Woke up: For 50 laps, Formula 1 spectators were largely used to familiar pictures in the fourth race of the season – and the associated resting pulse: record winner Lewis Hamilton headed for his seventh victory at Silverstone, followed by his teammate Valtteri Bottas. Already in qualifying, the Mercedes had left the competition behind by at least one second. But then the Silverstone Circuit, which is known for its tire wear, took its toll: flying sparks, smoke and tires detaching from rims ensured high adrenaline levels for everyone involved.
What happened? First the left tire from Bottas burst, in lap 52 the left front tire of McLaren by Carlos Sainz also gave up. And finally, the leader almost slipped the tire off the rim. “I’ve never seen anything like the last lap, my heart almost stopped,” said Hamilton: “That’s probably why I was so cool.”
The result: Even Hamilton could not prevent his seventh home win overall, but Bottas was handed over to eleventh place and came just behind Sebastian Vettel, who benefited from the breakdown of Sainz, who had fallen back to 13th and finished in tenth place . The young stars Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc secured the remaining podium places. Click here for the race report – and here for the finish in the video:
The prevented winner was bored: The competition almost no longer expected that material fatigue would actually occur at Hamilton’s Mercedes. So Verstappen made a pit stop shortly before the end to get new tires. Without this he would have been first. After all, with the point for the fastest race lap, it still worked. The 22-year-old Dutchman had previously amused himself when, apparently hopelessly heading in third place for any improvement or deterioration, he advised his pit crew to drink enough.
Last year Leclerc had challenged him in an exciting duel at the same place, but this year the Ferrari of the Monegasque could not keep up. Almost 13 seconds separated the two at the end of the race.
Please get in: Until the tire chaos shortly before the end, Nico Hülkenberg had the most curious race weekend: he had surprisingly stepped in for the racing point driver Sergio Pérez infected with the corona virus and had driven the new car on the track for the first time 15 minutes after his commitment had become known. It was less than 24 hours between the request and the surprising return to a Formula 1 car. The currently contractless Hülkenberg had to borrow from teammate Lance Stroll: “I barely have time to breathe or eat,” he said at “Sky”.
Please get out again: But the planned comeback on Sunday was over just as quickly. Minutes before the start there was a problem with the drive unit at the Racing Point, hectic activity broke out in the garage, the floor of the car was removed, but there was not enough time left for the repair. However, Hülkenberg can hope for a second chance. “Most likely,” he will contest the next race, said team boss Otmar Szafnauer: “But that is not yet 100 percent certain.” A decision was announced for mid-next week.
Anti-racism only after the beep: After the Hungarian Grand Prix, Hamilton criticized Formula 1 because, in his view, there was hardly any time left in Spielberg or Budapest for joint engagement against racism before the start, although the racing series still campaigned against and for racism more diversity had started the season. “It is almost as if it has already disappeared from the agenda,” Hamilton added “Motorsport Total” quoted – and team-mate Bottas also said: “I didn’t really know until shortly before the race (in Hungary) that something was going to happen before the national anthem. It was not really communicated.” Formula 1 reacted in England: Race director Michael Masi published the planned processes on Saturday. They were informed by a beep through the loudspeakers about the start of the anti-racism campaign.
All good things come in threes? Renault has again protested the racing result of Racing Point, as in the two races before. Renault accuses Racing Point of having had the racing team help with the interior of the brake ventilation from Mercedes. The hearing is expected next week.
What’s next? The next race is scheduled to take place again in Silverstone next weekend (August 9, 3:10 p.m. CET, live ticker SPIEGEL.de, TV: RTL, Sky). The racing series celebrates itself as the 70th anniversary Grand Prix: in 1950 Formula 1 held the very first Grand Prix in its history on the Silverstone Circuit. Alongside the Italian Grand Prix, the race on the traditional Northamptonshire race track is the only one that has been held every year since Formula 1 was founded.