|Lewis Hamilton drove a brilliant race to dominate in the rain|
Lewis Hamilton dominated the British GP at a very wet Silverstone today, taking the win in his McLaren-Mercedes by a whopping 1m8.5 seconds over Nick Heidfeld in his BMW Sauber. Rubens Barrichello finished another 13.6 seconds behind in his Honda by using great pit strategy.
Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen finished in fourth place, 1 lap down, followed by pole sitter Heikki Kovalainen in the second McLaren in fifth, Fernando Alonso in the Renault in sixth, Jarno Trulli in the Toyota in seventh, and Kazuki Nakajima in the Williams in eighth.
Mixed wet-and-dry conditions made the British Grand Prix rather exciting, but Hamilton overcame the treacherous conditions to win his most impressive F1 victory yet.
The Ferrari team had a horrible race, with poor pit stop decisions and both Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa making multiple driving errors. Raikkonen managed fourth place, a lap back, with Massa trailing in two laps back. Raikkonen also managed to turn the fastest race lap.
It was the third win of 2008 for Hamilton and it moves him into a 3-way tie for first place in the points with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa.
One grassy moment aside, from the moment he burst off the grid, Lewis Hamilton's drive to an ultra-dominant win in the treacherous wet conditions was peerless; more than a minute ahead of second placed Nick Heidfeld, and joined by only one other rival - Honda's Rubens Barrichello - on the lead lap. The result sets up a tantalizing three-way tie, with the two Ferrari drivers, for the lead of the drivers' world championship, with BMW's Robert Kubica only two more points back. Hamilton's teammate and pole sitter Heikki Kovalainen was less impressive in the wet, spinning twice and finishing a lap down and fifth. "He shouldn't feel too disappointed because he demonstrated that his racing skills are beyond question," said team boss Ron Dennis.
Heidfeld drove well, executing some spectacular passing moves and enjoying good strategy decisions to secure his third second place of the 2008 season, albeit more than a minute behind the winner. "Qualifying went well and in the race we did everything right," said the German, who has often struggled for pace in 2008. Conversely, Kubica's ultra-consistent season so far hit a snag at Silverstone, and he terminally aquaplaned into the gravel in the race, but he is now just 2 points behind the trio of championship leaders.
At the wheel of the unlikeliest of cars - the mediocre RA108 - Rubens Barrichello drove through the British spray to the 62nd podium of his long career, aided by the astute decisions to switch to the right wet tires, that meant he even passed winner Hamilton at one point. He might even have finished second, if not for a faulty fuel rig. Jenson Button spun on a puddle and into retirement at Bridge corner.
Disaster is an extreme word, but the reality of Ferrari's day and weekend at Silverstone was not too far away from that description, with Kimi Raikkonen's fourth place the only consolation -- not to mention both his and Felipe Massa's joint lead with Hamilton in the drivers' championship. Raikkonen set the fastest lap of the race and looked on course to challenge Hamilton, until the misguided decision was made to not change his tires at the first pitstop. Massa's race was an unmitigated disaster; he spun at least five times and finished dead last, the only runner to be lapped twice. "I could hardly keep the car in a straight line," the Brazilian rued.
Fernando Alonso finished sixth with poor pace late in the race, also lamenting the decision to keep the same tires on his car at his first pitstop. "We could have probably had a better result today," he said. Teammate Nelson Piquet did change tires at his pitstop, but he aquaplaned into the gravel in the downpour.
Jarno Trulli finished seventh but regrets not joining Barrichello in switching to the extreme wet tires amid the hardest rain. "We should have gone for it. It's a pity because I was driving so strongly that we could have made the podium," he said. Timo Glock struggled on the standard wets in the rain, spinning twice and finishing second to last.
Nico Rosberg started from the pitlane and had an unscheduled visit to the pits to replace a damaged nose after he rain into the back of Glock, finishing ninth. Kazuki Nakajima did better to collect the final point, meaning he and teammate Rosberg have each scored 8 points so far this year, but the Japanese was on course for seventh at Silverstone until he was passed by Trulli on the very last lap.
Mark Webber started on the front row of the grid but admits to having "dropped it" on a white line at Becketts on the first lap. He was tenth at the checkered flag after a second spin, which was better than David Coulthard's first lap clash and retirement along with Red Bull stablemate Sebastian Vettel. "I'm sorry for him that we made contact and went into the gravel, I'm sorry for Red Bull too, as it was two cars out in one hit," Coulthard, at his last home grand prix as a driver, said.
Vettel got stuck in the gravel following a hit from the rear by Coulthard. Sebastien Bourdais, who spun once, crossed the line eleventh of the thirteen finishers.
Adrian Sutil aquaplaned on a puddle and spectacularly spun into retirement on lap 11. Giancarlo Fisichella followed suit with a spin into the Becketts gravel on lap 27.
||+ 1 lap|
Fastest lap: Raikkonen, 1:32.150