AFRICAN MIRROR REPORTER
WORLD champion Lewis Hamilton won a drama-filled home F1 British Grand Prix race on three tyres after he experienced a spectacular blow out of his left front, half way through the last lap.
Hamilton, who led from pole, brought the car home on a wing and a prayer, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, on fresh tyres, breathing down his neck. Verstappen came within six seconds of snatching victory from Hamilton.
Tyre strategy by the teams and management by the drivers, was at the heart of the Silverstone race, with Hamilton, teammate Valterri Bottas and McLaren’s Carlos Sainz losing their tyres in the last lap. Bottas, who was running second to Hamilton for most of the race, finished outside the points, in 11th position.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who was running a distant fourth for the bulk of the 52 lap race, benefitted from Bottas’ misery, and got the last podium place.
With the win, Hamilton became the first driver to win home Grand Prix races seven times. After the race, he admitted that he should have perhaps stopped and changed the tyres towards the end of the race. “Down the straight the tyre deflated and that was a heart in the mouth moment… I was just praying to get it round. I was really chilled at the end. Bono was giving me the info (about Max). I’ve definitely never experienced something like that on the last lap,” he said.
Verstappen was happy with his race. “The tyres didn’t look great with ten laps to go. I pitted to go for the fastest lap but then Lewis got his puncture! But P2 is a good result for us and I’m happy with that,” he said.
Leclerc was also satisfied with his podium place. “It was a very tricky race – we got the best result that we possibly could have today. The car is not running to its potential but we are happy with this podium,” the Ferrari driver said.
Nico Hulkenberg’s Formula One return was over before it started. Hulkenberg did not start the race after his car developed a technical problem. Hulkenberg – who has not driven in F1 since the end of last season – was called up by Racing Point as a last-minute replacement for Sergio Perez, who tested positive for COVID-19.
The rest of the top 10 finishers were:
- Daniel Ricciardo – Renault
- Lando Norris – McLaren
- Esteban Ocon – Renault
- Pierre Gasly – AlphaTauri
- Alexandre Albon – Red Bull
- Lance Stroll – Racing Point
- Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari