Lewis Hamilton held on to win the British Grand Prix on Sunday regardless of a puncture on the final lap to clinch an 87th profession win and transfer inside 4 of Michael Schumacher’s Formula One record.
The championship chief’s record-extending seventh Silverstone win noticed him end six seconds forward of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who unexpectedly moved up a spot after Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas sustained a puncture with three laps left.
With Hamilton thus far forward, Verstappen went in for a tire change in a bid to achieve an additional level for the quickest lap however that pit cease finally price him victory as a result of Hamilton’s entrance left shredded with half a lap to go. Verstappen swallowed up a lot of the 25-second hole however ran out of time.
“I definitely haven’t experienced anything like that. I thought my heart was going to stop,” Hamilton stated. “Up until that last lap everything was relatively smooth sailing. When I heard his (Bottas’ tire) went I looked at mine and it seemed fine.”
Charles Leclerc completed third for Ferrari with Daniel Ricciardo fourth for bettering Renault and British driver Lando Norris fifth for McLaren.
“It was a very tricky race,” stated Leclerc after his second podium of the season. “I am very happy with how I managed the tires from beginning to the end.”
When his tire melted, Bottas needed to come again for a tire change and dropped out of the factors altogether into 11th spot and 30 factors behind Hamilton within the title race after 4 races.
Sebastian Vettel, a four-time F1 champion, positioned 10th and has now did not get into the highest 5 for his worst begin to a season since 2008.
McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr. additionally sustained a last-gasp puncture and fell to 13th.
Haas driver Kevin Magnussen and AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat had been each unhurt after crashing early within the 52-lap race.
There is one other race at Silverstone subsequent Sunday, the place Pirelli might modify its tire choice.
Before the race, drivers once more wore black T-shirts with “End Racism” written on them as a part of an ongoing marketing campaign. This time it was higher coordinated than the disorganized scenes two weeks in the past in Hungary that angered Hamilton.
They stood behind an “End Racism” message written on the grid, after which 13 of the 20 drivers took a knee, eradicating their face masks as they did so. The seven others remained standing behind them.
“Thank you for the statement of support to end racism in the world,” was stated over loud speaker.
Hamilton set a observe record and secured a record-extending 91st profession pole and a record seventh at Silverstone on Saturday. Bottas certified second forward of Verstappen, who was racing in his 106th GP to equal his father Jos Verstappen’s tally. Jos Verstappen was Schumacher’s teammate at Benetton within the 1990s.
Nico Hulkenberg’s race was over earlier than it began as mechanics couldn’t get his automobile prepared due to an influence unit downside. He was a last-minute substitute for Sergio Perez, who’s in quarantine after testing optimistic for the coronavirus.
“It’s so surreal,” Hulkenberg stated.
At the beginning, Bottas obtained off the road higher than Hamilton however held again within the first nook when he had an opportunity to go, whereas Leclerc jumped Verstappen just for Verstappen to overhaul him straight again.
Magnussen went out on Lap 2 after contact with Alexander Albon’s Red Bull despatched him sliding into the gravel. Magnussen’s entrance left tire got here clear off and the entrance wing was broken. The security automobile got here out for 3 laps because the observe was cleared, whereas stewards gave Albon a five-second time penalty for inflicting the incident.
The security automobile was out once more on lap 13 for a heavier crash, after Kvyat flew off the observe at 300 kph (186 mph), sliding backward and sideways into the crash obstacles. Mercedes took the prospect to pit each drivers for brand new tires on the subsequent lap, whereas different drivers adopted go well with.
Halfway by means of the race, Hamilton led Bottas by about two seconds and the British driver prolonged his lead comfortably as one other Mercedes 1-2 end regarded sure.
But then Bottas’ tire unravelled and — maybe presuming Hamilton’s wouldn’t — Red Bull finally made the mistaken name to go for an additional level quite than financial institution on Verstappen catching Hamilton in case of an identical mishap.
“You could see (the tire) falling off the rim,” Hamilton stated. “I was just praying to get round and not be too slow. I didn’t think I would make it round the last two corners.”
As Hamilton limped over the road, Verstappen was looming giant behind him.
Another few hundred meters and victory would have been his.
“It was lucky and unlucky,” Verstappen stated. “But second is a good result.”
Verstappen is now solely six factors behind Bottas, whose title hopes already look slim.
As he was final season, Verstappen appears to be like the one driver able to genuinely difficult Hamilton.
But he wants a sooner automobile to take action.