Home hero Hamilton claims brilliant British GP victory

F1 Grand Prix of Great BritainAfter a difficult day on Saturday in which he qualified a disappointing sixth on the grid, Lewis Hamilton’s luck turned on Sunday as he fought his way up to second before inheriting the lead from team mate Nico Rosberg when the German hit gearbox difficulties on the 47th lap.

“I couldn’t be happier guys,” Hamilton told his crew on his slow-down lap. “Sorry about yesterday!”

The Briton’s determined performance regenerated his world championship challenge as he closes to within four points of Rosberg at the top of the standings, as once again the Mercedes were in a class of their own. This was, however, by no means a dull Grand Prix – in fact it was action-packed from the word go.

On lap one there was mayhem as the field streamed down the Wellington Straight. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen ran wide coming out of Aintree bend and as he tried to rejoin the track at speed, he hit a bump, lost control of his car and struck the inside barrier. The Finn’s F14 T was then thrown back across the track where it was narrowly missed by Kamui Kobayashi’s Caterham before being collected by Felipe Massa’s spinning Williams as he tried to take avoiding action.

Br3A41sIIAE5buPRaikkonen’s car was wrecked, and as the Finn limped away from his car, Massa crawled back to the pits on three wheels – sadly though the Brazilian’s FW36 had sustained too much damage, bringing a premature end to his 200th Grand Prix.

Further back, Briton Max Chilton was lucky to escape injury when his Marussia was hit by a tyre which flew from Raikkonen’s car.

The safety car was deployed immediately, but as the intensity of the damage to the guardrails was appreciated the race was red flagged so that repairs could be effected. Raikkonen was taken to the medical centre for a mandatory check-up; first reports indicated that he was okay, bar a badly bruised right ankle.

Meanwhile, Hamilton had already leapt from sixth to fourth behind Rosberg and the McLarens of Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen, having banged wheels briefly with Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull as they scrapped for position. After the race was restarted behind the safety car, the Briton soon scythed his way up to second, whilst behind him Williams’ Valtteri Bottas was on a charge of his own from 14th on the grid.

Br3aBWzCEAAufJsThe Finn would go on to pass the likes of Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari, the two McLarens and the Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Vettel – many of them around the outside at Stowe corner – as he charged into podium contention.

Hamilton lost time to Rosberg at his first pit stop, but after deciding to put on the hard tyres (instead of the medium rubber his team mate was using), he closed in rapidly on his rival. Then, going around the Loop on lap 47, Rosberg’s car suddenly slowed, apparently stuck in gear. Hamilton swept by and from then on he was never headed.

Behind Hamilton, Bottas moved up to second on a one-stop strategy, whilst Ricciardo and Button – both of whom were also one-stopping – fought all the way to the flag for the final podium spot. In the end Ricciardo, whose tyres were shot, just held on, denying the British fans a dream result and Button – who drove superbly – his first home podium in 15 tries.

Further back, Vettel engaged in a thrilling and at times ill-tempered battle for fifth with Alonso, who had recovered from a stop-go penalty for overshooting his grid slot at the start. The two world champions fought tooth and nail for lap after lap, using every inch of the track, but eventually Vettel was able to take advantage of his slightly fresher tyres to move ahead of the Spaniard for good.

Br3SRDHCEAEEjrsMagnussen held on to seventh ahead of Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, who is now the only driver other than Alonso to score in every race. Daniil Kvyat drove unobtrusively but well to head Toro Rosso team mate Jean-Eric Vergne home for the final points.

In the second Force India Sergio Perez recovered to 11th after a clash with Vergne took him off at the first corner of the original start, and led home Romain Grosjean’s Lotus, Adrian Sutil’s Sauber, Jules Bianchi’s Marussia, Kamui Kobayashi’s Caterham, Pastor Maldonado’s Lotus (which pulled to a smoky stop with a few laps to go) and Max Chilton’s Marussia which had had to serve a drive-through penalty for entering the pits illegally whilst the race was suspended following Raikkonen’s accident.

Besides Rosberg, Marcus Ericsson’s Caterham was a non-finisher, as was Esteban Gutierrez’s Sauber after the Mexican clashed spectacularly with Maldonado’s Lotus and then slithered into the gravel with damage. Massa and Raikkonen, of course, were casualties of the first start.

BRITISH GRAND PRIX Race Results
Pos. Car # Driver Laps Status Behind Points
1 44 L. Hamiton 52 Running Leader 25
2 77 V. Bottas 52 Running -30.1 18
3 3 D. Ricciardo 52 Running -46.4 15
4 22 J. Button 52 Running -47.3 12
5 1 S. Vettel 52 Running -53.8 10
6 14 F. Alonso 52 Running -59.9 8
7 20 K. Magnussen 52 Running -62.5 6
8 27 N. Hulkenberg 52 Running -88.6 4
9 26 D. Kvyat 52 Running -89.3 2
10 25 J. Vergne 51 Running -1 Lap 1
11 11 S. Perez 51 Running -1 Lap 0
12 8 R. Grojean 51 Running -1 Lap 0
13 99 A. Sutil 51 Running -1 Lap 0
14 17 J. Bianchi 51 Running -1 Lap 0
15 10 K. Kobayashi 50 Running -2 Laps 0
16 4 M. Chilton 50 Running -2 Laps 0
17 13 P. Maldonado 49 Retired -3 Laps 0
18 6 N. Roseberg 28 Retired -24 Laps 0
19 9 M. Ericsson 11 Retired -41 Laps 0
20 21 E. Gutierrez 9 Retired -43 Laps 0
21 19 F. Massa 0 Accident -52 Laps 0
22 7 K. Raikkonen 0 Accident -52 Laps 0

 

Drivers Championship after Britain
Pos. Car # Driver Team Points Behind
1 6 N. Roseberg Mercedes 165 Leader
2 44 L. Hamiton Mercedes 161 -4
3 3 D. Ricciardo Red Bull Racing-Renault 98 -67
4 14 F. Alonso Ferrari 87 -78
5 77 V. Bottas William-Mercedes 73 -92
6 1 S. Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 70 -95
7 27 N. Hulkenberg Force india-Mercedes 63 -102
8 22 J. Button McLaren-Mercedes 55 -110
9 20 K. Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 35 -130
10 19 F. Massa William-Mercedes 30 -135
11 11 S. Perez Force india-Mercedes 28 -137
12 7 K. Raikkonen Ferrari 19 -146
13 25 J. Vergne STR-Renault 9 -156
14 8 R. Grojean Lotus-Renault 8 -157
15 26 D. Kvyat STR-Renault 6 -159
16 17 J. Bianchi Marussis-Ferrari 2 -163
17 99 A. Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 0 -165
18 9 M. Ericsson Caterham-Renault 0 -165
19 13 P. Maldonado Lotus-Renault 0 -165
20 21 E. Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 0 -165
21 4 M. Chilton Marussis-Ferrari 0 -165
22 10 K. Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 0 -165

 

Constructors Championship after Great Britain
Pos. Team Points Behind
1 Mercedes 326 Leader
2 Red Bull Racing-Renault 168 -158
3 Ferrari 106 -220
4 Williams-Mercedes 103 -223
5 Force India-Mercedes 91 -235
6 McLaren-Mercedes 90 -236
7 STR-Renault 15 -311
8 Lotus-Renault 8 -318
9 Marussia-Ferrari 2 -324
10 Sauber-Ferrari 0 -326
11 Caterham-Renault 0 -326

 

 

 

 

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