Most of the teams in Formula 1 are based in Britain, so it is always a special race at Silverstone. The track that hosted the first ever Grand Prix back in 1950. However, fans favourite Lewis Hamilton came into this race 20 points behind Sebastian Vettel who lead the championship in the Ferrari. At his home race Lewis stormed to pole position, beating Kimi Räikönnen in the other Ferrari by half a second. Hamilton’s pole position meant that he was in a good position to level the great Jim Clark’s five wins at Silverstone. Vettel was 3rd. Romain Grosjean was able to qualify 10th in the Haas and his teammate Kevin Magnussen was in 17th. Kvyat was 12th and Sainz was 14th. Then the two Saubers of Wehrlein and Ericsson were 17th and 18th respectively.
The race was cut down to 51 laps at the start as Jolyon Palmer had a hydraulic issue that put him out on the formation lap. This resulted in an extra formation lap as Palmer’s car was cleared away. No one knew at the start what the outcome would be, as there was a chance of rainy conditions. Hamilton started well and was able to hold the lead into turn 1. There wasn’t much drama at all through the first sector. On the Wellington straight Verstappen was able to move past Vettel’s Ferrari. Bottas was able to gain two places and went into 7th place. Then, the two Toro Rosso drivers collided at the Maggots and Becketts section. Kvyat went slightly off circuit and when he rejoined, he lost the rear of the car and hit Sainz. Sainz was sent spinning and he hit the rear tire of Kevin Magnussen. Magnussen’s car wasn’t damaged. Sainz was out of the race but Kvyat wasn’t. However he had severe floor damage. This meant he wasn’t really able to compete for the rest of the race due to a lack of pace. Kvyat and Sainz were put under investigation after the incident. Kvyat was blamed and was given a drive through penalty. After this incedent, the safety car was brought out. Wehrlein pitted as soon as the safety car came out for mediums but then came back in for softs so he had used both compounds of tyre without falling too far down the field. At this point Hamilton lead with Räikönnen in 2nd. Verstappen was in 3rd and Vettel was in 4th. Grosjean was down in 11th for Haas with Magnussen in 13th. Ericsson and Wehrlein were 15th and 17th. Then the damaged car of Kvyat was in 18th.
The safety car came in and Riccardo was able to make 7 places up in the first 5 laps. However he went off track and lost those positions quickly. Bottas was able to move into 6th place. Then on lap six, Pascal Wehrlein was able to move past his teammate into 15th. A lap later Bottas blasted past Hulkenberg into Stowe and into 5th. A few laps later, Riccardo was back and was able to move past Magnussen’s Haas.
We finally started to get some action on lap 13. Vettel went up the inside of Verstappen into Stowe and squeezed Verstappen off the track to try and get the move done. However Verstappen was able to stay ahead into Vale. Vettel later pitted on lap 19 to try and undercut Verstappen and jump him in the pit stops. Verstappen got a bad stop and Vettel got past Verstappen. As this was going on, Fernando Alonso had an engine failure for the 5th time in 7 races and he retired. Meanwhile, the driver who started alongside Alonso, Daniel Riccardo, passed both Force India cars on lap 35 and he moved into 8th. He then moved past Magnussen on old soft tires into 7th place.
On lap 43 Bottas caught up to Vettel and then he tried to move around the outside o PDF the Stowe corner. Vettel defended well but then he had a big lock up into Vale. This put a flat spot on his tyre which would hurt him later on in the race. A lap later, Bottas flew past on the Hangar straight. The drama however for Ferrari started on lap 49. Räikönnen sadly got a puncture on his front left tyre meaning he would have to pit once again. This meant he would lose 2nd place. Bottas moved past easily. He came out of the pits in 4th. This meant Vettel was in 3rd until he also got a puncture on the penultimate lap. He pitted but Vettel got the puncture earlier on in the lap. This meant he lost a lot more time than Räikönnen did. Kimi was back on the podium and Vettel was down in 7th after he stopped. Lewis Hamilton won the race easily however to win his 5th home race at Silverstone. He lead every lap and he deserved it. Bottas came home in 2nd, a great drive from him after starting 9th. Räikönnen got and unlucky 3rd for Ferrari with his teammate getting an even more unlucky 7th place after punctures ruined the race for the Ferrari drivers. Magnussen and Grosjean finished 12th and 13th, a solid result for Haas. Ericsson finished 14th for Sauber. Kvyat brought his wounded car home to finishe a disappointing 15th with Wehrlein finishing in 17th.
An eventful race all around the Formula 1 grid brings Sebastian Vettel’s Championship lead down to just 1 point. Both Riccardo and Bottas had brilliant drives to finish 2nd and 5th after poor starting positions. Räikönnen would have had 2nd if it wasn’t for his puncture. He was unlucky, but it was an encouraging weekend for Kimi. Vettel could have finished 3rd or 4th if it wasn’t for his puncture. Nico Hulkenberg also put in a great drive to finishe 6th. This was above his own predictions. I think this was a good race, there was excitement at times, but the middle of the race wasn’t brilliant. Hopefully there will be more wheel to wheel action when we head off to Hungary next week. Vettel will need a good finish if he wants to lead the championship going into the summer break.