Drama from start to finish, penalties, collisions, spins and a huge turnaround in the championship battle. Hamilton wins in front of his fans, ahead of Leclerc and his teammate.
Home fans were left slightly disappointed on Saturday at the end of the inaugural Sprint race when their hero Lewis Hamilton couldn’t hold onto his P1 obtained on Friday’s qualifying.
Verstappen was starting on pole followed by home racer Lewis Hamilton. Just like he did on Saturday, the Dutchman managed to leap away, Verstappen was on the inside line into the second corner, and even though he ran wide kicking up dirt, he managed to stay ahead.
In what seemed a replay of the 1989 accident between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, the duo kept dwelling around the track and drove side by side into Copse. There, they collided: Verstappen flew off the track and into the barriers.
Fortunately, Verstappen walked out of his car and seemed to be fine. However, the crash was huge and the Stewards decided to red flag the race to allow barriers to be restored. In the meantime, the Dutchman was brought to the hospital for a complete assessment.
The race interruption undoubtedly favoured Hamilton: with the cars in the pit lane, he could have his front wing changed. Yet, the race commissioner Emanuele Pirro decided to hand him a 10-seconds penalty, which he paid for during the pit stop.
When two fight, the third one enjoys. In fact, as the race resumed, Leclerc was at the lead. The Monegasque had a dream re-start, Hamilton was much more cautious, seemingly happy to slot in behind and take no risks. Bottas, on the other hand, got stuck and another slow getaway allowed Norris to sneak into the third position.
Leading the race for 17 laps, Leclerc began to suffer some engine issues. While he was fiddling with dials on the steering wheel to change his settings, Hamilton managed to reduce his gap and entered the DRS zone.
The young Ferrari driver was in front for the great majority of the race, but his SF21 was not performing as well with the hards. At lap 49, driving down at Copse, Leclerc made a mistake, running wide and allowing Hamilton to sweep past. This costed Leclerc the win but the Monegasque is back on the podium for the first time this season.
The Fin Valtteri Bottas completes the podium in third position followed by the two McLarens. Both drivers had a pretty solid race with Norris holding on to fourth position and his teammate Daniel Ricciardo in fifth.
Carlos Sainz was having a fantastic comeback race. After starting tenth on the grid, he got into the pit as third. As the team changed his tyres from mediums to hards, the front left wouldn’t bolt-on. Absolute disaster for the Spaniard, who was stationary for over 12 seconds, a stop that costed him hugely and led him to finish the race sixth.
Fernando Alonso was the driver benefitting the most from Saturday’s Sprint Race, gaining four positions and managing to show off some great overtakes at Silverstone. He crossed the finishing line P7. Teammate Esteban Ocon was ninth, with Lance Stroll splitting the Alpine duo.
Gasly has scored in every race he’s finished this season and, of course, he aimed at keeping the record going. Yet, a puncture at lap 48 forced him to pit and dropped him down to P11, just behind his teammate, the rookie Yuki Tsunoda.
Another one to watch today was George Russell, who was having a very good weekend. His best ever qualifying netted him eighth on the grid for the Sprint. However, after a contact with Sainz during Saturday’s session, the stewards deemed the Briton to be at fault and handed him three grid places, meaning he was starting P12 today.
Not the points we were hoping for, but it's been a great push from the team at our home Grand Prix 👏@GeorgeRussell63 comes home in P12 as @NicholasLatifi crosses the line in P14 👍 pic.twitter.com/Be8Mzumsee— Williams Racing (@WilliamsRacing) July 18, 2021
Initially, Russell lost a fair amount of places, dropping back to P14, but after the race resumed, there wasn’t much his Williams could do. He finished the race in P12, where he started, ahead of Giovinazzi.
Today was certainly not Red Bull’s day. Not only Verstappen couldn’t complete a full lap, but they couldn’t even count on Sergio Perez, who had by far the worst luck in the Sprint Race. On Saturday, after spinning by himself without contact, he dropped to the back of the field, and after failing to recover he was forced to retire.
The Mexican was starting from the pitlane due to some PU components replacement and new rear wing; yet he showed some great pace and climbed up positions in a matter of a few laps. Towards the end of the race he got in contact with Raikkonen and dropped down to P16.
The British GP was also Aston Martin’s home race. Both drivers managed to make up positions on Saturday, with Sebastian Vettel starting eighth and Lance Stroll 14th. After the race restart, Vettel lost the car all on his own, costing him several positions. Eventually, he couldn’t make any improvement, got stuck behind Latifi and ultimately had to retire his car.
The two Haas drivers closed the pack with Mazepin being 17th just ahead of teammate Mick Schumacher.