It’s safe to say I’ve been slacking. It started with me going on vacation with the family in June and I just flat-out didn’t back into things as I meant to. But if I’m going to jump back into it late, at least it’s for the British GP.
Before the race, I think it’s important to note a couple of things. First, it’s weird not having this race the same weekend as the 4th of July–I always secretly thought it was a British middle finger to the chaps across the pond and this year was left wanting. Second, how awesome was it to have Alonso finish Q1 at the top of the board? I know it was a result of circumstances, but he can still drive the piss out of a car in wet conditions and I miss McLaren being a top contender.
Hamilton matched Jim Clark for most British GP polls and he’s quickly closing in on Michael Schumacher for all time polls. I know there are more races each season now, but it’s still an impressive achievement.
As usual, both Mercedes got off to a good start. Ferrari’s were a little slow and Verstappen got right after them. And then Kvyat committed the cardinal sin by taking out his teammate. Deploying the safety car, and winding up more speculation that he won’t be in F1 next year. He also got a drive through penalty for it. Vettel may have several points on his super license, but in all reality, it’s amazing Kvyat hasn’t had his suspended.
Ricciardo had an amazing drive starting in 19th and picking other cars one by one. Bottas did the same thing, just fewer cars to do it with him only having a 5 grid spot penalty for his gearbox change. It was fun seeing Alonso fight for position… until his car broke… again.
Vettel has officially turned into a grumpy old man–he whines about other drivers and it’s almost like he expects them to just get out of his way so he can parade lap to a win. He never acted like that with Red Bull, even during his last year when he didn’t have a competitive car. Being part of Ferrari seems to have created this sense of entitlement with Vettel and it’s tired.
With less than 10 laps to go, Bottas started getting after Vettel. Vettel wasn’t having any of it at first, but Bottas smelled blood and kept after it. The Mercedes was just faster than the Ferrari and there were too many laps left in the race for Vettel to hold him down until the end. It was an amazingly clean pass.
That left Bottas free to fight Raikkonen and fan the flames of their less than favorable relationship. It started as an 8 second gap, but Bottas cut away at it quickly. With just 2 laps left, Kimi’s left front gave tire up, forcing him to pit and Bottas was able to drive right on by. Then Verstappen had to come into the pit on lap 50. Then Vettel’s Ferrari lost his left front tire on the last lap. It was an unbelievable implosion for Ferrari in the closing minutes of the race.
Hamilton won his 4th British GP in a row and his 5th total. It gave him a major swing in the championship points race (as in Vettel now only has a 1 point lead now), but Ferrari was able to salvage a podium for the constructor’s championship with Kimi coming in 3rd. The boys at Maranello will be reviewing what happened to those front left tires for sure.
A final thought, I think it was pretty cool of Hamilton to invite Billy Monger out to be his guest at the race. I’m sure it’s not easy watching racing after losing both your legs in a racing crash but if it were me, I know I wouldn’t be able to leave it completely.