Sat | Sep 19, 2020

Hamilton survives scare for Silverstone win

Published:Monday | August 3, 2020 | 12:13 AM
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain closes in on victory in spite of a puncture to his left front tyre during the British Formula One Grand Prix at the Silverstone racetrack, Silverstone, England, yesterday.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain closes in on victory in spite of a puncture to his left front tyre during the British Formula One Grand Prix at the Silverstone racetrack, Silverstone, England, yesterday.

SILVERSTONE, England (AP):

Lewis Hamilton held on to win the British Grand Prix (GP) on Sunday despite a puncture on the last lap to clinch an 87th career win and move within four of Michael Schumacher’s Formula One (F1) record.

The championship leader’s record-extending seventh Silverstone win saw him finish six seconds ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who unexpectedly moved up a place after Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas sustained a puncture with three laps left.

With Hamilton so far ahead, Verstappen went in for a tyre change to gain an extra point for the fastest lap, but that pit stop ultimately cost him victory because Hamilton’s front left shredded with half a lap to go. Verstappen swallowed up most of the 25-second gap but ran out of time.

“I definitely haven’t experienced anything like that. I thought my heart was going to stop,” Hamilton said. “Up until that last lap everything was relatively smooth sailing. When I heard his (Bottas’ tyre) went, I looked at mine and it seemed fine.”

Charles Leclerc finished third for Ferrari, with Daniel Ricciardo fourth for improving Renault and British driver Lando Norris fifth for McLaren.

“It was a very tricky race,” Leclerc said after his second podium of the season. “I am very happy with how I managed the tyres from beginning to the end.”

When his tyre melted, Bottas had to come back for a tire change and dropped out of the points altogether into 11th spot and 30 points behind Hamilton in the title race after four races.

Sebastian Vettel, a four-time F1 champion, placed 10th and has now failed to get into the top five for his worst start to a season since 2008.

McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr also sustained a last-gasp puncture and fell to 13th.

Haas driver Kevin Magnussen and AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat were both unharmed after crashing early in the 52-lap race.

UPCOMING RACE

There is another race at Silverstone next Sunday, where Pirelli may modify its tyre selection.

Before the race, drivers again wore black T-shirts with ‘End Racism’ written on them as part of an ongoing campaign. This time it was better coordinated than the disorganised scenes two weeks ago in Hungary that angered Hamilton.

They stood behind an ‘End Racism’ message written on the grid, and then 13 of the 20 drivers took a knee, removing their face masks as they did so. The seven others, consisting of Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo), Sainz, Leclerc, Kvyat, Verstappen, Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo), and Magnussen, remained standing behind them.

“Thank you for the statement of support to end racism in the world,” was said over loud speaker.

British GP results

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 25

2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 19

3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 15

4. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault) 12

5. Lando Norris (McLaren) 10

6. Esteban Ocon (Renault) 8

7. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) 6

8. Alex Albon (Red Bull) 4

9. Lance Stroll (Racing Point) 2

10. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 1

F1 Driver Championship standings

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 88

2. Valterri Bottas (Mercedes) 58

3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 52

4. Lando Norris (McLaren) 36

5. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 33

6. Alex Albon (Red Bull) 26

7. Sergio Perez 22 (Racing Point) 22

8. Lance Stroll (Racing Point) 20

9. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault) 20

10. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) 15

F1 Constructor Championship standings

1. Mercedes 146

2. Red Bull 78

3. McLaren 51

4. Ferrari 43

5. Racing Point 42

6. Renault 32

7. AlphaTauri 13

8. Alfa Romeo 2

9. Haas 1

10. Williams 0