The British Grand Prix was not looking like a Formula 1 classic until it exploded into life (quite literally) in the final three laps.

A late trio of punctures for Valtteri Bottas, McLaren’s Carlos Sainz and race-leader Lewis Hamilton set up a dramatic and unforgettable end to the race, which had otherwise been petering out into a bit of a snoozefest.

Here are our winners and losers from the first of two consecutive races at Silverstone

The Winners

Lewis Hamilton

The British Grand Prix marked a momentous victory for Lewis Hamilton as he recorded a seventh win at Silverstone to surpass Alain Prost as the driver to take the most wins at their home track.

It was made even more special by the fact he did it on just three fully-inflated tyres. On a remarkable final lap, Hamilton not only held on to the victory, but also moved into a 30-point championship lead just four races into the season, with teammate Valtteri Bottas finishing out of the points.

Following three lights-to-flag victories on the bounce, Hamilton has all the momentum behind him heading into another race at a circuit he has now been victorious at six times in the last seven events.

Charles Leclerc

Another brilliant display from Charles Leclerc as he dragged his underperforming Ferrari to his second podium finish of the season.

While teammate Sebastian Vettel endured a nightmare weekend and could only finish 10th, Leclerc starred to grab fourth and get within touching distance of Verstappen in qualifying, before going on to land an unlikely podium.

Granted, there was a huge slice of fortune involved amid the late drama with the Monegasque otherwise heading for a distant fourth, but once again Leclerc had put himself in the right place at the right time to maximise his opportunities. Leclerc now has scored more than three times the points managed by his four-time world champion teammate from the first four races.

Renault

Renault enjoyed its best result of the campaign at Silverstone with a strong 20-point haul thanks to a double top-six finish.

Arriving with an upgraded package at the British Grand Prix, Renault managed to convert a two-car Q3 appearance into a big points return as it took full advantage of the late-race drama.

Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon both pulled off some brilliant and daring passes on their way to fourth and sixth places respectively to land what is statistically the French manufacturer’s second-best result since it returned to F1 as a works outfit in 2016.

Renault remains sixth in the constructors’ championship but it has hauled itself right back in contention in the midfield fight.

Pierre Gasly

It was another strong display throughout the British Grand Prix weekend for Pierre Gasly, who bagged AlphaTauri’s best result of the season with seventh.

The Frenchman was unfortunate not to make it into Q2 for the third successive race after posting an identical lap time to Lance Stroll’s Racing Point on Saturday, before he turned in a gritty performance in the race.

Despite losing out following the first round of pit stops, Gasly battled past Antonio Giovinazzi, Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll in the closing stages to secure a good result during a crazy ending to the race.

The Losers

Valtteri Bottas

A bad day at the office for Bottas, who was robbed of a comfortable second-place finish behind Mercedes teammate Hamilton.

Not only did a podium go begging thanks to his late tyre delamination, but Bottas also suffered a huge blow to his 2020 title hopes as Hamilton was able to drag his ailing W11 to a victory that has seen him pull 30 points clear.

After three defeats on the bounce and facing another weekend at a circuit Hamilton loves, the Finn already has a huge task ahead of him if he is to overcome the Briton this year.

Racing Point

After being arguably the second-fastest team last time out in Budapest and topping second practice at Silverstone, more was expected of Racing Point at the British Grand Prix.

Ninth place for Stroll and the two points that came with it was a disappointing return for Racing Point, which has shown the potential to be a regular podium-challenging outfit this season. And given the hectic nature of the race’s conclusion, a far better result should have been possible.

Nico Hulkenberg’s failure to even start the British Grand Prix on his F1 return due to an engine problem acted as a further blow on what will be considered a below-par weekend by the Silverstone-based squad.

Alex Albon

A poor qualifying once again put Alex Albon on the back foot and required him to make his latest recovery drive at Silverstone, while in the sister Red Bull Verstappen continued to extract the maximum from his RB16 en route to taking yet another podium behind the Mercedes.  

Albon’s hopes of landing a strong result on Sunday were curtailed after he clashed with Kevin Magnussen while fighting for a position he should have never been in at the end of the opening lap.

The collision at Club corner led to Albon picking up a five-second time penalty and damage to his car. The Anglo-Thai did not let his head drop and continued to plug away at the task at hand, ultimately resulting in an eighth place that was rather fortuitous amid a chaotic ending. 

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel’s weekend couldn’t have got off to a much worse start on Friday when his running was hampered by an intercooler problem (which forced him to miss FP1) and persistent brake pedal issues that continued into final practice on Saturday morning.

The German was struggling heading into qualifying and could only end up 10th on the grid, while Leclerc managed to get through Q2 on Mediums and scored Ferrari’s best qualifying result of the year.

In the race, things got no better. Vettel was left mystified as to why he was so far off the pace as he slumped home in 10th. The four-time world champion had no answer to Gasly’s late-charging AlphaTauri as he conceded position on what was possibly his most sobering weekend in Ferrari colours yet.

Pirelli

The three late left-front punctures for the Mercedes pair of Hamilton and Bottas, as well as Carlos Sainz’s Mclaren, may have resulted in an entertaining finale for the fans, but it threw the spotlight back onto F1’s official tyre supplier, Pirelli.

Silverstone’s high-speed nature makes it a test for tyres and similar failures were seen in the 2013 British Grand Prix, but with a second race at the same circuit coming up directly afterwards this weekend, Pirelli has little time to get to the bottom of the issues.

Pirelli boss Mario Isola has launched an urgent enquiry to understand what went wrong before the Italian manufacturer prepares to go a compound softer for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.

 

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