SILVERSTONE | Hamilton’s master strike at home leaves the championship hanging on a thread

by H. Mayor – photo: |  A demolishing win for Mercedes that leaves the championship steaming with excitement. The German Scuderia couldn’t have dreamt a better result at the weekend in Silverstone. Mercedes’ position of dominance, which could be glimpsed over the last few weeks, has been consolidated, delivering a massive blow to Ferrari. Hamilton made the most of the home crowd and achieved a fifth home victory after a weekend where he was the undisputed master. Bottas played well his supporting role and is now in a position to fight for the title himself. Vettel was treading water for most of the race and avoided catastrophe in extremis after his Pirelli tyres failed him miserably, making further headlines at Silverstone.

Lewis Hamilton is now just one point away in the classification from his rival for the title. At Silverstone he delivered an authoritative and flawless performance: an indisputable pole on Saturday and a driving rhythm nobody could keep up with on Sunday. His team-mate Bottas was instrumental in blocking any initial attempt from the Ferraris to pass through, allowing a pleasant and trouble free race for the the British hero. The alternating successes of different drivers seems to be the defining trait this season so it is worth having a look at what else happened behind Lewis.

Sebastian Vettel fought for third position over many laps but he didn’t expect his tyre to burst on the final straight. He had no choice but to go to boxes and lose the precious time that would condemn him to a final seventh place and to having 19 points shaved off the distance that separated him from Hamilton, who is now just one point away.


Pirelli was the other big name resounding this weekend and a key piece of this year’s Silverstone history. The extra hard tyres supplied by the Italian brand shaped the strategies on the track. The Ferraris made the most of them to push Verstappen out of the way and place themselves in second and third position. Everything seemed to be working out up until Raikkonen’s  burst followed soon after by Vettel’s which ruined both their chances.

Bottas and Verstappen had a better outcome, the former signing an outstanding comeback after changing his tyres. Ferrari’s half hearted reaction sentenced Raikkonen to a strategically irrelevant third position and Vettel to seventh place behind Hulkenberg. The Championship heats up.

Behind the lead, history repeated itself. Alonso’s Honda engine failed once more (another race where his car leaves him with no chance to even fight for points) setting the Spanish driver on his way to an unfortunate record: 8 out of 10 races without getting to the finish line. A very damaging outcome for a historic scuderia such as McLaren’s reputation. The other Spaniard on the grid, Carlos Sainz, hit the headlines after withdrawing from the race again because of an accident caused by Kvyat.

Other good news include the improving position of Force India, the sixth place of Hulkenberg and Verstappen’s positive progress.

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