Despite the top pole position, Hamilton made a bad start. He allowed Williams duo of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas to pass him early. His teammate Nico Rosberg also gave up his second place on the grid. Then the safety car came out as a crash took place in the first lap itself. Lotus team-mates Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado collided and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso’s car spun viciously in trying to take evasive action but Alonso’s teammate Jenson Button was also caught in the heap. Of these four, only Alonso could continue after changing to new front wing but it was curtains for Grosjean, Maldonado and Button. At the restart, Hamilton tried to get past Massa but the Williams driver held his line and forced Hamilton to go off the track. Hamilton’s loss of momentum allowed Bottas to go past the 2014 champion and at the end of 4 laps, Hamilton and Rosberg were still chasing the two Williams drivers. Later the rain made the situation even worse for Hamilton but as the rain fell in torrents, the champion made a brave decision on lap 44 and pitted for intermediate tyres. The class of the world champion was evident as he got a clear jump on his rivals with new tyres. In the end, it was Lewis Hamilton on top, yet again at Silverstone. It was his third career British Grand Prix victory and his fifth victory of the 2015 season.
In the qualifying on Saturday, Hamilton took his third pole at British GP followed by teammate Nico Rosberg and Williams drivers Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas. Ferrari’s Raikkonen and Vettel were 5th and 6th and the last four grid spots were taken respectively by Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz, Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo. But on Sunday, Hamilton made a mess of his top pole position and allowed Felipe Massa to pass on turn one after the safety car period because of the lap one crash. The other Williams driver Valtteri Bottas also went past Hamilton. Rosberg had even worse start and he too was overtaken by the Williams duo. Right behind Rosberg was Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, who powered his way from ninth on the grid. On sixth and seventh places were Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat. Vettel dropped to eighth ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez and Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz.
Massa still led the race after 8 laps but he came under pressure from team-mate Bottas. This battle allowed Hamilton to close the gap to 0.7s on Bottas. Rosberg stayed a little behind on fourth place. By lap 15, both Ferrari drivers had pitted and changed to hard tyres before rejoing as ninth and tenth. The new tyres helped them faster lap times. On lap 20, Hamilton also went to pits for hard tyres and emerged on the fourth place ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez. When Massa pitted, he took a slightly longer time and when he emerged, he had lost his leadership position on the track to Hamilton but Valtteri Bottas was still ahead of the Briton.
On the next lap, when Bottas pitted, he lost his lead to Hamilton. Bottas came out behind Massa and the two Williams drivers were challenged by Rosberg. At the beginning of lap 25, Hamilton led Massa by almost three seconds and enhanced that to 6 seconds on lap 32. Safety car came out yet again on lap 33 as Sainz got stuck off the track at the final corner and field was put under restriction until lap 35. As rain began to fall once again, Bottas wanted new tyres but he was asked to continue. As the rain grew steadier, Bottas struggled and lost speed to allow Rosberg to come closer. The German went past Bottas as the Williams driver lost his grip and at lap 41, Rosberg passed Massa as well to take the second position. On lap 44, Hamilton went to the pits for intermediate tyres in what was later hailed as one of the most strategic decisions from the Briton. Rosberg briefly took the lead but track conditions demanded that he too should change to interns. After Rosberg emerged from pits, he fell behind Hamilton. Vettel had also pitted for intermediates at the same time as Hamilton that when he came out, he was in the third place behind Rosberg.
When the race ended on the 52nd lap, Hamilton was first, followed by Rosberg and Vettel. Williams Massa and Bottas were fourth and fifth ahead of Kvyat and Hulkenberg. The eighth place was taken by Raikkonen, ninth by Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso brought up the rear as tenth.
Hamilton joined fellow Britons Nigel Mansell and Jim Clark as a three-time winner of the British Grand Prix. Hamilton stretched his Drivers’ Championship lead over Rosberg to 17. As for Sebastian Vettel, despite the sixth podium finish of the season, he is still way down in the championship points table. The next race is the Hungarian GP at Budapest during July 24-26, 2015 after a long 3-week summer break.
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