Bring-it-home hero: What will it take to stop Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone?
“Oh my god I’ve definitely never experienced anything like that on the last lap and my heart nearly stopped. That’s how cool it was because my heart nearly stopped!“ said the six-time defending champion, Lewis Hamilton after a dramatic end to the British Grand Prix with just three wheels on his wagon!
Valtteri Bottas, on the other hand, dropped down from second to classify outside the points in the span of just two laps! Red Bulls’ Max Verstappen chased Hamilton across the line five seconds behind, and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc inherited a lucky podium once again.
Although the race ended with drama, it was, for the most part, a processional affair with two Safety Car periods and small scraps behind the top three. Hamilton led comfortably from the start, and Bottas stayed in touch but offered no threat. Behind them, the gap was sizable between a bored Verstappen, who had built up a big gap, and Leclerc. The Dutchman even reversed roles on the radio with his race engineer, jokingly reminding him to stay hydrated!
But then, with three laps to go Kimi Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo shed a portion of its front wing that sent the Finn bouncing off track. This was clearly visible. What wasn’t obvious were the tiny bits of carbon fibre debris from this incident that scattered along the circuit — until Bottas suffered a left front blow out. Carlos Sainz’s McLaren was next to experience the same tyre explosion throwing him out of the points too after the Spaniard ran a strong fifth for most of the grand prix!
Daniel Ricciardo moved up one place to fourth after pipping Lando Norris on the last lap. His teammate Esteban Ocon led the bottom half of the point scorers from Pierre Gasly, Alex Albon, Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel.
With a seventh win at his home grand prix, ripped off tyre et al, Hamilton beat Alain Prost’s record for “most home wins.” He also beat Ayrton Senna’s record for “most races led from start to finish“! At the start of 2020, Hamilton said: “I’m going to be a machine this year, on another level than ever before!” And with another round at Silverstone this Sunday, all we can do is sit back and watch this winning machine create more history, again.
The writer is a motorsports enthusiast who will cover the 2020 FIA Formula One® season exclusively for Indulge.