Hamilton wins British Grand Prix for 8th time



Let’s face it, the Sprint is here to stay.

After all, it has its own logo and even a musical theme, so who are we to argue. And if that doesn’t convince you, the drivers and teams have all seemed to love it as much of the media thinks it’s the best thing since … well, sliced ​​bread.

Ross Brawn was so excited he said he would have been willing to pay the price of admission to see Fernando Alonso’s first round on his own.

It was indeed a great start for the Spaniard, but Ross has been in the sport long enough to have seen dozens of other great starts, we’ve even had a few this season.

Then there was that “sensational” first lap … hopefully just to shut down F1 MD once and for all we can see Sergio Perez starting from the pit lane, overtaking a whole bunch of cars in the first lap and eventually barge his way past his teammate, while giving Lewis Hamilton a useful tow and they cross the line in the sport’s very first showdown.

To make it even more of a “nail-biting sensational” race, how about a Jody Scheckter Silverstone ’73-style incident that knocked out the main contenders – not Lewis, no! – leaving only the seven-time champion, Lando and George, to fight, because F1, unlike football, is finally coming home.

Damn, we’re already writing Ross’s debriefing for him.

At the very least, yesterday’s Sprint warned Hamilton of the cards Max previously had up his sleeve, and the Mercedes driver will be determined not to lose twice to the Dutchman in the following days.

Then again, that will also go for Valtteri, who got off to a great start but found his teammate blocking his path, negating any advantage the Finn might have had thanks to the red striped tires his car sported.

Whether ‘Nando will be able to repeat yesterday’s’ sensational’ start remains to be seen, however, once again the riders have free choice of which tires to start with.

The big problem Max faces is that his teammate will be leaving the pit lane after Red Bull changes their rear wing assembly, changes the suspension setup and the cooling of the front brakes, which means that ‘once again the championship leader will be attacked by two Mercedes and without any support. Then again, that was the scenario yesterday, and young Max didn’t seem to be in pain.

As always, the midfield battle is where it will take place, and in the early stages it will be the McLarens looking to face Leclerc, whose teammate starts from further away after his brawl with George.

Like Lewis, Lando is clearly supported by home support, while Daniel looks a lot more comfortable this weekend. Charles has looked strong all weekend, but it remains to be seen if he can hold off the two Woking Chargers.

Unfortunately, his penalty takes George from 9th to 12th, but he should still be able to mix it up with Fernando, Seb, Esteban, Carlos and Pierre, certainly in the early stages.

Lance and Yuki both start comparatively out of position, so it remains to be seen how quickly – or even if – they can progress, while the main source of interest, at least as far as the back of the pack is concerned, is will be Sergio.

It is very likely that this is a one-stopper, but it remains to be seen whether pilots will start on the medium and then switch to hard, or soft and then switch to hards earlier, although starting on the midrange offers more flexibility in terms of pit stop timing and requires less tire management.

With more freedom in tire choice, the opposite might also come into play, starting with a harder tire before moving to a softer compound.

In the heat yesterday – and it’s even hotter today – the riders complained of blisters, so we can expect this to be a problem again today. Ferrari suffered the worst, but so did Lewis and Max … and it was on the mediums.

With the weather gods sitting this weekend, barring divine intervention from a former priest or disgruntled employee, today’s race will likely be decided by three factors; the start, the strategy and the tire wear and despite all the hoo-ha, all that “sensational” stuff from yesterday, today should end with the same three riders on the podium.

The pit lane opens and the drivers exit, Norris in the lead.

On the grid, Michael Douglas – whom we need a Covid, 2021 version of Falling Down – greets Tom Cruise, who seems to be attending just about everything these days.

Before the training lap, the air temperature is 29 degrees C, while the track temperature is 52 degrees.

All start on the mediums with the exception of Perez who is on the hard ones. Verstappen, Leclerc, Norris, Ricciardo and Alonso are on fresh mediums, while the Mercedes pair are on used mediums.

Bottas is warned of a tailwind in turn 9, i.e. along the straight into Copse.

They set off on the formation lap and all came out cleanly.

The grid forms.

They left ! Brilliant start for Verstappen and Hamilton, the Briton came out of the line much faster than yesterday. Verstappen has the line in Turn 1, but Hamilton almost has it in Village, then getting a better exit from Aintree.

Side by side on Wellington’s straight, they touch each other, and while Hamilton is inside at Brooklands, Verstappen holds his line on the outside.

Through Woodcote Hamilton gets the tow and as they descend the straight towards Copse they are side by side. As they turn to Copse, they touch each other, with the Mercedes left front cutting through Verstappen’s right rear, the Red Bull spins and slides over the gravel back and into the barriers.

The safety car is deployed.

Leclerc leads, from Hamilton – who reports damage – Bottas, Norris, Ricciardo, Vettel, Alonso, Sainz, Raikkonen and Ocon.

Verstappen gets out of his car, the youngster clearly out of breath and needing time to recover.

Although Mercedes is waiting for Hamilton, he doesn’t stop.

The race is marked with a red flag so that the affected Red Bull can be cleared from a part of the track known to be incidental.

The first observations are that this was a racing incident, nothing more. Uncompromising stuff from both riders, but that’s for sure what we want.

“Is Max okay,” asks Hamilton, who now has a golden opportunity to close the title gap.

The commissioners must investigate the incident.

In the meantime, Christian Horner blames Hamilton squarely, saying the Briton was 100% to blame.

Undetected in all the excitement is the fact that before the red flag Raikkonen had gained four places and was running 9th, while Stroll won three and Sainz won two.

As the stricken Red Bull is lifted onto a flatbed truck, the entire right side of the car is destroyed, especially the rear corner,

The race will resume at 3:42 p.m., announces the race management at 3:31 p.m.

Before the restart, one has to wonder exactly how much damage Hamilton suffered in this clash.

“Thank goodness he’s gone,” says Christian Horner, “he’s in the medical center but he entered it himself.

“To me it’s very clear Lewis stuck a wheel on one of the fastest corners of this calendar. He knows you don’t do that.”



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