Lewis Hamilton comfortably led a Mercedes 1-2 finish in Sunday’s British Grand Prix over teammate and polesitter Valtteri Bottas. And to put punctuation on it, Hamilton took away the fastest lap of the race on the very last lap with hard tires that had been on the car for 32 laps. The race win was decided by pit strategy that was jumbled up by a safety car segment.
Despite getting away from the start in fabulous fashion and running well ahead of his teammate, Valtteri Bottas failed to win the British Grand Prix. For the first segment of the race, the two Mercedes ran in lock step one behind each other. Bottas, as the leader, was given the option to pit first, and he took it. Lewis, meanwhile, stayed out a handful of laps later to play a different strategy. That paid dividends when Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi spun off and got stuck in the litter, calling out a safety car.
Because Lewis was able to pit as the field bunched up behind a safety car, he managed to return to the track still in the lead, ahead of Bottas. Lewis then managed to make a one-stop strategy function, while Bottas ran a set of soft tires on a two-stop strategy.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to the really interesting bit. Ferrari managed to fuck over Charles Leclerc again after he fought his way past Max Verstappen. A slow stop from Ferrari put Charles behind Max again.
But Max ran wide on cold tires and the pair diced for a few laps following. Then the safety car came out and Ferrari decided to hold Leclerc off for a lap while Sebastian Vettel pitted. This cost Leclerc dearly, and dropped from 3rd to 5th. THEN THE MADNESS HAPPENED.
This put Vettel up into 3rd ahead of Max Verstappen. Max put on an incredible show getting past Vettel with a great pass. With the red mist in his eyes, Vettel tried to stuff down the inside of Max to regain his lost spot. Then at the last second tucked back behind the Red Bull to follow around the corner. With the aero wash completely eating his downforce, his brakes immediately locked up the tires and he shoved right up the ass of Verstappen’s car. I literally cackled so loud that I woke up my entire household when I saw this contretemps come across my television screen.
Vettel, retire bitch.
This broke Vettel’s wing and he had to pit for a new one. He was also awarded a 10-second penalty for causing the contact, but he was already dead effing last anyway, so it didn’t really matter.
This elevated Pierre Gasly and Leclerc back up to 3rd and 4th, and Leclerc managed to get by Gasly for the podium spot. In spite of Ferrari’s best efforts to thwart him, Leclerc managed to podium anyway.
It wasn’t what I’d call a good race, but a lot of weird and interesting shit went down, so it was definitely an entertaining race.
Congrats to Lewis for his 6th British Grand Prix victory, more than any driver in history.
And congrats to Ferrari for (probably) signing Daniel Ricciardo to the team to replace Vettel for 2020. Calm down, that bit is sarcasm.