By Robert Haile
First lap drama has opened the drivers championship back up as Max Verstappen crashed after contact was made with Lewis Hamilton in today’s, July 18, British Grand Prix.
The only change to the starting grid was Williams George Russell dropping three places after receiving a penalty for contact with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz.
Everyone got away clean from the start with Verstappen keeping the leader but Hamilton close as the two raced away.
Heading down the straight Hamilton closed in on Verstappen and looked to go passed on the inside as they went into Copse corner, turn nine, where Hamilton’s front left tyre connected with Verstappen’s rear right tyre and sent the Dutchman spinning off into the tyre wall and out of the race.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc claimed top spot for the restart after the race was red flagged and kept it when they got back under way.
When the pit stops started Hamilton had a ten second penalty for his crash with Verstappen.
Heading into the final ten laps Leclerc was leading with Hamilton in second having overtaken Bottas and Norris.
Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel retired after an early spin in the race dropped him down to sixteenth.
Going into the penultimate lap Hamilton looked to pass Leclerc at the same corner he crashed with Verstappen and made it through as the Ferrari twitched half way round the corner.
With the win, making it ninety nine, Hamilton closed the gap to eight at the top with Leclerc second for Ferrari and Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas third.
Hamilton said: “I have been giving my all the past week, working in the factory, just giving it everything to uncover performance in this car with the guys and I am so proud of everyone for continuing to work, even though we had to recover a deficit. Today, as always, I tried to be measured in how I approached the race, particularly battling with Max – he’s very aggressive but I was fully alongside him and he didn’t leave me any space.
“Regardless of whether I agreed with the penalty, I took it on the chin and I just kept working. I was just like, “I’m not going to let anything get in the way of the crowd’s enjoyment of the weekend, the national anthem and the British flag”. I couldn’t have done it without the great teamwork from Valtteri and the amazing effort from the team so I’m very grateful and just so happy to deliver this result for the team and the fans.”
McLaren finished fourth and fifth with Lando Norris staying in front of Daniel Ricciardo who held off Carlos Sainz for Ferrari.
Alpine’s Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon were split by Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda claimed tenth and the last point available ahead of teammate Pierre Gasly.
Russell finished twelfth with Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi beating Williams Nicholas Latifi in fourteenth who finished ahead of Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen.
After starting from the pit lane Red Bull’s Sergio Perez took the fastest lap taking the point off Hamilton but finished sixteenth in front of the two Haas drivers as Nikita Mazepin beat Mick Schumacher.
Formula One will next move to Hungary with qualifying reverting to its traditional format on Saturday, July 31, with the race taking place on Sunday, August 1.
- Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – 182
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – 177
- Lando Norris (McLaren) – 113
- Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) – 108
- Sergio Perez (Red Bull) – 104
- Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) – 80
- Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) – 68
- Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) – 50
- Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) – 39
- Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) – 30
- Fernando Alonso (Alpine) – 26
- Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) – 18
- Esteban Ocon (Alpine) – 14
- Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) – 10
- Kimi Räikkönen (Alfa Romeo) – 1
- Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo) – 1
- George Russel (Williams) – 0
- Mick Schumacher (Haas) – 0
- Nikita Mazepin (Haas) – 0
- Nicholas Latifi (Williams) – 0
- Red Bull – 289
- Mercedes – 285
- McLaren – 163
- Ferrari – 148
- AlphaTauri – 49
- Aston Martin – 48
- Alpine – 40
- Alfa Romeo – 2
- Williams – 0
- Haas – 0