Lewis Hamilton delighted his home crowd with a record sixth British Grand Prix victory as Silverstone celebrated its newly-secured Formula 1 future with a classic race.

Following on from a brilliant race in Austria, Silverstone delivered another thrilling spectacle for F1 on an action-packed day of major sporting events in the United Kingdom, with the British Grand Prix, Cricket World Cup final, Wimbledon men’s singles final and the Netball World Cup all taking place.

Here are some of the main talking points from the British Grand Prix…

Supreme Hamilton in control

Hamilton may well have benefited from a fortunately-timed Safety Car period that enabled him to take the lead of Sunday’s race from Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, but in reality, it only sped up the inevitable.

When Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi’s spun off into the gravel at the Vale chicane on Lap 20, the Safety Car was deployed, handing Hamilton with what was effectively a free pit stop that meant he would rejoin ahead of his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, who had already made his first stop four laps earlier.

Ultimately, a decision prior to the start of the grand prix turned out to be the key to victory for Hamilton, with Mercedes opting to split strategies between its drivers. Bottas would go Medium-Medium-Soft and stop twice, while Hamilton ran longer into the first stint and switched to Hards, removing the need to stop again.

Polesitter Bottas defended brilliantly to keep the visibly faster Hamilton at bay in the early stages as the pair ran wheel-to-wheel in a thrilling tussle on Lap 4, before Hamilton backed off a little to preserve his tyres, safe in the knowledge he would be stopping one less time than the Finn.

Even without a Safety Car period, Hamilton was managing the first stint so well that he would have rejoined only a second or so behind Bottas after both drivers had completed their first stops. With Bottas needing to stop again, Hamilton would have always been in prime position to move into the lead, assuming he would not have eventually found a way past his teammate on-track. 

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admitted after the race that Mercedes will re-evaluate a similar scenario in future, after hindsight proved the team had effectively provided its second-placed driver with a better strategy. 

“I think in hindsight, the argument has value, and I think we need to look at it,” Wolff said.

“Are we favouring somebody unconsciously? Which we wouldn’t want to do. So for sure it created more experience and more data for us to judge whether it is something we would want to do in the future.”

Nevertheless, Hamilton’s performance en route to a seventh win of the season was underlined by the fact he was able to set the fastest lap of the race - and take the maximum 26 points on offer - on the very last lap, despite being on 32-lap Hard tyres and Bottas having a fresh set of Softs at his disposal. 

That alone will set the alarm bells ringing for Bottas, who has now fallen 39-points adrift in the title race, and knows he has his work cut out to beat Hamilton, even on the occasions he is able to get the upper hand in qualifying.

 

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