British Grand Prix – Live reaction to Hamilton’s record win
Lewis Hamilton wins record sixth British Grand Prix.
A breathless day of racing at Silverstone then, with Lewis Hamilton making history and the rest of the top 10 engaging in some entertaining battles.
The German Grand Prix is up next, but for now, here’s Lewis Hamilton making history at his home GP.
Hamilton has won seven of the opening 10 races of the 2019 season, but such is Mercedes’ dominance he only leads Bottas by 39 points.
The battle for third is more interesting, with Verstappen, Vettel and Leclerc separated by just 16 points.
Hamilton will dominate the headlines, but he’s not the only one who will leave Silverstone happy.
Mark Webber is really going for his former Red Bull team-mate Vettel on Channel 4, questioning the four-time champion after his incident with Verstappen.
Vettel finished 16th and his championship hopes are in tatters at the halfway stage in the season.
Verstappen has reacted angrily to crashes in the past, but it looks like Vettel has moved quickly to placate the Dutchman.
“He (Vettel) said that was his mistake, so what can you do. It’s unfortunate because we were both fighting for the podium,” Verstappen said.
Hamilton extends his championship lead over Bottas with that win, and Mercedes complete another one-two finish to tighten their grip on the constructors’ championship.
Hamilton is among the fans now, as has become tradition for the five-time world champion.
Leclerc might not have won, but the Monegasque has a strong claim to the driver of the day crown.
Leclerc completes the podium after some magnificent racing against Verstappen, who has to settle for fifth after that incident with Vettel.
Sainz earns valuable points for McLaren by finishing sixth, while Albon takes the final point.
“I can’t tell you how proud I am,” Hamilton tells Jenson Button.
LEWIS HAMILTON WINS THE BRITISH GRAND PRIX
Hamilton makes it look so easy sometimes. He goes purple to secure the fastest lap of the race, earning a bonus point in the process, and winning a record sixth British Grand Prix.
Well then. Hamilton appears to be refusing to come in with five laps to go. The Brit has a 21-second advantage over Bottas but he doesn’t fancy the pit stop and back inside go the mechanics for now.
Ricciardo has Sainz in his sights and is sizing the McLaren up for a potential sixth-place grab. Leclerc looks to have sealed another podium position.
Vettel is given a 10-second time penalty as a result of that incident. The German is running last as it stands anyway, while Verstappen is making the best of it in fifth.
With just eight laps to go it looks like Hamilton is comfortable, but in a potentially conservative move the Brit has been called in. Bottas will also need to stop, while the gap to Leclerc looks safe enough for the championship leader.
The battle for the final point currently looks like it could be between Kimi Raikkonen of Alfa Romeo and Alexander Albon of Toro Rosso, with less than a second between them.
And here comes Verstappen on Vettel, the Dutchman hanging onto the German’s coat tails, AND THERE IS CONTACT. Verstappen makes the overtake stick and Vettel simply runs into the back of the Red Bull.
Both cars fly into the gravel trap and somehow make their way back onto the track. They’re still going but both have suffered damage. Verstappen cannot believe it.
With 31 laps of the 52 completed, the race is settling into its rhythm. The big news is that Hamilton appears to be consolidating first place from Bottas, while the Red Bulls are in a Ferrari sandwich, running fourth and fifth respectively.
Three retirements – Giovinazzi, Grosjean and Magnussen – have taken place, and the McLarens are both in the points at their home race with Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo behind them.
Vettel has managed to avoid all the drama and has moved from sixth to third, as Verstappen and Leclerc again leave the spectators breathless by swapping positions before Verstappen takes fifth place back.
Hamilton sets the fastest lap of the race, as Gasly lets Verstappen take fourth place and positions himself between his team-mate and the young Ferrari driver. Is that the end of that battle?
The safety car has been good news for some and bad news for others.
“How the hell did we lose the position?” asks Charles Leclerc over the radio after Verstappen emerges in front of him.
An answer was not forthcoming, but the track is being bunched right up again by the safety car.
The McLarens meanwhile have won the lottery, with both Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris in seventh and eighth now.
It’s bad news for Haas, who have had to retire both Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean in a matter of laps.
Hamilton now leads the race after Bottas’s pit stop, the Brit attempting to extend the gap between him and his team-mate to more than the 17 seconds.
There’s a safety car after Antonio Giovinazzi runs into trouble, and that’s Hamilton’s cue to pit. He does so and emerges with the hard tyre, on which he could go to the end. More importantly, he remains ahead of Bottas.
And here come the pit stops. Verstappen and Leclerc both box at the same time and are side by side on the pit exit.
Verstappen wins the race back to the track, but the Monegasque retakes the place almost immediately as the Red Bull runs wide.
Keep your eyes on those two.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has just told Channel 4 that he expects Verstappen to be having a go at Leclerc shortly – what a battle that could be.
Hamilton meanwhile continues to keep Bottas’ lead to under a second, the pair pulling away from the rest of the pack, around five seconds clear.
And here goes Verstappen, who is unable to get past Leclerc and almost gets backed into Vettel. It’s then Vettel’s turn to defend, and Gasly takes the place back from the German!
Goodness. Hamilton makes a stunning move to go around Bottas, but Bottas fights back immediately at Copse. Brilliant racing, but Toto Wolff might be sweating just watching it.
Further back Vettel made up a place on Gasly at the start, and replays show there was contact between the two Haas cars too.
LIGHTS OUT AND AWAY WE GO
Everyone gets away remarkably cleanly, but it’s as you were at the top as Bottas manages to resist pressure from Hamilton around the first lap.
Elsewhere Leclerc held onto third place while Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo enjoyed a small duel in the opening stages.
Hamilton continues to poke and prod into the corners, he’s not letting his team-mate relax.
A reminder of how they line up.
With most of the pre-race formalities completed, it’s almost time to get down to business.
In terms of race strategy, Ferrari will start on the soft tyre while Mercedes and Red Bull are on the mediums to begin. The soft tyre option means Ferrari will likely pit earlier than those on the mediums.
Reports meanwhile that Verstappen has had endplate issues in the build-up to lights out – how will he respond?
It really is a star-studded affair on the track today – here’s James Bond star Daniel Craig posing for a photo with the Red Bull drivers.
This season marks a special milestone for Frank Williams meanwhile, as the owner and co-founder of Williams Grand Prix Engineering reflects on half a century as an F1 Team Principal.
As part of the celebrations Hamilton took Williams on a special lap (or two) of Silverstone.
Mercedes completed yet another front-row lockout in qualifying, but who is in the running to knock them off their perch?
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc couldn’t quite keep up with the Mercedes cars, but was not far off the pace.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen joins the Monegasque on the second row, while Pierre Gasly will start fifth and Sebastian Vettel sixth. Can any of them break the Silver Arrows’ dominance?
Lewis Hamilton described this race as “the best grand prix of the whole year” and there was certainly drama in qualifying as just six thousandths of a second separated the five-time world champion and Bottas.
“It wasn’t good enough,” said Hamilton. “We worked hard but it got away from us.
“I had that mistake on the first lap and the second one wasn’t that great.
“Tomorrow is a long race, but we have got a great crowd here so hopefully I can do something.”
The stars are out around the track, with just under an hour to go before the race begins at Silverstone.
On a bumper day of sport the British Grand Prix could see Lewis Hamilton become the most successful driver in the illustrious races’ history.
Hamilton, who currently tops the list alongside Jim Clarke and Alain Prost – each with five wins to their name – will have to overhaul teammate Valtteri Bottas however, who edged the Brit in the battle for pole position by 0.006 seconds.
Hamilton leads the drivers’ championship by 31 points, while 2018 title rival Sebastian Vettel is 76 points behind this year’s leader.
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