Sir Lewis Hamilton has taken victory for the eighth time at the British Grand Prix after a dramatic collision with championship rival Max Verstappen on the opening lap of the race. The two championship contenders collided on the opening lap of the race as they fought for the lead through Copse, the incident earned the seven-times champion a ten-second penalty, a red flag as well as taking the Red Bull driver out of the race/
Hamilton’s move earned him a ten-second stop and go penalty, the Englishman got the better start as they raced down into the Abbey where the Mercedes went to the outside. Verstappen hung round the outside and as they entered the breaking point at Brooklands, the battle continued into Luffield with the Dutchman taking the tighter line.
As they approached Copse, two corners later, Hamilton got a slipstream along the National Pit Straight before diving down the inside when Verstappen moved to cover the inside. Hamilton’s left-front clipping Verstappen’s right-rear and popping it off the car, which was spun around at high speed and sent into the barriers in the outside.
Verstappen hit the tyre wall side on, where he gingerly climbed from the wreckage after the race had been red flagged, from an initial safety car intervention. The Red Bull driver was later taken to a nearby hospital “for further precautionary checks”, per an FIA spokesperson.
Speaking to Ziggo Sport, his father and former F1 driver Jos, said “He [Max] felt a bit light-headed and will now go to the hospital for a CT scan. Otherwise, he was okay. He also had a bit of pain in his shoulder and was a bit bruised all over. But yeah, it sucks…”
Until now, the question has been when will this battle between Verstappen and Hamilton boil over? Now it has, the pressure will be on the Dutchman to bounce back against the seven-times champion, the story will be continued to be this epic battle between the two drivers.
Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, told reporters, “Lewis Hamilton is a world champion and he shouldn’t be making manoeuvres like that. It’s unacceptable. Max is having to go to hospital for precautionary checks after a 51G accident so I hope Lewis is very happy with himself. For me, that’s a hollow victory.”
Hamilton told Sky Sports, “I don’t think he needs to be as aggressive as he is. When someone is too aggressive, these things are bound to happen. But, regardless of whether I agree with the penalty, I take it on the chin and I just kept working.”
“I was 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’”
Tweeting from hospital, Verstappen said, “Glad I’m ok. Very disappointed with being taken out like this. The penalty given does not help us and doesn’t do justice to the dangerous move Lewis made on track. Watching the celebrations while still in hospital is disrespectful and unsportsmanlike behaviour but we move on.”
Red Bull faired no better in a chaotic and drama-filled afternoon, as Sergio Perez finished a lap down in sixteenth. It allows Mercedes to close the gap to Red Bull in both the drivers and constructors’ championship. Hamilton reducing his deficit in the drivers championship from thirty-three to eight points, while Mercedes are now are four points behind in the constructor’s championship.
The drama of the first lap gave Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc the lead of the race, the Monacan then controlled the race from the restart. However, Hamilton wasn’t done yet as the final laps approached, he was eight seconds behind on lap forty-two, Hamilton closed the gap at around a second a lap, before diving down the inside as Leclerc went wide at Copse with two laps to go.
Ferrari showing yet more signs of progress as Hamilton was unable to challenge Leclerc before the second round of pit stops. He believed that he could have challenged for victory, as he took his first podium of the season, but admitted he was “disappointed” to be close to his first win since Monza 2019.
Saying “It’s difficult to enjoy 100% of course but it’s been incredible. I gave all of me but it just wasn’t enough in the last two laps. We definitely did not expect it. We expected to be competitive after qualifying but not as competitive as now, we were fighting for the win which was. incredible.”
Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas was third finishing eleven seconds behind. Bottas was unable to fight for victory during the closing stages, running his own race comfortably ahead of the two McLarens.
But the Finn still struggled to show the same pace once again compared to his teammate and was seven seconds behind Leclerc by the end of the race. Bottas’s third place allowed Mercedes to get within four points of Red Bull in the constructors, who described Hamilton’s move for the lead as “desperate”, and his victory as “hollow”.
Lando Norris showed strong pace for McLaren finishing fourth leading his teammate Daniel Ricciardo home by fourteen seconds. Ricciardo holding off the Carlos Sainz was sixth ahead of the Alpine of Fernando Alonso, the Spaniard having a slow pit stop and holding of his more experienced countryman.
While Alonso had a thrilling battle with Sebastian Vettel early on, before the Aston Martin spun. The Alpine driver had a brilliant sprint qualifying where he passed six cars, he then managed to put int defensive driving to retain that position in the race. While Vettel eventually retiring from the race.
Vettel’s teammate Lance Stroll spilt the two Alpine’s, he was two seconds behind Alonso and almost the same ahead of Esteban Ocon. Yuki Tsunoda rounded out the top ten finishing ahead of teammate Pierre Gasly by three seconds. However, the Frenchman suffered a late puncher, costing him the chance of points.
George Russel was twelfth for Williams, the Englishman holding the position he gained in the sprint qualifying. However, Russell was easy pickings despite his strong performance with the car not having the performance to move forwards like he has done in so many races this season.
Antonio Giovinazzi spilt the two Williams after finishing a second and a half ahead of Nicolas Latifi. While the second Alfa Romeo was fifteenth ahead of Perez and the two Haas’s with Mick Schumacher again ahead of Nikita Mazepin.
- British GP – Sprint Qualifying Result
- BRITISH GP – Max Verstappen takes pole with a second’s advantage in sprint qualifying ahead of Sir Lewis Hamilton
- British GP – Qualifying Result
- BRITISH GP – Sir Lewis Hamilton takes pole for sprint qualifying by seven-hundredths ahead of Max Verstappen
- BRITISH GP – Max Verstappen fastest in first practice by seven-tenths Sir Lewis Hamilton third
- Prixview – British Grand Prix