Hamilton leads Mercedes 1-2 in British GP

Hamilton cruises to win at Silverstone
Hamilton cruises to win at Silverstone

To the delight of the British crowd, Lewis Hamilton took the lead when Valtteri Bottas got stuck behind a the pace car and slowly stretched his lead over his Mercedes teammate to win the British GP for the 6th time by over 24 seconds.

After starting second and spending the early part of the race trailing the two-stopping Bottas, Mercedes’s decision to stretch Hamilton’s first stint out longer meant he could be switched to a one-stop strategy under the Safety Car, giving him breathing room at the front of the pack.

Hamilton ultimately crossed the line 24 seconds clear of Bottas to extend his championship lead to 39 points, while drama unfolded behind in a clash between Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc had his hands full to hold off Pierre Gasly for the final podium position while Max Verstappen rounded out the top-5 after being spun out by a late braking Sebastian Vettel.

[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]Bottas led away from pole position and held off a spirited attack from Hamilton in the early laps, before the Briton wriggled through at Luffield – to the delight of a packed house at Silverstone. But Bottas wasn’t having any of it, tucking into the slipstream before catapulting his Mercedes up the inside at Copse to retake the lead in sensational fashion.

From there, he controlled the race from the front and was the first to pit, as he was the lead car and therefore was on the optimum strategy, re-joining third, behind Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. But then Antonio Giovinazzi beached his Alfa Romeo in the gravel, bringing out the Safety Car.

Championship leader Hamilton dived into the pits, as did Vettel, and rejoined in the lead before taking the checkered flag for his seventh victory in 10 races in 2019, with Bottas finishing second. Hamilton hammered home his pace with the fastest lap on the final lap of the Grand Prix, on 30-lap old tires, usurping Bottas, who pitted late on for fresh rubber.

Red Bull had to settle for fourth and fifth with Pierre Gasly and a recovering Verstappen, while Carlos Sainz, who like Hamilton had a free stop when he pitted under the Safety Car, took sixth, ahead of Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen. Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat was ninth with Nico Hulkenberg snatching the final point from Alexander Albon on the final lap.

Vettel meanwhile limped home in 16th…

Lewis Hamilton
I remember my first win here in 2008 and the feeling that I had coming out of Brooklands and going down the straight and seeing the crowd, it felt so reminiscent of that today – the excitement and happiness and joy that I felt were exactly the same as back then. I've done so many races now, and you would think that after so many races you'd get used to it and the feeling would numb down, but it felt like it was the first win I ever had. Valtteri drove a very strong race and we had a really good fight in the beginning; I nearly got him going into Turn 7, but he was next to me and I couldn't really close the door. After that I backed off a little and waited for the pit stops, hoping that I could maybe overtake him in the pits. I extended my first stint for a few more laps, then the Safety Car came out and that was perfect timing for me as I came back out in front of Valtteri. I'm really grateful to all of those people that have helped me achieve this today; I have this incredible team behind me and it's really amazing to be a part of it, to be breaking down walls and records and pushing the limits and boundaries every weekend.

Valtteri Bottas
I had a good start of the line and then a good fight with Lewis in the first few laps, which was really enjoyable. After my pit stop, I was controlling the gap to Lewis, but then the Safety Car came out and he effectively got a free stop and came out ahead of me. I was hoping that there might be another opportunity in the race, but I knew the chances were slim because I had to do another stop to change to a different compound anyways. The tyre life was ultimately much better than we had thought, so a one-stop would have been possible, but our simulations before the race had predicted a two-stop to be the fastest option. I'm disappointed because the win was definitely possible for me today, but I can definitely take positives from this weekend – I had a strong Qualifying and my race pace also looked very good. It was also another strong weekend from the team, to take a 1-2 after a difficult race in Austria is a great result. Congratulations to Lewis for the win, he drove well and had massive support from the local fans. I'm looking forward to the next race in Hockenheim and will give it everything to fight back.

Toto Wolff
To bounce back from our worst weekend of the season with a 1-2 at our home race is a great feeling. It was exciting to see our drivers fight hard on the track; it was a tough battle, but there's a lot of respect between the two of them and they always left each other enough space. I think both our drivers merited to win today. Valtteri had a really strong weekend; he outqualified Lewis at Silverstone, he led the race, he defended spectacularly, but the Safety Car came out in the wrong moment for him. Lewis was struggling a bit yesterday but drove a very strong race today and even managed to get the point for the fastest lap on 30 laps old Hard tires; we're still not quite sure how he managed that. It's a great result for him in front of his home crowd. We're now looking forward to our second home race in Hockenheim in two weeks.

James Allison
This was a fantastic result for the team and a brilliant performance from our drivers and car alike. As a team, we were very, very strong today but that didn't make life easy on the pit wall: our two drivers were fighting hammer and tongs in the first stint, and likely would have been for the whole race but for the intervention of the Safety Car, which fell unfortunately for Valtteri. Nonetheless, it was a fantastic end result for Lewis in his home race and a really strong drive from Valtteri. After the close fight in qualifying, it was gratifying to see that our race pace was strong and that we were able to repeat the competitiveness we had seen on Friday during the long runs.

Results

POS NO DRIVER CAR LAPS BEHIND
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 52 0.000s
2 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 52 +24.928s
3 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 52 +30.117s
4 10 Pierre Gasly Red Bull Racing Honda 52 +34.692s
5 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Honda 52 +39.458s
6 55 Carlos Sainz McLaren Renault 52 +53.639s
7 3 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 52 +54.401s
8 7 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 52 +65.540s
9 26 Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 52 +66.720s
10 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 52 +72.733s
11 4 Lando Norris McLaren Renault 52 +74.281s
12 23 Alexander Albon Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 52 +75.617s
13 18 Lance Stroll Racing Point BWT Mercedes 52 +81.086s
14 63 George Russell Williams Mercedes 51 +1 lap
15 88 Robert Kubica Williams Mercedes 51 +1 lap
16 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 51 +1 lap
17 11 Sergio Perez Racing Point Bwt Mercedes 51 +1 lap
NC 99 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 18 DNF
NC 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 9 DNF
NC 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 6 DNF

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