Lewis Hamilton will be counting his lucky stars after suffering a puncture on the final lap of the British Grand Prix, but had built up enough of a gap to limp over the finish line to claim his seventh Formula 1 win at Silverstone.
It was a dramatic final few laps as first Valtteri Bottas suffered a puncture on Lap 51 of 52 whilst holding second place. The Finn dropped down to fourth before he could hobble back to the pits and dropped down to 12th as a result.
He managed to recover a single position on the final lap to pass George Russell, but couldn’t salvage a point as Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel just pipped him over the line by three-tenths in another disappointing result for the four-time champion.
Mercedes quickly radioed Hamilton warning him on Bottas’ failure and urged him not to push for the fastest lap, to which Hamilton agreed, only to immediately suffer a front-left failure on the final lap.
Hamilton limped over the finish line to claim the victory as a chasing Max Verstappen, who stopped on the penultimate lap for fresh tyres in an attempt to set the fastest lap, reeled in the Briton, but ended up five seconds shy of snatching the win.
Charles Leclerc completed the podium in third. It was very much a race of one for the Ferrari driver, who was 12 seconds down on Verstappen – over 30 prior to the Dutchman’s late stop – and 20s ahead of Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo who passed Lando Norris on the final lap.
It wasn’t only Bottas and Hamilton that endured late tyre failures. McLaren’s Carlos Sainz also suffered the same fate on the penultimate lap whilst he was running fifth ahead of team-mate Norris.
Pirelli will surely be re-thinking their decision to bring a softer compound to next weekend’s 70th Anniversary GP at the same circuit.
Up until the tyre drama, the race was fairly mundane though there were some early incidents involving Kevin Magnussen and Daniil Kvyat which caused two Safety Cars.
Magnussen and Red Bull’s Alexander Albon came together on the opening lap at the final corner, with the Haas car spinning off into the barrier. Albon was handed a five-second time penalty and managed to recover to eighth, having dropped down to the back of the pack.
Kvyat meanwhile crashed out at high speed at Becketts in what looked like a failure of some sort, though this hasn’t been confirmed. The Russian was fine, but took his anger out on a cameraman instead.
Is Hulkenberg Cursed?
When everyone heard Nico Hulkenberg would be stepping in for Sergio Perez this weekend, thoughts quickly turned to a maiden and long overdue podium finish. But it wasn’t to be as the German didn’t even get to start the race as Racing Point found an issue on his car prior to the formation lap.
Will he get another chance next weekend? We believe so, but it hasn’t been confirmed yet.
|2||M. Verstappen||Red Bull||+5.856|
|8||A. Albon||Red Bull||+32.670|
|9||L. Stroll||Racing Point||+37.311|
|14||A. Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||+54.205|
|17||K. Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||DNF|
|20||N. Hulkenberg||Racing Point||DNS|