The idyllic prologue to the race day has been brutally interrupted with the events happened in the 52 laps distance of the British GP at Silverstone. It has been partially recovered with the better performance of Pierre Gasly in race pace and speed: from being lapped by teammate in the previous Grand Prix to battle in the same group of him was astonishing to see.
No. 1 driver Verstappen started well the course, attacking and defending with the two Ferrari after a dozen of laps: after trying to pass Leclerc at Stowe, the Dutch needed to defend from Vettel. The first drama went on stage on lap 14 when both contenders of P4 were coming to the pits: the all audience knew something exciting was setting up. With the Red Bull’s mechanics slightly faster than Ferrari analogous, despite the more distant pitstop slot, Max claimed the inner side of pit lane, resulting in the overtaking move on the next right turn exit bend: unfortunately, due to the activation of Monegasque DRS for Sainz presence, he suffered the overtake at the Complex. In Safety Car period he moved from Medium to Hard compound for the second pit stop, grabbing the 5th position after Leclerc pitstop. On the race middle distance, we saw the outside overtake on the #16 Cavallino driver at Luffield: even if Charles seemed to have moved deliberately to the left side sending Max off the track, Verstappen managed to secure the pass on lap 25; the fight between them doesn’t seem to calm down as the season progress to “hot races” as Spa and Monza. Again, after possible team orders pass of Gasly, another outside overtaking onto Vettel after Hangar Straight: disaster was waiting for him at next Vale braking point where the German weaved too close to Dutch’s RB15, literally sending it on the inside kerb and off outside gravel after a huge flight: apologizes were made by #5 for the mistake done but a secured podium was compromised with a 5th sore position as he spoked after race:
It’s a shame for everyone in the Team to lose a podium here as the car felt very good and we were so quick in the race. The battles with Charles were hard but fair and he was defending really well. I didn’t want to risk too much as the race was still very long and we were clearly faster, so it was just a matter of choosing the right time and it was great fun. The Team made a really good call with the second pit stop to put me on the hard tyre so we had that advantage over Charles. I then had really strong pace and caught Seb, I passed him and defended into Turn 17 but Seb out braked himself and hit me from behind. I ended up bumping over the kerbs and the gravel and I thought the race was over. I honestly don’t know how I brought the car to the finish as it felt like the power steering failed and the floor was damaged, so I’m actually happy to finish fifth and score some points. I’m not angry but disappointed as it was hard racing and Seb didn’t do it on purpose. He also apologised as soon as I got out of the car which I respect. I think we put on a pretty good show for the fans today and proved the sport is far from boring
On the other side, a poor start gave welcome to Gasly when lights turned off: first Vettel caught him immediately and then a contact with Norris marked his first lap. A comeback at the hairpin remembered his moves in F2, in claiming back the position from the German of Ferrari. At pitstop a diversification of strategies was seen with a Hard choice for his car, exiting 10th on the track, but climbing up to 4th after the jungle of Safety Car deployment for Giovinazzi’s parking. The last couple of dozens of laps saw him be bothered twice; on lap 28 a clear team order decision was made allowing Verstappen to take his position; after, Leclerc literally circled him at the Loop in one of the most impressive manoeuvres seen at Silverstone in the last years. Despite the happenings, a 4th place is a noble result after turning the page for the last races of summer:
This whole weekend has been strong from Friday to Sunday, with today being my best Sunday of the year. We’re fighting with the guys at the front which is where we should be and I’m really happy with fourth today. Of course as a competitive guy I’m disappointed not to get on the podium as it was so close but we’ve made a big step this weekend and we’re working in the right direction. I had some good battles with Seb and Charles and there was quite a lot of action throughout the race. I still need to work on the little details to improve and make the last step on to the podium, but overall we are not too far away and we will keep pushing. If we can have this kind of Sunday every weekend then things should be exciting
The high traction circuits are waiting the ‘Bulls’ with Hockenheim’s Motordrome section and with “The Permanent Monaco track” of Budapest: historically Newey’s cars always performed well in these kinds of rounds.