Lewis Hamilton has won his home race, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone for the 6th time in his career. Valtteri Bottas ended up a disappointed second, followed by Charles Leclerc in third.
The British Grand Prix kicked off under the commonly known cloudy skies, likely making the race a bit more predictable for the teams in term of tyre wear.
The start was a fairly clean affair with position changes at the very front. Vettel and Norris were the highest positioned drivers who managed to gain a position. Nico Hulkenberg also gained a position, but it was Sainz who made the best start, progressing from 13th on the grid to 11th.
Giovinazzi quickly dropped back, losing one position at the start, but retrograding further to 16th by lap 4. Both Haas by that time were at the very back, as they managed to collide, requiring a pitstop for both drivers at the end of the first lap. Both went on to pit a second time on lap 9 and 10 to retire from the race, making it yet another utterly disappointing Grand Prix for Haas F1 Team.
Hamilton left off for an aggressive first lap when the lights went out, but Bottas held it together well to keep the lead. On lap four though, when DRS got enabled, Hamilton got into the lead at the end of the Wellington straight, only to get passed by Bottas again through Copse.
By lap 8, it became clear the soft tyres from the Ferraris were starting to degrade a bit, and on lap 10, Leclerc started to have trouble keeping Verstappen behind. When the latter attempted an overtaking move, he himself got under attack from Vettel. Pierre Gasly similarly followed less then 0.6s behind.
As they fought, both Mercedes edged ahead, increasing the gap to 6.5s by lap 11. Behind the Ferrari and Red Bull foursome, Norris was the closest followed, 9s down the road.
At the very end of lap 11, Gasly got ahead of Vettel, but then opted to dive into the pit immediately, just like Ricciardo and Kvyat. All three changed softs for medium tyres.
The next lap, Leclerc and Verstappen simultaneously pitted. The stop for Verstappen was a tad bit faster, resulting in both drivers going to the pit exit side by side, but with Verstappen half a meter ahead. As the Red Bull crew was still chuffed by the success, Verstappen struggled to get his new mediums up to temperature and got passed by Lerclec even ahead of the Wellington straight.
On lap 16, Bottas pitted from the lead and returned in third place, 5.5s behind Vettel who still hadn't pitted.
Meanwhile, Verstappen and Leclerc made the show for the crowd, with Verstappen clearly faster, but Leclerc smartly defending and repeatedly taking the inside lines to avoid getting passed at Woodcot. On lap 18, it was close in Stowe, but Leclerc returned round the outside to keep fourth.
Two laps later, Giovinazzi gets stuck in the gravel and triggers a safety car, one that came at a very handy time for Hamilton and Vettel. Verstappen, Sainz and Ricciardo pitted as well. They all changed to the hard compound. Leclerc pitted the next lap as well, but the later stop cost Leclerc a place to Verstappen.
After Kvyat and both Williams also pitted, only Bottas, Norris and Albon were using the medium tyres when the safety car period ended on lap 23.
Only half a lap later, Leclerc was again involved in a battle with Verstappen. The two were fighting so hard for the position that Sainz, Norris and many other cars behind were easily keeping up. Ricciardo meanwhile made use of the bunch up to get past Albon for 9th. Perez, on the other hand, turned into Hulkenberg and lost his front wing.
On lap 24, both bumped into each other, but it was still Verstappen kept the upper hand. The incident saw Leclerc drop nearly 2 seconds, briefly giving Verstappen the breathing room he needed to look forward and get past Gasly.
As Verstappen set off to seek Vettel, who at the time was 2 seconds up the road, Gasly fell under attack of Leclerc, leading into a long fight that saw Leclerc struggle to make his way past the Frenchman. Verstappen was in a similar position and clearly had to do everything within his powers to get past.
Hamilton and Bottas meanwhile continued comfortably at the front. Bottas kept on the pressure on Hamilton, but at 2 seconds, the Finn was unable to place an immediate attempt to take the lead.
On lap 36, Leclerc eventually did it and got ahead of Gasly through Aintree.
One lap later, Verstappen passed Vettel around the outside of Stowe, and then defended the inside of Vale. That move clearly surprised Vettel, who had also thought to go for the inside. It ended up once again with a collision, that saw both men end up in the gravel trap. They both managed to get going again. Verstappen 7s down on Gasly, Vettel dead last after a slow lap and a pitstop to change to new medium compound tyres.
The collision cost Vettel a 10s time penalty, but from where he ended up in the standings, that probably wouldn't care at all.
On lap 46, Bottas pitted to take on softs for the final 8 laps, soon resulting in the Finn setting the fastest lap. Bottas had no choice but to pit anyway, given he had only used mediums so far in the race.
Bottas, therefore, saw second position sealed, ending up on the podium behind home hero Lewis Hamilton and joined by Leclerc who puts Ferrari on the podium.
And then, when nobody expected it, Hamilton recorded the fastest lap in the final lap, on 30 lap old hard tyres. Surely that will be a blow for Bottas, who had likely thought he got that point in the bag.
|1||44||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG||52||1:21:08.452||26|
|2||77||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG||52||+24.928s||18|
|4||10||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull Racing Honda||52||+34.692s||12|
|5||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||52||+39.458s||10|
|6||55||Carlos Sainz||McLaren Renault||52||+53.639s||8|
|8||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||52||+65.540s||4|
|9||26||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||52||+66.720s||2|
|11||4||Lando Norris||McLaren Renault||52||+74.281s||0|
|12||23||Alexander Albon||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||52||+75.617s||0|
|13||18||Lance Stroll||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||52||+81.086s||0|
|14||63||George Russell||Williams Mercedes||51||+1 lap||0|
|15||88||Robert Kubica||Williams Mercedes||51||+1 lap||0|
|16||5||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||51||+1 lap||0|
|17||11||Sergio Perez||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||51||+1 lap||0|
|NC||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||18||DNF||0|
|NC||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||9||DNF||0|
|NC||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||6||DNF||0|