Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel took an impressive victory at Silverstone to extend his world championship lead over title rival Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton by a further seven points to lead the drivers championship by eight points going into the German’s home Grand Prix at the Hockenheimring in two weeks time.
The race started off with a bang, Vettel made a stonking start from second on the grid while polesitter Hamilton made a terrible start, dropping back to third by turn 1, losing out to Vettel and Mercedes teammate, Valtteri Bottas. Hamilton’s bad start was compounded at turn 3 when Vettel’s teammate Kimi Raikkonen made contact tipping him into a spin, dropping the Briton to the back of the pack.
I’d like to quickly talk about the disparity in performance between the top two teams, Mercedes and Ferrari and the rest of the field. For Hamilton to come from dead last to finish second is crazy, even if he was helped in this quest by his teammate moving aside for him in the closing laps. I remember in days of old, getting spun around and battling from the back meant a low points haul, but not today.
Hamilton was inside the top six by lap 11 for heaven’s sake, and this was with a supposed damaged car, according to his team radio messages. Raikkonen was also rapidly carving his way through the top 10 after serving his 10 second time penalty during his first pit stop, which is another point, inconsistent race stewardship, Vettel was given a five second time penalty in Austria for a very similar infraction.
Back to the race, the field was bunched up on lap 33 when the safety car was deployed to recover Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber. Ferrari elected to pit both Vettel and Raikkonen to switch to the softer yellow marked tire, while both Mercedes continued on with their medium tires, which really cost, race leader, Bottas in the closing stages as he succumbed to both Ferrari’s and had to yield 2nd place to teammate Hamilton.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was outperforming his car, running at high as 3rd, having an epic battle with Raikkonen for what was fifth place at the time, ended his race six laps from the chequered flag, spinning out in front of his teammate, Ricciardo who was closing on the Dutchman. Despite speculation from the commentators, there was no contact between the Red Bull drivers, instead, it was a brake issue for Max.
Overall, it was a bad weekend for Red Bull, they found themselves in a very distant fifth place, being really slow down the straights in comparison to Mercedes and Ferrari, something I alluded to earlier in this write-up. I heard some say that Red Bull was, even with DRS enabled, the same speed as Mercedes/Ferrari without DRS, meaning there was zero chance of defending against the top two teams.
After the race, Hamilton was being somewhat of a dick, in my view, walking away from the post-race interviews, I find this disgraceful, especially in front of the British crowd that adores him. Hamilton alluded to Ferrari using Raikkonen to try to compromise his race, using the term “interesting tactics”, squarely pointing the finger at Ferrari, when Martin Brundle caught up with him on the podium.
Is it possible that Ferrari tried to use “interesting tactics” in the race, yes, however, I think it’s unlikely, but the conspiracy nuts will be all over this, although I will end it there, you can make your own mind up?
British Grand Prix 2018 Results
|1. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 1:27:29.784
2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +2.264
3. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) +3.652
4. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) +8.883
5. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) +9.500
|6. Nico Hulkenberg (Renault) +28.220
7. Esteban Ocon (Force India) +29.930
8. Fernando Alonso (McLaren) +31.115
9. Kevin Magnussen (HAAS) +33.188
10. Sergio Perez (Force India) +34.708