Formulation One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 18, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates after profitable the race REUTERS/Peter Cziborra
July 18, 2021
By Alan Baldwin
SILVERSTONE, England (Reuters) -Lewis Hamilton celebrated a file eighth British Grand Prix victory on Sunday after combating again from a 10-second penalty for a first-lap collision that halted the race and despatched title rival Max Verstappen to hospital.
The Mercedes driver, now solely eight factors behind Purple Bull’s Verstappen after 10 races, handed Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc with two laps to go as a capability 140,000 crowd rose to cheer on their house hero.
Hamilton’s group mate Valtteri Bottas completed third after being advised to let Hamilton by means of to chase Leclerc, who had led from the re-start and was voted driver of the day.
The win was the 99th of seven-times world champion Hamilton’s Formulation One profession, fourth of the present marketing campaign and one of many extra controversial in his lengthy listing of achievements.
It was additionally the worst attainable end result for Verstappen, who had began on pole place with a 33-point lead however failed to finish a lap after struggling the largest accident of his profession when he crashed out at Copse nook.
Hamilton went down the within, Verstappen moved throughout they usually tangled wheels — the Purple Bull’s rear proper touching the entrance left of the Mercedes.
The stewards deemed Hamilton was guilty.
Purple Bull group principal Christian Horner criticised Hamilton for a mistake he deemed beginner, harmful and determined however Mercedes boss Toto Wolff mentioned it “takes two to tango”.
Verstappen was flown by helicopter to hospital in Coventry after preliminary checks on the circuit and launched at 2200 native time with none main accidents, the group mentioned.
A day that was nearly a return to pre-pandemic normality, with crowds cheering within the sunshine from packed grandstands, ended with a British winner, an exhilarating late chase for victory – and lots to argue about.
It additionally lit a fireplace beneath the title battle, after earlier pleasantries between the 2 rivals, with the gloves now decidedly off and Purple Bull’s momentum abruptly halted after 5 wins in a row.
From being 44 factors clear within the constructors’ championship, Purple Bull are actually solely 4 forward of Mercedes.
The front-running pair are actually at daggers drawn with Purple Bull accusing Hamilton of harmful driving and the Briton highlighting Verstappen’s aggressive method.
None of that was stopping Hamilton from celebrating along with his military of followers.
“It is a dream for me at present, to do it in entrance of you all,” Hamilton advised the largest sporting crowd in Britain since COVID-19 made its presence felt. Final 12 months’s race was held with out spectators.
“I all the time attempt to be measured in how I method, significantly with battling with Max, he’s very aggressive. After which at present I used to be totally alongside him and he didn’t depart area.
“No matter whether or not I agree with the penalty, I take it on the chin and I simply saved working.
“I used to be like ‘I’m not going to let something get in the way in which of the group’s enjoyment of the weekend and the nationwide anthem and the British flag’.”
Leclerc additionally saved his head up after lacking out on Ferrari’s first win since 2019.
“I gave not 100% however I gave 200%. I gave all of me however it was simply not sufficient within the final two laps,” mentioned the Monegasque.
“Congratulations to Lewis, he did an unbelievable job.”
There was no level awarded for quickest lap, with Purple Bull’s Mexican Sergio Perez setting it after which retiring with no prospect of the highest 10 end that will have triggered the bonus.
The primary goal at that time, nonetheless, was to maintain it out of Hamilton’s arms.
McLaren’s Lando Norris gave the followers extra to cheer about with fourth place, a end result that lifted him to 3rd within the standings, forward of Australian group mate Daniel Ricciardo.
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was sixth, his hopes hit by a caught wheel in a gradual pitstop however the factors serving to Ferrari slender the hole to McLaren.
Behind them, double world champion Fernando Alonso was seventh for Renault-owned Alpine with Canadian Lance Stroll eighth for Aston Martin.
French driver Esteban Ocon made a return to the factors with ninth for Alpine and AlphaTauri’s Japanese rookie Yuki Tsunoda took the ultimate level.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Enhancing by Toby Davis, Pritha Sarkar and Hugh Lawson)