The British Grand Prix never fails to live up to expectation. This year saw Lewis Hamilton saunter to another victory at Silverstone, Sebastian Vettel’s title lead disintegrate as much as his tyre, and Daniel Ricciardo drive from 19th to 12th to 18th to 5th. Oh, and the Toro Rosso’s crashed into each other and Jolyon Palmer never made it around the formation lap.
At some point, your luck will change. After suffering headrest calamities and gear box changes, Hamilton was able to complete a flawless weekend at the Grand Prix he most wants to win. So good was his weekend, he completed the grand slam–fastest times in each practice session, pole position and the fastest lap of the race. By winning this weekend, Hamilton also equals Jim Clarke’s and Alain Prost’s joint record of 5 British Grand Prix victories.
Contrast that to the so far eminently consistent Sebastian Vettel. A poor start led to a feisty, and damaging, early doors battle with Max Verstappen. The battle was so feisty the two cars very nearly collided a couple of times. Having got around Max and sitting pretty in fourth place, with two laps to go, Sebastian suffered a catastrophic puncture as a result of having to put new tyres on early to leapfrog the Red Bull driver, and as such, dropped to seventh place.
Now with one point between them and one race to go before the summer break, the Hungarian Grand Prix takes on a huge amount of significance in the championship fight.
BOTTAS’ GREAT DRIVE
Upon completion of the race, Hamilton praised Valtteri Bottas’ drive to second place after being forced to start from ninth thanks to a gear box change. On a different tyre strategy from the leaders, he drove brilliantly, conserving tyres when needed, before using fresh, and quicker, rubber to overtake Sebastian Vettel on track, before benefitting from a puncture for Kimi Raikkonen.
Last week, it was Max Verstappen who we felt incredibly sorry for due to reliability. This week it’s Jolyon Palmer. Already having a wretched season with reliability, Jolyon was looking to feed off the British crowd to have a good British Grand Prix. Unfortunately, his car decided to have a hydraulics failure on the formation lap. How unfortunate.
THE TORPEDO STRIKES AGAIN
We discovered in the driver’s press conference that Sebastian Vettel called Daniil Kvyat the torpedo. Well, he lived up to that moniker on Sunday. Taking out a Ferrari is one thing, taking out your teammate, as Daniil did to Carlos Sainz, is quite another. Losing control on the first lap, Kvyat speared into his teammate, taking Sainz out instantly and himself eventually. He will be in trouble over the next few days.
DRIVER OF THE RACE
Even though Lewis drove serenely to the chequered flag, driver of the day this week is Daniel Ricciardo. Starting 19th, the Aussie worked his way up to 12th before making a mistake and falling back to 18th. He then went on another charge all the way up to 5th, thanks mainly to Sebastian Vettel’s calamitous final couple of laps. We think a couple of Shoeys may have been consumed in the Red Bull garage on Sunday evening.
MOMENT OF THE GP
Hamilton rounding the corner to win his fifth Britsh Grand Prix takes some beating, but the tussle between Vettel and Verstappen coming down the hanger straight, round Stowe and down to vale. It was top quality fighting between two top quality drivers.