British GP, round 10 of 2017 Formula 1 season, took place at Silverstone on Sunday as UK’s temple of speed witnessed yet another masterclass from one of its favourite sons.
British driver Lewis Hamilton triumphed in front of his home fans, equalling the record Jim Clark and Alain Prost of 5 British GP victories. Valtteri Bottas finished 2nd ahead of his fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen.
Hamilton dominated qualifying and took pole ahead Ferrari’s Raikkonen and Vettel. After taking 67th pole of his career, the Brit is now one pole away from equalling Michael Schumacher’s record of most pole position. Bottas, in the other Mercedes, was 4th but an unscheduled gearbox change pushed him 5 places down to 9th. Force India’s Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez qualified 7th and 8th. McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne gave his career best performance by qualifying 9th while Hulkenberg’s 5th place start is Renault’s best since their return to F1.
Ferrari’s loss is Mercedes’ gain
Lewis Hamilton drove flawlessly and led every lap to win 4th consecutive race at Silverstone. Mercedes set a perfect strategy for penalty struck Bottas. The Finn started on more durable soft tyres, went long in his first stint and then switched to super soft tyres. Lighter fuel load and faster tyres meant he was able to attack in the later stages. By lap 43, Bottas was running 3rd, ahead of Vettel. Everything was going according to the plan for 2nd place Raikkonen until his left front punctured in the dying moments, which promoted Bottas to 2nd while Raikkonen finished at an unfortunate 3rd place.
Vettel vs Verstappen
A quick start from Verstappen put him ahead of Vettel on lap 1. Vettel tried to regain his position but Verstappen managed to keep him at bay. It was racing on the limit as Vettel first pushed Verstappen wide and then the latter returned the favour immediately. Ferrari then tried to undercut Verstappen by putting Vettel on to soft tyres earlier than expected. The undercut worked but the early pit stop came back and haunt the German as his right front tyre deflated with just 2 laps to go. Somehow he brought his Ferrari in the pits to change its tyres and finished 7th. Verstappen too, changed his tyres in the end to finish 4th.
Ricciardo’s amazing recovery
A turbo failure forced Ricciardo out of qualifying 1. Starting from 19th, the Australian performed number incredible late braking manoeuvres and surged to an impressive 5th place finish. The ‘Honey Badger’ also won driver of the day award for his performance at the British GP.
Kvyat enhances his reputation of being a ‘torpedo’
Toro Rosso teammates Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz crashed on lap 1, ruining their chances of gaining any points out of the race. The two went side by side into fast corners Maggots and Becketts, but Kvyat who was outside Sainz went off the track and lost control of his Renault powered Toro Rosso, hitting his teammate while re-joining. Sainz retired on the spot while the Russian was handed a drive through penalty. This is the second time in a row that Kvyat has been given a drive through penalty.
Good result for Force India’s current as well as former drivers
It was business as usual for Force India’s Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez as both produced yet another double point finish for the Indian outfit. Nico Hulkenberg finished 6th, equalling Renault’s best race result since its return.
After his 4th win of 2017, Hamilton has cut Vettel’s championship lead to just 1 point. Bottas now sits at third, 22 points adrift of Hamilton. In the Constructors’ championship, Mercedes have extended their lead to 55 points from Ferrari.
With an upgraded engine, Ferrari were supposed to match Mercedes’ pace but for now the German team have a faster and reliable car. Ferrari needs to bring more effective upgrades, otherwise Mercedes will run away from them.
Fastest lap: 1.30.621, Hamilton on lap 48
Overtakes: 56, including 21 with DRS
Fastest pit stop: 2.02s, Williams
Featured image belongs to mirror.co.uk