By Niall Clarke
- Lewis Hamilton wins the British Grand Prix; Nico Rosberg second
- The Brit got off to a bad start but rallied back towards the end
- Hamilton now leads the championship by 17 points
SILVERSTONE, UK- Lewis Hamilton battled back from a bad start to claim victory in a rainy British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
After qualifying on pole, the Brit was ambushed by Williams driver Felipe Massa who jumped in to the lead. Hamilton fended off the challenge of Valtteri Bottas through lap two, before the safety car was deployed because of a pile-up at the first corner, involving both Lotuses and both McLarens.
One of those involved in the incident was Jenson Button, who was hit by Fernando Alonso after the Spaniard took evasive action to avoid the collision between the two Lotuses.
Once the race resumed, Hamilton (ever the racer) decided to attack from the get go, but he found himself off the track and as a result he was passed by Bottas which dropped the Mercedes driver to third.
As the Williams’ were told to race at the front, Hamilton came in on lap 19 for his first pit stop. It was an inspired choice, as an excellent in lap meant that when Massa and Rosberg pitted on the next lap, the Brit was able to pass them before they exited.
With just 16 laps to go light rain began descending on the track. At first it only pouring on Luffield, Woodcote and Copse corners. The rain caused a wobble from Bottas which allowed Rosberg to overtake him in to third place. A couple of laps later, the German managed to catch Massa to take second.
The rain returned with greater intensity after briefly stopping, but it did not affect Hamilton who rode his Mercedes around Silverstone to take the flag, and claim his third British Grand Prix victory.
Team mate Rosberg then crossed the line ten seconds later to complete another Mercedes one-two. Sebastien Vettel brought his Ferrari home in third after the rain played havoc with both Williams’. It is also worth noting that further back the field, Will Stevens achieved his career high race position of 13. The young British driver was still the last to finish, but due to retirements he was able to get his Manor racing car within three places of the points.
But the day was all about Hamilton, who spoke of the race aftwards.
“It was a really tricky race, one of the trickiest races I’ve had for a very long time. When it rained l was like ‘oh my God’ because when you are the first car you are the first person to test everything and feel what the track is doing,” Hamilton told Sky Sports.
“I could see the crowd in the corner of my eye and l didn’t want to drop it for them and l could see the rain coming as well. I thought ‘this is it’ and when I came out I was just hoping it would rain!
Hamilton commented on the vital pitstop on lap 19. “It wasn’t luck, it wasn’t genius, it was just for once the right call. Sometimes you get it right, sometimes you get it wrong.”
With his 38th race victory in the bag, Hamilton has now extended his lead to 17 points over his team mate. The defending champion will be hoping to extend that advantage in Hungary in three weeks’ time.
The Hungarian Grand Prix will take place on the weekend of the 24th-26th of July.