British GP report: Hamilton Basks in British Cloudshine

By Stephen Williams

Written in association with Missed Apex Podcast

Just when you thought Hamilton and Rosberg sharing the front row wasn't going to be enough drama, torrential rain came down ten minutes before the start of the Grand Prix and the race was started behind the safety car. This robbed the fans the chance of seeing the two championship rivals going wheel to wheel on the opening lap. 

The decision to run the first few laps behind the safety car looked sensible despite the blue sky, considering the amount of spray and standing water on some areas of the track.  Perhaps the safety car was left out too long though because as soon as the safety car came in, multiple cars headed straight in for intermediate tyres.

After a stunning, points scoring drive in Austria, Pascal Wehrlein came crashing back down to earth when he aquaplaned off at turn one. His team mate would join him there later in the race. As a virtual safety car came out to clear the Manor, those who had not pitted for intermediates came straight in. 

The track continued to dry and Verstappen launched an outrageous move around the outside of the championship leader through the Maggots and Becketts section. It was simply stunning.

When the track was ready for dry tyres, there was a flurry of action in the pit lane. Renault somehow managed to send Palmer out with only three tyres on his car. Vettel spun through turn one but was able to continue. He would not be last driver to have a moment there. Alonso, Sainz, Raikkonen, Hamilton and Verstappen all had difficulties through turn one but managed to continue. 

Overtaking was not easy, as to get ahead, the car behind would need to run on to the damp part of the track.  Rosberg eventually got his own back on Verstappen when he utilised the drs to pass him around the outside of Stowe corner.  As such, Rosberg had some free track to hunt Hamilton down.  

Towards the latter stages of the race, Vettel attempted a move on Massa at turn three but was penalised when he pushed Massa off the track.  The other Ferrari of Raikkonen chased down Perez, the man who had been tipped to replace him for 2017.  Perez looked to be struggling with flat spotted tyres following his half spin through turn one earlier in the race. Raikkonen would eventually get ahead at Stowe for fifth.  

Rosberg constantly closed down Hamilton with anticipation of another last lap showdown between the Mercedes drivers.  However, a gearbox problem allowed Verstappen to close back up and the team told Rosberg to avoid seventh gear.  Verstappen was told that Rosberg was under investigation for this radio message he received regarding his gearbox issue. 

The race concluded with Hamilton taking the chequered flag for a third year in a row at Silverstone. Rosberg held on to second but was under investigation with Max Verstappen third. Ricciardo was a lonely fourth, Raikkonen fifth, and Perez sixth.  Hulkenberg, Sainz, Vettel and Kvyat rounded out the top ten.  Not a great race for Williams and McLaren who ended up pointless. Hamilton closed the gap on Rosberg once again to four points.  It could become less as Rosberg awaits the decision from the stewards regarding the radio messages between him and the team.

Rate the race - 7/10

Highlight - Verstappen's overtake around the outside of Rosberg.

Lowlight - Booing on the podium

Driver of the day - Max Verstappen

Driver of the day - Max Verstappen

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