A few days on from a Sunday of success for Brits in British sports, The Sports Lowdown looks back at Lewis Hamilton’s success in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Despite a deluge of water from the skies, nothing could dampen the spirits of the British fans as Lewis Hamilton performed his best rain dance yet as he cruised home to a hat-trick of British Grand Prix wins.
After a severe downpour before the race, the race began behind the Safety Car which lasted for 6 laps before letting the field go racing. Immediately people decided to witch onto the intermediate tyres and were instantly gaining places as a result, the biggest winner from this was Sergio Perez who moved his way up into 4th place as a result.
As Hamilton & Rosberg pulled away at the front, only Verstappen could lap at the same pace, lapping 2 seconds a lap faster than every other non-Mercedes on the track, once again showing his immense ability that he’s shown since moving up to Red Bull.
Soon the young Dutchman found himself right behind Rosberg, Verstappen appeared far more confident in the conditions than the Mercedes driver but was unable to find a way past until he pulled off an audacious overtake round the outside of Becketts corner to the amazement of everyone at Silverstone, even his own team boss Christian Horner who watched in astonishment at his 18 Year Old superstar.
Eventually the track sufficiently dried enough for the drivers to come in for the slick tyres. But despite the majority of the track being completely dry, the entrance to Turn 1 was still damp offline and many of the drivers lost control and ran off into the tarmac run off or in the case of some drivers into the gravel trap and out of the race.
On the dry tyres, Rosberg was able to close back up to Verstappen and retakes 2nd place by passing round the outside of Stowe corner and that seemingly meant the podium places were settled but there was a final twist towards the end of the Grand Prix.
With 5 laps to go, Rosberg suddenly lost 7th Gear in his car and radioed his team asking what to do, initially the team told him to reset the settings but that failed to work. Then the team ordered Rosberg to shift through 7th Gear and avoid using it, which violates the new rules about team’s radio communications with the drivers.
Meanwhile with all the drama happening behind him, Hamilton cruised home to the delight of the home crowd to take his 4th victory of the season with Rosberg and Verstappen trailing behind him. Also Verstappen received a huge ovation on the podium from the fans who clearly knew they’d seen a future World Champion today.
After the race, Rosberg was given a 10-Second time penalty for the illegal radio messages and was demoted to 3rd and Verstappen promoted to 2nd place, meaning that Rosberg’s lead over Hamilton which remember was 43 points at one stage, is now just 1 point.
It’s a rather damming indictment of Rosberg that despite winning the opening 4 races of the season in comfortable fashion that he’s still only barely ahead of his team-mate in the title race. Many have always suspected that despite being a very good driver, that Rosberg is a level below Hamilton and is unable to sustain his performances throughout a season and judging by the season from Monaco onwards that certainly appears to be the case.
Hamilton appears to be in the form of his life. Despite question marks about his focus & commitment earlier on in the season he’s never been this calm and controlled in races, he seems to be all at one with his team and at the halfway stage of the season, is odds on to win a hat-trick of title and join Schumacher, Fangio & Prost as a 4-Time World Champion.