What an amazing race was today at Silverstone! Fight on each level, overtaking, attacks, collisions and tricky strategy games. The victory in this dramatic and chaotic race again went to Mercedes. However, this time the fight for it was much more interesting and intriguing.
The beginning of the weekend gave the fans (especially Ferrari fans) high hopes: during free practices on Friday and Saturday, Mercedes drivers were losing to the guys from Red Bull and Ferrari, and leader of the championship Lewis Hamilton wasn’t happy with the condition of his car. However, on Saturday everything fell into the right place. Mercedes again were the fastest on the track, Valtteri Bottas suddenly got a pole position, and Lewis was only 0.006 (!) seconds behind him: 1:25.093 (BOT) - 1:25.099 (HAM).
The race start was an excellent by Mercedes drivers. Valtteri did a very strong start and kept his first position. But Lewis wasn’t going to give up and let the Finn go. From the first lap tough and beautiful fight began between the teammates. Several times Lewis came very close to Valtteri and after several attempts to attack, he overtook Bottas on the 4th lap. However, at the same moment Valtteri returned the position and continued to lead.
It seemed that Bottas has every chance to win the home Grand Prix With of his teammate, but Lewis’ luck helped him again. Valtteri went to the pitstop first, on lap 16, and changed Medium to Medium (new) and back to the track on P3. So, that was the main mistake of the mechanics and team. On lap 20, Antonio Giovinazzi from Alfa Romeo flew off the track in gravel, and Safety Car existed on the track. Lewis was very lucky to make a “free” pitstop, he chose Hard and kept the first position. This meant that Valtteri has to make another pitstop as stated in the regulations, and Lewis goes on Hard to the finish. Actually, it all happened.
On the last laps of the race the team wanted to make another stop in the boxes for Hamilton, obviously, to get a fastest lap. But after a few radio messages, Lewis refused to go to the pits. However, in fact, Lewis didn’t need new tyres. He was able to win the race on the worn Hard win and also put the fastest lap.
"I had a pitstop window, but there’s the entry of the pitlane, there’s the stop, there’s extra pressure on the mechanics to do the pitstop – not that I doubt them at all, but you just give a chance to [it to go wrong]," – Lewis said to Motorsport.com.
"I had saved enough in the tyres, I felt good with Hard tyre, I could keep going. I did have some blistering, so I was kind of conflicted, [thinking] should I stop? It would have brought us closer, but there were seven laps left, it’s very hard to catch a 21-second delta at the pace I could still do, so I decided [not to stop].”
As for Valtteri he went to the boxes on lap 45, and took used Soft, but it didn’t give him any advantage. Obviously Bottas is disappointed with the results of the race, which he started with aim to win:
"It wasn’t really my day, but the pace was good. Yesterday I was the quickest on track. Me and Lewis had a good fight. I’ll keep fighting. You know it’s not over yet.”
Today's win became a record-breaking sixth for Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone, which is more than any of Formula 1 drivers has. Jim Clark and Alain Prost have 5 wins there and Nigel Mansell 4.
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