Lewis Hamilton has won the 2020 British Grand Prix as the race which saw a massive lull period through the middle, exploded by the end of the race, thanks to Pirelli. After a poor strategy call trying to claim the fastest lap of the race, Red Bull threw away the race win for Max Verstappen who finished second and Charles Leclerc scooped up the final podium spot for Ferrari. The race started with 19 cars on the grid after Nico Hulkenberg who was chosen to fill in for Sergio Perez for Racing Point couldn’t get going with engine issues and never made it out of the garage. As the lights went out, Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas from the front row got off to the good start and began to pull away from the pack with the pace from the Mercedes cars. While there was drama initially in the race with Kevin Magnussen and Daniil Kvyat crashing and bringing out the Safety Car, not much else took place of notable interest over a significant course of the race. But when the second time the safety car was summoned to clear the Alpha Tauri of the Russian in the early phase of the race on lap 13, a majority of the grid pitted for the harder compound tyres hoping to get to the end of the race.
While the middle chunk of the race saw minimal battles, barring a few overtakes in the mid-field courtesy the McLarens of Sainz and Norris. But that change to hard tyres on lap 13 would reveal that the tyres would not survive as expected and reported by Pirelli.
First, it was Kimi Raikkonen at the back of the grid whose front left just gave up in the closing stages of the race on his Alfa Romeo. The Finn limped to the pits to finish a lonely last place. However, further up the order, Carlos Sainz had similar issues and so did Valtteri Bottas who was running in second with just 3 laps to go.
Seeing a limping Mercedes, and a gap of over 23 seconds to the next car, Red Bull called in Max Verstappen from third place for a new set of tyres hoping to claim that extra point for the fastest lap of the race. But as Verstappen pulled in to the pits, after leading 51 laps, Hamilton’s front left also punctured and delaminated. With Verstappen on fresh tyres chasing down the Mercedes hoping to capitalise, Hamilton was trying to limp his car to the chequered flag.
Had Red Bull not pitted Verstappen, the Dutchman would have pipped Hamilton for the victory of the race. However, that was not to be as Hamilton limped his three-wheeled Mercedes across the line to claim his seventh British Grand Prix victory. Although, after the race, Red Bull claimed that Verstappen’s tyre may have suffered the same fate had he not been called in for a new set.
After his tyre failed, Bottas limped into the pits but finished 11th and failed to score points. Thanks to witch Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari capitalised by finishing fourth after Ferrari struggled with pace all weekend which was made apparent in the race.
Daniel Ricciardo finished fourth for Renault ahead of Norris in the McLaren in fifth. Esteban Ocon came across the line in sixth ahead of Pierre Gasly in seventh for Alpha Tauri. Alex Albon recovered to finish eighth after his clash and penalty for Red Bull as Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel were the final top-10 finishers of the race.
But while Bottas ended up in 11th, George Russell climbed up to finished 12th for Williams and that’s worth celebrating for the young Brit and the struggling and iconic F1 team.
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