VETTEL WINS IN HAMILTON’S BACK YARD
Lewis P2 after mighty drive through field
1st SEBASTIAN VETTEL Ferrari
2nd LEWIS HAMILTON Mercedes
3rd KIMI RAIKKONEN Ferrari
On lap 41 the second SC pulled in to leave the Mercedes and Ferrari pairs scrapping for victory over the final 11 laps. Under the first of two successive SCs, the Ferraris had stopped for fresh tyres whereas Mercedes had not, electing to preserve their track position advantage, Bottas leading from Vettel and Hamilton. For a while it seemed Bottas just might keep Vettel at bay, but on lap 47 Seb surprised Valtteri at Brooklands, squeezing by on the inside for a well deserved victory. From the front row Vettel had beaten wheel-spinning Hamilton away to lead comfortably despite the stalking Bottas cutting his early 6s lead to 2s by lap 32. Next lap Bottas took the lead as Vettel pitted, and although the slow SC laps helped, Bottas couldn’t make his tyres last, losing out not only to Vettel but to Hamilton and Räikkönen too. But if the Mercedes one-stop gamble hadn’t paid off for Bottas, it did for Hamilton who finished P2 after running P5, more than 20s behind leader Vettel when the SC first intervened. After his poor start from pole, Hamilton had been punted off at turn three by Räikkönen, Kimi penalised 10s. Rejoining P17, Lewis sliced by car after car to reach P6 by lap 10, then ultimately P2. Although Verstappen ran P3 for much of the race, Red Bull was never really in the hunt for a podium at power-hungry Silverstone. Haas failed to fully capitalise on qualifying P7 and P8, leaving Hulkenberg to claim best of the rest.
A Ferrari win wasn’t in the script. After nil points in Austria, Silverstone was where Lewis would reassert his title challenge with a fifth consecutive home win. It looked on when he brilliantly beat Vettel’s potent Ferrari to pole; improbable when spun-out by the other Ferrari on lap 1. So P2 was a miraculous result, Lewis giving his all to make amends to his home crowd after his bad start from pole. Afterwards he was utterly spent.
The Championship Chase
Vettel 171, Hamilton 163, Räikkönen 116, Ricciardo 106, Bottas 104
Ferrari 287, Mercedes 267, Red Bull 199, Renault 70, Haas 51
Formula 1 All the Races