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Controversial Comeback Win For Hamilton In British GP

Photo Credit: Jiri Krenek/Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.


Seven-time and reigning Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton arrived ahead of his home race at the Silverstone Circuit with 98 grand prix victories since he first turned a wheel on the tour in 2007. Of the British driver’s series record amount of wins, some of the grand prix wins involved awesome motorsport feats that have garnered glory and popularity. While Hamilton’s 99th career Formula 1 victory was a popular one in front of a sold-out home crowd, the glory of his eighth British Grand Prix win was marred by an altercation on the opening lap with his championship rival Max Verstappen.

Taking pole position for Sunday’s British Grand Prix from Lewis Hamilton’s #44 Mercedes-AMG race car during the inaugural 17-lap sprint qualifying race a day earlier, Max Verstappen in the #33 car positioned himself in a spot to potentially record a fourth consecutive Formula 1 win. Verstappen maintained the top position rolling from the starting grid when the lights went out to start the 52-lap event on the 5.891-kilometer Silverstone Circuit track but the first half of the opening lap featured an intense charge from the vehicle of Hamilton. The battle between the top 2021 drivers’ championship contenders delighted the audience of an estimated 160,000 as Hamilton attempted to find an edge on the leading Dutch driver defending through the first corners of the British Grand Prix.

Photo Credit: American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The thrilling initial moment at Silverstone between the Red Bull Racing and Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team at the front of the field came to a dramatic and critical end at turn 9, a high-speed corner of the track well-known as Copse. Obtaining a speed advantage along the stretch leading into the turn, Lewis Hamilton was able to partially draw alongside the Honda-powered #33 Red Bull Racing RB16B race car. As both drivers entered Copse, Hamilton aggressively took a very low line with a front wheel beneath Verstappen resulting in a collision. The left front wheel of the Mercedes tapped the right rear wheel of the Red Bull Racing vehicle as the rivals fought for the optimum line through the turn. The impact instantly snapped the rear tire of Verstappen’s #33 car while the high speeds associated with Copse sending the Dutch competitor over the circuit’s gravel trap hard into the tire barrier. Despite heavy crash damage to his race machine, Max Verstappen stepped out of his cockpit surrounded by safety crew members. A further examination at a local hospital confirmed the Red Bull Racing driver did not sustain any significant injuries. The incident required a red flag to retrieve the crashed race car with racing resuming with a second standing start.

With the mayhem between the lead cars on the opening lap, the #16 Ferrari of Charles Leclerc snatched the top spot in the Formula 1 race running order. Lewis Hamilton ran second through the stint before final pit stops for the front-running competitors but race stewards assessed a 10-second penalty to the #44 Mercedes race car for his part in the opening lap collision that would be served in the next tire stop. When Hamilton pitted on lap 27, he would ultimately cycle out in the fourth place position. Hamilton took third place away from Lando Norris’ McLaren on lap 31 and later displaced teammate Valtteri Bottas out of second place lap 40. Trailing Leclerc’s Ferrari by 8.8 seconds following the pass on Bottas, the fast #44 Mercedes-AMG race car chased down the leader on lap 50 making the move for the lead in the same corner as the one he collided with the Red Bull Racing entry earlier.

Building a 3.871-second lead on Charles Leclerc through the final two laps, Lewis Hamilton won the 2021 British Grand Prix and would proudly parade the Union Jack flag in front of the race fans of his home country. In addition to the grand prix victory, Hamilton has closed the gap the drivers’ championship to eight points behind Max Verstappen with the completion of 10 events in the 2021 Formula 1 season. Although the attitude of the British crowd and other Lewis Hamilton supporters cheered the win, the opening lap incident has led to a great deal of criticism causing a polarizing conclusion to the Silverstone event.

Photo Credit: Jiri Krenek/Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Mercedes-AMG also made a large gain the constructors’ point standings with Hamilton’s win and Valtteri Bottas taking third place. The German squad collected 40 points while rival and constructors’ standing leader Red Bull Racing failed to score points with the combination of Verstappen’s retirement and Sergio Perez being unable to greatly improve after his Saturday sprint qualifying mishap. The Mexican driver did success in taking the fastest lap of the event as the Austrian team wrestled the additional point away from Lewis Hamilton.

Haunted by intermittent power losses with his Ferrari while leading the race at Silverstone, Charles Leclerc finished second saying in a post-race Scuderia Ferrari release in regards to the rapid approach of Lewis Hamilton, “I could feel his pace as he approached me and there was not much I could do.” Leclerc’s runner-up result combined with the effort of a sixth place finish earned by the #55 car of Carlos Sainz Jr. led the Italian squad’s Team Principal Mattia Binotto to deem the Silverstone event as “a positive Grand Prix for us.” Sainz’s result may have been better if not for a 12.3-second long pit stop caused by an issue with attaching the left front tire.

Photo Credit: Foto Colombo Images/Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

McLaren Racing had an overall impressive effort on the Silverstone Circuit located roughly an hour and a half from the team’s home base. Lando Norris brought his #4 Mercedes-Benz powered race car to a strong fourth place while followed his teammate across the line in fifth place.

After making big gains in position during Saturday’s F1 Sprint improving from a 11th qualifying spot to 7th place, Fernando Alonso finished in his starting grid position driving his Alpine. The Spaniard fought for much of the afternoon with the Aston Martin Racing #18 car of Lance Stroll who recovered from a 14th place starting position to take eighth place in the British Grand Prix. The second Alpine F1 Team car of Esteban Ocon and the Scuderia AlphaTauri machine of Yuki Tsunoda rounded out the top 10 after 52 laps around the Silverstone Circuit.

Before a nearly month-long summer break for the Formula 1 drivers and teams, the Hungarian Grand Prix will be the next event set to run on August 1st.

2021 Formula 1 Season
British Grand Prix
Race Results
Pos # Car # Driver Team Engine
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes-Benz
2 16 Charles Leclerc Scuderia Misson Winnow Ferrari Ferrari
3 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes-Benz
4 4 Lando Norris McLaren F1 Team Mercedes-Benz
5 3 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren F1 Team Mercedes-Benz
6 55 Carlos Sainz Jr Scuderia Misson Winnow Ferrari Ferrari
7 14 Fernando Alonso Alpine F1 Team Renault
8 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team Mercedes-Benz
9 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine F1 Team Renault
10 22 Yuki Tsunoda Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda
11 10 Pierre Gasly Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda
12 63 George Russell Williams Racing Mercedes-Benz
13 99 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari
14 6 Nicholas Latifi Williams Racing Mercedes-Benz
15 7 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari
16 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing Honda
17 9 Nikita Mazepin Uralkali Haas F1 Team Ferrari
18 47 Mick Schumacher Uralkali Haas F1 Team Ferrari
19 5 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team Mercedes-Benz
20 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Honda
2021 Formula 1 Drivers' World Championship Points (After British Grand Prix)
Driver Total Points
Max Verstappen 185
Lewis Hamilton 177
Lando Norris 113
Valtteri Bottas 108
Sergio Perez 104
Charles Leclerc 80
Carlos Sainz Jr 68
Daniel Ricciardo 50
Pierre Gasly 39
Sebastian Vettel 30
Fernando Alonso 26
Lance Stroll 18
Esteban Ocon 14
Yuki Tsunoda 10
Antonio Giovinazzi 1
Kimi Raikkonen 1
George Russell 0
Nicholas Latifi 0
Mick Schumacher 0
Nikita Mazepin 0
2021 Formula 1 Contructors' Points (After British Grand Prix)
Constructor Engine Total Points
Red Bull Racing Honda 289
Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes-Benz 285
McLaren F1 Team Mercedes-Benz 163
Scuderia Misson Winnow Ferrari Ferrari 148
Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda 49
Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team Mercedes-Benz 48
Alpine F1 Team Renault 40
Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 2
Williams Racing Mercedes-Benz 0
Uralkali Haas F1 Team Ferrari 0


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