2015 British Grand Prix Race Review

silverstone-arena-circuit

On Saturday, we saw Lewis Hamilton taking Pole Position for the British Grand Prix ahead of his team mate Nico Rosberg and Williams driver Felipe Massa.

Before the start of the race, Felipe Nasr stopped at Stowe corner with problems on his Sauber car and will not be starting the Grand Prix.

Felipe Massa leads the grid into the first corner of the race. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Felipe Massa leads the grid into the first corner of the race. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

The British Grand Prix is underway! Felipe Massa has had a blistering start and passes Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton for the lead of the race. Valtteri Bottas has also had a great start and is now in second place.

Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado collide with each other at Village corner on the opening lap of the race. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado collide with each other at Village corner on the opening lap of the race. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

At Village corner, both of the Lotus drivers have collided with each other after coming together; with both retiring from the race and also Jenson Button has gone off into the gravel trap after hitting his team mate Fernando Alonso as a result of the Lotus incident and has retired from the race.

Also on the opening lap, we saw Daniil Kvyat battling with Sebastian Vettel for track position and was able to get past, Rosberg and Bottas were also battling each other for position on the track; however due to the incident between Grosjean and Maldonado; the Safety Car was deployed.

Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen on Lap 3 going off the circuit. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

At the end of Lap 3 as the Safety Car was coming in, Hamilton tries to have a go at passing Massa, fails to do so; misses the chicane and this allows Bottas to pass him for second place. This then also puts him under attack from his team mate who cannot pass him. Max Verstappen went into the barriers after losing the car and officially retires from the race.

Meanwhile, Vettel loses two places to Kvyat and Sergio Perez and appears to be going slowly. On Lap 5, the stewards announce that an investigation between Button and Grosjean will be taking place after the race.

Felipe Massa leads Valtteri Bottas in the opening stages of the British GP. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Felipe Massa leads Valtteri Bottas in the opening stages of the British GP. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Lap 6 sees Massa leading Bottas by 0.8 seconds. By Lap 9, the Williams team instruct both of their drivers “not to race each other”; while on the track, Vettel at Brooklands corner passes Perez for track position. The next lap sees Bottas trying to pass Massa through Stowe but is unable to pass.

Valtteri Bottas chasing down his team mate Felipe Massa in the early stages of the British GP. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Valtteri Bottas chasing down his team mate Felipe Massa in the early stages of the British GP. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Meanwhile, the Williams team radio saga is still ongoing. Bottas has now been told that if he has the opportunity to make a “clear” move, he can do so and is still keeping the pressure on Massa. By Lap 18, Massa still leads Bottas by 0.6 seconds; with Bottas still trying to get past his team mate. At the end of Lap 19, Hamilton pits.

On Lap 20 of the race, Raikkonen passes Marcus Ericsson for track position while at the end of the lap, Massa and Rosberg put for new tyres and hands the lead to Bottas. But Massa loses a place to Hamilton after he performs the undercut and Massa is now under pressure from Rosberg and Bottas pits at the end of the lap for new tyres.

Lewis Hamilton leads the race on Lap

Lewis Hamilton leads the race on Lap 23 of the British GP. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

 

But Bottas nearly loses third place to Rosberg after he tries to pass him, however Bottas drove well and very defensively to maintain his position. On Lap 23 of the race, Hamilton leads the race ahead of Massa by 3.4 seconds and Daniel Ricciardo officially retires from the race after suffering a terminal problem with his Renault engine.

With dark clouds looming over the Silverstone circuit; the threat of rain is looking ever more stronger at this stage of the race and is expected in 30 minutes. There is a battle between Massa and Bottas for second place on the circuit. Hamilton still leads the race ahead of Massa by 5,2 seconds on Lap 30.

Carlos Sainz Jr officially retires from the race on Lap 33 of the British GP. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Carlos Sainz Jr officially retires from the race on Lap 33 of the British GP. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

There is a battle on the track between Sainz Jr and Perez for ninth place; with Perez gaining on him all the time; even though he went into the run off area while trying to catch him. On Lap 33 of the race, Sainz Jr officially retired his Toro Rosso after a good weekend for him and as a result of his, this brought out the virtual safety car as the Toro Rosso car is recovered.

We are back racing on Lap 35 and several drivers are reporting that light rain has now hit the Silverstone circuit. The rain two laps later is getting heavier in several parts of the track and the drivers and the teams are still debating what to do in terms of strategy. Lap 39 sees Vettel passing Raikkonen for track position. Rosberg has now passed Bottas for position on the track at Corpse corner.

Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg  catching his team mate on Lap 42 of the Grand Prix. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Lap 41 of the race sees Rosberg passing Massa for second place of the race with a great move. With another rain shower expected in the final ten laps of the race, people wondered if the drivers would be pitting for intermediate or wet weather tyres. With Raikkonen losing a place to Perez, it seems like he may have blinked too soon.

Rosberg is quickly gaining on Hamilton and it would appear that Hamilton doesn’t like the conditions and wants to change tyres and pits at the end of Lap 43 and hands the lead to Rosberg and is on intermediate tyres. Rosberg now pits at the end of Lap 44 and hands the lead back to his team mate Hamilton.

Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen spinning on Stowe corner on Lap 45 of the Grand Prix. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

The next lap sees Raikkonen at Stowe corner spinning on the track; he regains control of the car and is able to continue on in the race.

Lewis Hamilton leads the field in the latter stages of the British GP. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Lewis Hamilton leads the field in the latter stages of the British GP. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Lap 47 sees Hamilton leading Rosberg by 9.1 seconds. Will Stevens the next lap goes off the circuit and knocked the barrier. he damaged his front wing but was able to continue on during the race.

Lewis Hamilton wins the British GP ahead of Nico Rosberg in second place and Sebastian Vettel in third place. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Lewis Hamilton wins the British GP ahead of Nico Rosberg in second place and Sebastian Vettel in third place. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

 

 

 

Hamilton leads Rosberg by 11.9 seconds on the final lap of the race. Hamilton takes the chequered flag and for the third time at the British Grand Prix and has equalled the record set by Nigel Mansell and Jim Clark which is fantastic.

Rosberg is second 10.9 seconds behind Hamilton and Vettel is a great third 25.4 second behind Hamilton.

Massa is a credible fourth 36.8 seconds behind Hamilton, Bottas finished fifth 1.03 seconds behind Hamilton, Kvyat was a credible sixth 1.03  seconds behind Hamilton, Hulkenberg finishes seventh 1.18 lap down on Hamilton, Raikkonen finished in eighth place one lap down from Hamilton, Perez finished in ninth place one lap down on Hamilton and Alonso picked up the final point in tenth 1 lap behind Hamilton and picked up his first points of the year.

Lewis Hamilton leads the Drivers’ Championship with 194 points, Rosberg is second with 177 points, Vettel is third with 175 points, Bottas is fourth with 77 points, Raikkonen is fifth with 76 points, Massa is sixth with 74 points, Ricciardo is seventh with 36 points, Kvyat is eighth with 27 points, Hulkenberg is ninth with 24 points and Grosjean is tenth with 17 points.

Mercedes lead the Constructors Championship with 371 points, Ferrari is second with 211points, Williams are third with 151 points, Red Bull are fourth with 63 points, Force India are fifth with 39 points, Lotus are sixth with 29 points, Sauber are seventh with 21 points, Toro Rosso are eighth with 19 points and McLaren-Honda are ninth with 5 points.

Conclusion

I feel that McLaren have had an reasonable race today after all their problems this weekend. It is sad to see my team where they are currently, but this season has to be a building and foundation year for both parties and have to go through this process in order to get to the other side and become more competitive.

This weekend has shown that McLaren have had a small step with their performance and pace with the car and Alonso managed to score his first points of the season. But the McLaren team have a lot of work to do in order to try and extract performance from their car that they need in order to get back to competitive ways once again as quickly as possible.

The biggest surprise this weekend for me was Vettel getting third place in the race today. I do feel that Vettel drove a superb race to gain third today and it is very well deserved. He did a brilliant job today and has shown that despite not having the outright pace to challenge their rivals, he drove a great race to claim this result today.

Kvyat, Perez, Hulkenberg, Massa and Bottas do deserve mentions. Firstly, Kvyat deserves a mention for most of the weekend with the car been able to extract a little bit more pace and performance. As I have already stated before, I believe that Kvyat managed to extract some performance from the car and was rewarded with a point for his efforts after everything that he encountered during the race.

Also, Perez did a credible job to finish ninth. Perez this weekend has managed to extract pace and performance from the car and I feel that the results that Perez achieved today will only spur on the Force India team to try and keep this momentum going further into the 2015 season and try to catch the Red Bull team for fourth in the Constructors Championship.

Hulkenberg did a credible job to finish in seventh place today after a good race. His race may have been a lonely one but he battled through to get some points after showing form throughout the weekend and this will only motivate the team and himself further to keep this up as the season moves to Hungary in a few weeks time.

Massa had a good race to get fourth place and scored more points. Even though the sage between himself and his team mate will be on people’s minds;  this will only spur him on to try and achieve results like this for the rest of the season while also picking up much needed points for the Willams team who extended their position in the Constructors Championship today.

Bottas had a reasonable race today to get fifth place today. He battled his way through the field and created some great overtaking moves to get there. Bottas may not have had the weekend that he wanted with Williams after what his team mate has achieved today (and what happened in the race), but he did the best that he could do and picked up some more points for the team who have extended their lead over their rivals Red Bull in the Constructors today.

Vettel drove a solid race to get third place today. Even though Vettel still managed to beat his team mate who sadly went to the intermediate tyres at the wrong time and finished in eighth place. This season we have seen Vettel showing why he was approached by Ferrari in the first place and that he is without a doubt a potential winner this season again if he can get everything together in a weekend.

Rosberg deserves a mention. He drove a solid race today to second place. He may not have won the battle with Hamilton; and had to battle his way through but he did a great job to maintain his great start to the season with a podium at every Grand Prix in 2015 so far.

All that is left to say about this race is that Hamilton deserved to win today and he needed to in order to keep the battle going with Nico.  His driving was brilliant and controlled throughout the race. Mercedes has built on the results that they have gained so far this season with him and have shown that they are just the best team on the grid at the moment.

Will Hungary in three weeks time be yet another race Mercedes will win? Or can their rivals catch up to them? And who will be leading the championship, will it be Rosberg or will it be Hamilton? Only time will tell!

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