Vettel Wins Excitement-Filled British GP; Hamilton Fights for Second
Image credit – www.bbc.com
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel extended his lead in the driver’s standings after his second win at the British GP – his first was in 2009. With the victory, the German’s lead in the drivers’ standing extends to eight points.
Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes, who started on pole and having won four consecutive races at the British GP, fought his way to a commendable second, after being barged into by Finn Kimi Raikkonen at Turn 3 on the first lap.
Hamilton couldn’t turn pole position into a win and had to settle for second through no fault of his own.
Hamilton was understandably disappointed when asked how he felt. He said, “Interesting tactics I would say from this side, but we’ll do what we can to fight them and improve in next races.”
He added, “We’ll take it on the chin and live to fight another day. I will not give up.”
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff was much more condemning when he said: “A racing incident. Unfortunate because Le Castellet [French GP] first time we got taken out and now it is the second time we got taken out.
“It is a lot of constructor points. In [technical director] James Allison’s words, ‘do you think it is deliberate or incompetence?’ So this leaves us with a judgement.”
Raikkonen clips Hamilton to send him spinning off track. Image credit – (Lewis Hamilton/Twitter)
The incident caused Hamilton to resume at the back and he immediately set about picking off the backmarkers, benefitting from his car’s huge pace advantage and the three DRS overtaking zones, but it was not enough to claim a win.
Raikkonen received a 10-second penalty but was apologetic and said he deserved the penalty. “I ended up hitting Lewis in the first corner. My bad. It was my mistake. I deserve it, and I took the 10 seconds and kept fighting.”
Sergio Perez had his fair share of ‘smooching’ the advertising boards. Image credit – www.bbc.com
Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas who fought off Vettel until the last six laps, due to deteriorating tyres, finished fifth. Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull took fifth, benefitting from teammate Max Verstappen’s retirement due to his car’s brake problems.
Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg took sixth while Force India’s Esteban Ocon fended off McLaren’s Fernando Alonso for much of the race to take seventh.
Haas’ Kevin Magnussen was ninth from Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly; however, the latter was handed a five-second penalty for an on-track incident with Sergio Perez. That meant he was demoted to 11th with Perez moving up to 10th.
On a beautiful summer’s day, Vettel’s win after hurting his neck on Saturday was all the sweeter. “In the end, I surprised Valtteri. I wasn’t sure I would make the corner. The neck held up, the race was fantastic and what a great crowd. I enjoyed a lot. I think the people enjoyed a lot, what an amazing day.”
Vettel celebrates winning the British GP while a dejected Hamilton walks on. Image credit – www.driven.co.nz
Formula 1 takes a break after three races in a row and will return with back-to-back German and Hungarian Grands Prix on the last two weekends in July.