Hamilton secures British GP history at Silverstone

By Harry West 14 July 2019 743
Hamilton secures British GP history at Silverstone

Lewis Hamilton became the British Grand Prix's most successful driver with his sixth victory at Silverstone on Sunday.

The Mercedes driver came into the race level with Jim Clark and Alain Prost on five wins at his home GP, but there was work to do as he started second on the grid behind team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

An early overtake was swiftly cancelled out but the deployment of the safety car on lap 20 benefitted the defending Formula One world champion, who managed to dive into the pits and re-emerge with his lead intact.

Bottas had already pitted by that stage and the Finn was unable to overhaul his colleague through the second half of the race as Hamilton extended his standings lead to 39 points with 11 rounds of action still to come.

The podium was completed by Charles Leclerc, who capitalised on a collision between his Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen after the Red Bull man had overtaken the German on lap 38.

Both men were sent spinning into the gravel, although Verstappen was able to continue unscathed to finish fifth behind team-mate Pierre Gasly, while Vettel had to change his front nose and ended up coming home 16th, second-last of those to finish.

 

VERSTAPPEN AND LECLERC RENEW RIVALRY

Dutchman Verstappen had got the better of his rival in dramatic fashion last time out in Austria to end the Silver Arrows' run of victories, but started one place below Leclerc on the grid in fourth at Silverstone.

At one stage, the pair were driving side-by-side down the pit lane after coming in at the same time and although Leclerc regained the ascendancy when they re-joined the race, the timing of the safety car cost the Ferrari man position as he came in to switch to hard tyres.

It looked as though Leclerc would finish behind Verstappen and the other Red Bull of Gasly, but he forced his way past the latter and then took advantage of Vettel's mistake.

VETTEL PAYS THE PENALTY AS VERSTAPPEN GETS LUCKY

"What was he doing?" asked Vettel over team radio, seemingly accusing Verstappen of being at fault for their collision.

Verstappen, for his part, issued an expletive, and the race stewards clearly decided no blame could be attached to the Red Bull man as Vettel was handed a 10-second penalty.

"How can the floor be ok?" asked Verstappen, seemingly amazed he had suffered no lasting damage.

HEAD IN HANDS TIME FOR HAAS

It was a torrid race for Haas, who lost Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen after the pair collided with each other and picked up punctures in the opening couple of laps.

Both were forced to retire with just 10 laps gone.

 

IN THE POINTS

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) +24.928secs
3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +30.117s
4. Pierre Gasly (Red Bull) +34.692s
5. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +39.458s
6. Carlos Sainz (McLaren) +53.639s
7. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault) +54.401s
8. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) +1:05.540
9. Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) +1:06.720
10. Nico Hulkenberg (Renault) +1:12.733

DRIVER STANDINGS

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 223
2. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 184 (-39)
3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 136 (-87)
4  Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 123 (-100)
5. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 120 (-103)

CONSTRUCTOR STANDINGS

1. Mercedes 407
2. Ferrari 243 (-164)
3. Red Bull 191 (-216)
4. McLaren 60 (-347)
5. Renault 39 (-368)

WHAT'S NEXT

The paddock moves onto Germany for the next race in a fortnight as the F1 season passes the halfway stage.

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Harry West

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