Lewis Hamilton crossed the line with 3 tyres on his Mercedes as multiple cars suffered punctures at the end of the race. Hamilton completed half of the last lap without his front left tyre, whilst Max Verstappen almost took an unlikely victory. Charles Leclerc took his second podium of the year, capitalising on the drama in front.
Prior to the race a more organised anti racism demonstration took place alongside a video for the ‘we race as one’ campaign. A Spitfire adorned with NHS decoration flew by the track as well, Silverstone doing the most to make an event of the first of 2 back-to-back Grand Prix at the track.
Conditions were perfect at the Northamptonshire track with blue skies and no rain predicted at any point. Nico Hulkenberg’s return was dampened as he retired after Racing Point found an issue during the installation lap. A huge disappointment for both the driver and the fans. Daniil Kvyat and George Russell received penalties after qualifying and started the race at the back of the grid.
Valtteri Bottas had a good start and almost took Lewis Hamilton into turn 1, the Briton managed to keep his position as the midfield squabbled through the first lap. The safety car was brought out at the end of turn 1 as Alex Albon made contact with Kevin Magnussen. The Danish driver had a huge impact with the barrier and this gave Alex Albon a 5 second penalty.
Hamilton nailed the restart and started to expand the gap from Bottas. DRS was finally activated on lap 8 but the compressed grid gave few options for overtakes. Daniil Kvyat had a huge shunt at Becketts on lap 13. His tyre failed at high speed destroying the majority of his car. The second safety car trigged the pit stops with almost every car stopping for new tyres.
The race resumed on lap 19 and the McLarens had a hugely entertaining battle with Daniel Ricciardo. Lando Norris managed to get past the Renault around the outside of Luffield. Carlos Sainz managed to dive past the out of place Grosjean for 5th, but never seemed in contention for a podium. Lando Norris completed an exact copy of his team-mate’s move 3 laps later. However, Grosjean’s intense defence earned him a black and white flag.
The race petered out for a while with many cars holding station, protecting their tyres. Alex Albon served his 5 second penalty as he pitted again on lap 31. His torrid weekend was not getting any better, but he would eventually break back into the points. Despite the previous warning, Romain Grosjean came very close to colliding with Daniel Ricciardo. The Frenchman eventually pitted on lap 37, a very impressive stint on the Medium tyre.
As the race came to a close, Esteban Ocon finally made it past Lance Stroll. The Renault had spent the majority of the race behind. Daniel Ricciardo also managed to close the gap to the McLarens, overtaking both by the end of the race. Kimi Raikkonen shed half of his front wing in a bizzare incident through Maggots and Beckkets and this would be the first of numerous incidents in the last 4 laps.
Valtteri Bottas suffered a puncture with 2 laps to go and had to limp back to the pits. This placed him outside of the points. Carlos Sainz then had a similar incident, his front tyre delaminated spectacularly in sector 3. But the drama hadn’t finished yet as Lewis Hamilton also lost his front left tyre on the last lap. Max Verstappen, who had pitted with 2 laps to go, was charging after the Mercedes and almost managed to close the gap. However, Lewis Hamilton limped across the line and took a dramatic victory.
Lewis Hamilton now has a 30 point lead in the standings as his closest rival didn’t score a single point. With a shortened season, this could be a defining result. Formula 1 will return next week at Silverstone for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, supposedly with softer tyres…
Full race results:
- Verstappen +5.856
- Leclerc +18.474
- Ricciardo +19.650
- Norris + 22.277
- Ocon +26.937
- Gasly +31.188
- Albon +32.670
- Stroll +37.311
- Vettel +41.857
- Bottas +42.167
- Russell +52.004
- Sainz +53.370
- Giovinazzi +54.205
- Latifi +54.549
- Grosjean +55.050
- Raikkonen +1 Lap
- Kvyat DNF
- Magnussen DNF
- Hulkenberg DNS
Featured Image Credit: Official Formula 1 Twitter @F1