tell him to alter the power unit’s settings.

The issue appeared to be rectified (although Leclerc reported the issue on an additional occasion before being told to avoiding upshifting if the cut occurred again) and so the Ferrari driver was able to pull out his advantage again as Hamilton reported blistering on both his front tyres, after he had pushed to try and take advantage of Leclerc’s power problem.

Leclerc’s pace was so strong that Ferrari kept him out until lap 29, two laps after Hamilton had stopped to switch his medium tyres for hards – and one lap after Carlos Sainz had lost over 10 seconds with a slow left-front change.

But Leclerc had no such problem and started his stint on the hards with a lead of 7.7 seconds over Bottas, which he quickly set about extending.

Hamilton ran behind Norris after his long stop, the McLaren having fallen behind Bottas as a result of his own pitstop delay as a result of a slow right-rear change that cost him around four second.

The Mercedes driver quickly closed in on Norris and passed him on the run to the inside of Copse on lap 31, at the end of which Leclerc led Bottas by nearly 10 seconds and was 13.5 seconds in front of Hamilton.

Over the next ten laps, as Leclerc managed his pace in the mid one minute, 31 seconds up front, Hamilton charged up to his teammate with a series of laps in the mid-high one minute, 29 seconds, with Mercedes ordering Bottas not to hold the world champion up and then let him by at Stowe on lap 40.

That left Leclerc with 7.6s lead to defend over the final 12 laps, with Ferrari ordering him to “full push to the end”, as Hamilton continued to eat into his advantage.

The Mercedes driver regularly took up to a second a lap from Leclerc, reaching DRS range with just over three laps remaining, where Leclerc was struggling with lapped traffic.

On lap 50, Hamilton once again looked to the inside at Copse, with Leclerc desperately trying to hang on around the outside.

But the Ferrari driver had to catch a snap of oversteer and went wide over the exit kerbs and ran off, rejoining just behind Hamilton, who surged clear to victory by 3.8s.

Bottas finished 11.1 seconds off the lead in third, with Norris fourth ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, who defied Sainz to the finish.

Fernando Alonso was another driver who suffered a slow pitstop, before which he had briefly battled Bottas when the Mercedes came out of the pits from its only stop, and he eventually came home seventh after passing Lance Stroll following the slow service.

Stroll took eighth ahead of Esteban Ocon in the second Alpine, with Yuki Tsunoda claiming the final point in 10th.

Pierre Gasly had to pit late on with a puncture and finished P11 ahead of George Russell.

Kimi Raikkonen and Sergio Perez clashed late on – an incident that will be investigated after the race.

So a dramatic British Grand Prix with the two title contenders colliding on lap 1 at Copse corner. Max Verstappen lost out with Lewis Hamilton receiving a time penalty but got the speed to win the race at Silverstone.

British Grand Prix, race results:

1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:58:23.284
2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 3.871
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 11.125
4 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes 28.573
5 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren-Mercedes 42.624
6 Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 43.454
7 Fernando Alonso Alpine-Renault  1:12.093
8 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes 1:14.289
9 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault 1:16.162
10 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Honda 1:22.065
11 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Honda 1:25.327
12 George Russell Williams-Mercedes +1 lap
13 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari  +1 lap
14 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes  +1 lap
15 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari  +1 lap
16 Sergio Perez Red Bull-Honda   +1 lap
17 Nikita Mazepin Haas-Ferrari   +1 lap
18 Mick Schumacher Haas-Ferrari    +1 lap
– Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin-Mercedes   +1 lap
– Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda   +1 lap

5 thoughts to “Hamilton wins dramatic British Grand Prix despite clashing with Verstappen”

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

    Lewis Hamilton overcame first lap contact with title rival Max Verstappen and a 10-second penalty to take an eighth British Grand Prix win at Silverstone, passing Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc – who led the majority of the race – with just three laps of the race to go, as the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas took P3.

    Hamilton and Verstappen had sparred spectacularly throughout the first half lap of the Grand Prix, but made contact at Copse when Hamilton tried to pass up the inside into the fast sweeping corner, with Verstappen spinning hard into the barriers and out of the race – with Hamilton handed a 10-second penalty for the collision.

    But a committed recovery from Hamilton saw him close down the gap to Leclerc in the final stages of the race, Hamilton passing the Monegasque driver on Lap 50 of 52 to take an emotional victory in front of an ecstatic British Grand Prix crowd – with the reigning champion closing the gap to Verstappen in the title race to just eight points.

    It created incredible scenes at Silverstone – but you had to feel for Leclerc, who led so much of the British Grand Prix, but was still able to claim his first podium of the season, 70 years on from Ferrari’s first ever Grand Prix win here in 1951.

    Bottas in third was ahead of the McLaren pair of Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, the latter doing a sterling job to hold off the attack of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz for much of the latter half of the race, with Sainz taking P6.

    Following his heroics in the F1 Sprint, Alpine’s Fernando Alonso finished in the P7 he started in, ahead of the Aston Martin of Lance Stroll, as the second Alpine of Esteban Ocon collected his first points since Monaco for P9, ahead of Yuki Tsunoda in 10th.

    Meanwhile, Sergio Perez – Red Bull’s only runner in the race following Verstappen’s crash – could only take P16, after making three pit stops across the Grand Prix.

    So it was win number 99 for Hamilton – but while the British crowd was lapping it up, the rumblings from the 2021 season’s most controversial moment to date – that Hamilton-Verstappen collision on Lap 1 – are set to continue for a number of days and weeks yet.

  2. Race winner Lewis Hamilton commented that Max Verstappen didn’t leave me enough space. Motorsport.com has the news story.

    Lewis Hamilton insists Max Verstappen did not leave him enough room during their controversial clash at Formula 1’s British Grand Prix.

    The world champion and his Red Bull rival were fighting for the lead on the opening lap of the Silverstone race when Hamilton got a run on Verstappen down into Copse corner, and darted for the inside before pulling alongside the Dutchman.

    But Verstappen stood his ground around the outside, and the pair clashed, with Hamilton’s left front tagging Verstappen’s right rear.

    Verstappen was pitched into the barriers at high speed in a shunt that Red Bull estimated had a 51G impact and he was later taken to hospital for precautionary checks.

    Speaking after grabbing a victory in the race, despite being given a 10-second penalty for the Verstappen incident, Hamilton was adamant he had done nothing wrong.

    “I’ve been giving my all this past week,” reflected Hamilton. “I’ve been in the factory just giving absolutely everything.

    “I’ve been trying to uncover performance for the car with the guys and I’m so proud of everyone for just continuing to work, even though we’ve had a bit of a deficit.

    “Of course, I always try to be measured in how I approach things, particularly with battling with Max. You know he’s very aggressive.

    “And then today, I mean I was fully alongside him, and he didn’t leave me space.

    “But regardless of whether I agree with the penalty, I’ll take it on the chin and I just kept working. I was like ‘I’m not going to let anything get in the way’.”

    While Hamilton insists he did nothing wrong, Red Bull has been left furious about the crash, as it urged the FIA to take further action against Hamilton for the incident.

    Helmut Marko, Red Bull’s motorsport advisor, said: “If a competitor massively touches our rear wheel with his front wheel, then that’s no longer a racing accident in the fastest corner of the course. That is negligent to dangerous behaviour.”

    He went on to suggest that Hamilton should face the wrath of a more serious sanction, including a potential race ban.

    “You can’t do that with the normal sporting code,” added Marko. “I don’t know what the maximum penalty would be, but such dangerous and reckless behaviour should be punished with a suspension or something.”

  3. Christian Horner was not impressed with the first lap collision and accuses Lewis Hamilton of “dirty driving” after Max Verstappen crash. Motorsport.com has the details.

    Red Bull boss Christian Horner has blasted Lewis Hamilton for “dirty driving” after the Mercedes driver crashed with Max Verstappen in Formula 1’s British Grand Prix.

    Hamilton and Verstappen were battling for the lead throughout the opening half a lap at Silverstone, before the world champion got a run up the inside of his rival on the high-speed run to Copse.

    Verstappen stood his ground on the outside, however, and, as he turned through the right-hander, he was tagged by Hamilton’s front left wheel.

    The Dutchman was pitched into a spin, with his right rear wheel popping off, and he plunged into the crash barriers on the outside.

    The incident was put under investigation by the race stewards, with Horner urging F1 race director Michael Masi to throw the book at Hamilton.

    Speaking on team radio, he told Masi: “That corner, he was never anywhere near alongside.

    “Every driver who has driven this circuit knows that you don’t stick a wheel up in the inside at Copse. That is an enormous accident.

    “It was 100% Max’s corner. So, you know, as far as I’m concerned, full blame lays on Hamilton who should never have been in that position.

    “You could have had a massive accident. Thank God he’s walked away unscathed. So, I hope you’re going to deal with it appropriately.”

    Speaking later to Channel 4, Horner said that such a move at a corner like Copse was never on.

    “I think it was a desperate move,” said Horner. “He failed to make the move in the first part of the lap, which he was obviously geared to do, and then it was just a desperate move sticking a wheel up the inside which you just don’t do.

    “You boys know as well as anyone, Copse is one of the fastest corners in the world. You don’t stick a wheel up the inside. That’s just dirty driving.”

    Horner said it was fortunate that Verstappen was not injured in the incident, with the Dutchman being taken to the medical centre for checks.

    “We’ve seen him walk away,” he said. “He was massively winded. He’s gone to the medical centre for a checkout, but you know that’s a hell of relief to see him get out because that corner is one of the fastest on the calendar. It was completely out of order to stick a wheel up the inside there.”

  4. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc commented that he gave 200% but it was not enough against Lewis Hamilton in the British Grand Prix. Motorsport.com has the news story.

    Charles Leclerc felt he couldn’t fully enjoy his first Formula 1 podium since last year’s British Grand Prix, narrowly missing out on victory after falling to Lewis Hamilton’s late pass.

    The Ferrari driver became the surprise leader after a clash between Hamilton and British GP polesitter Max Verstappen on the opening lap.

    Leclerc maintained his led for the majority of the Silverstone race, as Hamilton served his 10-second penalty for his collision with Verstappen, but was reeled in by the Mercedes driver and was overtaken with two laps to go.

    The Monegasque, who had also been battling engine mapping issues during the race, naturally felt his second place was bittersweet having been so close to a shock win but accepted he could take pride in his podium and Ferrari’s performance at Silverstone.

    “It is difficult to enjoy 100% but it has been an incredible race, I gave not 100% but I gave 200%, I gave all of me but it was just not enough in the last two laps,” Leclerc said.

    “Congratulations to Lewis he did an incredible job and it is amazing to see as many fans in the grandstands. It was fun in the car but lacked just a little bit of pace towards the end.

    “We definitely didn’t expect it. We expected after qualifying to be quite competitive but not as competitive as now.

    “We have been fighting for the win which was incredible especially on the medium we were extremely quick and then on the hards we lacked a little bit of pace compared to the Mercedes but overall it was much stronger than we are use to.”

    It marks Ferrari’s first podium since Carlos Sainz finished runner-up at the Monaco GP, and Leclerc’s first rostrum since last year’s British GP, which he feels demonstrates the Italian team’s progress after a tough 2020 season due to a drop in performance.

    “The team is doing incredibly well and I am very proud of the team,” he said. “Of course it is great to have these types of races it cheers up everyone.

    “There is a lot of work done so it shows we are doing something right and that we are working in the right direction. So we need to keep going like this.

    “It won’t be a smooth ride until we get back to the top but we will give everything.”

  5. The FIA has explained why it felt Lewis Hamilton was to blame for the first-lap incident that put Max Verstappen out of Formula 1’s British Grand Prix.

    Hamilton and Verstappen had been battling hard for the lead in the opening stages of the Silverstone race, having gone to wheel to wheel for the first half of the lap.

    On the blast down to Copse, Hamilton had managed to get a run on his Red Bull rival, and, after briefly jinking to the left, he went for the inside as he drew alongside the Dutchman.

    But Verstappen held his ground and, as he turned through the right hander, he was tagged by Hamilton’s left front wheel.

    That pitched Verstappen into a spin and he smashed in the barriers on the outside of the corner at high speed. He has since been taken to hospital for precautionary checks.

    The incident was investigated by the FIA and it ruled that Hamilton was to blame, handing him a 10-second time penalty.

    In a document explaining their reasons for the sanction, the stewards explained that Hamilton could have done more to avoid the incident, as he had room on the inside of Copse to avoid a collision.

    “The Stewards reviewed video and telemetry evidence,” the stewards said. “Cars 33 [Verstappen] and 44 [Hamilton] entered turn 9 with Car 33 in the lead and Car 44 slightly behind and on the inside.

    “Car 44 was on a line that did not reach the apex of the corner, with room available to the inside.

    “When Car 33 turned into the corner, Car 44 did not avoid contact and the left front of Car 44 contacted the right rear of Car 33. Car 44 is judged predominantly at fault.”

    Hamilton battled back from the 10-second time penalty to take a win in the British Grand Prix that put him firmly back in the championship battle.

    Speaking after the race, Hamilton had been clear that he felt that Verstappen had not given him enough room in the incident.

    “Of course, I always try to be measured in how I approach things, particularly with battling with Max,” he said. “You know he’s very aggressive.

    “And then today, I mean I was fully alongside him, and he didn’t leave me space.”

    Source: Motorsport.com

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