What did we learn from the British GP?

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Well we learned, if we didn’t know before, that England has a miserable climate, but despite this, 139,000 people came to Silverstone to watch “their” race. They were rewarded with an all the way win by Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) to make it three British GP wins on the trot, to emulate the late and great Jim Clark.

The race began after a heavy rain storm behind the safety car. One has to ask why? These are a bunch of the best drivers in the world, who should be able to handle rain, hail or snow. They do not need a nanny to make sure they have a raincoat!

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain crosses the finish line to win the British Formula One Grand Prix at the Silverstone racetrack, Silverstone, England, Sunday, July 10. (David Davies/PA via AP)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain crosses the finish line to win the British Formula One Grand Prix at the Silverstone racetrack, Silverstone, England, Sunday, July 10. (David Davies/PA via AP)

After the half a dozen laps trundling round behind the safety car, the race proper began, with almost everyone diving into the pits to change to intermediate tyres, with some close shaves in the pit lane.

Immediately Hamilton left the field in his spray, and was never under threat at any time. It was a masterful drive in less than ideal track conditions. He was followed by his team mate (and pretender to the throne) Nico Rosberg who only lasted a few laps before Max Verstappen (Red Bull) pounced and swept round the outside of Rosberg to take over second. This did not last too long, and as the track dried Rosberg was able to power past the Red Bull to finish second on the track. However, following application of more FIA rubbish rules, Rosberg was penalized 10 seconds for getting radio assistance with his gearbox, demoting him to third and elevating Verstappen.

Meanwhile Verstappen’s team mate Ricciardo just slipped slowly backwards, unable to get close enough to be a threat, finishing fourth. Ricciardo later complained that the “virtual safety car” periods disadvantaged him and he had a “boring” race. I would agree that his performance was indeed “boring”. Ricciardo will have to pull his finger out, as he is being overshadowed by the young Verstappen.

Ferrari had a dreadful day, but at least Kimi produced some sort of rabbit from the hat with his fifth place (perhaps Ferrari were correct in extending the Finn’s contract). Sebastian Vettel in the other red car could do no better than ninth, including a five second penalty for gently moving Massa off the track, which actually was a racing incident and not requiring stewards enquiries. The name of this game is motor “racing”. Let the drivers race like they always used to!

FIndia had a good weekend with Perez and Hulkenberg sixth and seventh. The Mexican is certainly doing better than Hulkenberg, who was once the hottest property around. He will soon be approaching his use-by date if he isn’t careful.

One driver who did impress was Sainz in the Toro Rosso who showed the style of rally driving reminiscent of his father in coming eighth.

After that were the real also-rans including McLaren. How the mighty have fallen, taking the reputations of Alonso and Button with them.

Of interest were the fastest laps:

1 N Rosberg Mercedes 1:35.548

2 F Alonso McLaren 1:35.669

3 L Hamilton Mercedes 1:35.771

4 D Ricciardo Red Bull 1:36.013

5 F Massa Williams 1:36.141

6 M Verstappen Red Bull 1:36.407

Rosberg was the quickest car out there, but obviously unable to string them all together. Hamilton was only third and Verstappen sixth. Alonso second despite the moans.

Results

  1. L Hamilton Mercedes
  2. M Verstappen Red Bull
  3. N Rosberg Mercedes
  4. D Ricciardo Red Bull
  5. K Raikkonen Ferrari
  6. S Perez Force India
  7. N Hulkenberg Force India
  8. C Sainz Toro Rosso
  9. S Vettel Ferrari
  10. D Kvyat Toro Rosso

The next race is in Hungary July 24.