Grand Prix of Britain – Race

Great to see Hamilton on pole again, equalling Jim Clark’s record of five British GP poles and just one behind Schumacher’s record of 68 poles in total.

(I’m still playing catch up, watching the race almost a week later due to spending my weekend shooting the Toronto Indy again.)

Qualifying ended with this provisional grid: HAM, RAI, VET, BOT*, VER, HUL, PER, OCO, VAN, GRO, PAL, KVY, ALO*, SAI, MAS, STR, MAG, WEH, ERI, RIC*
*penalties to be applied for BOT (5 places), ALO (30 places!) and RIC (5 places).

There was drizzle at times during Quali; the forecast for the race has a possibility of rain but it seems vague as to when and how much.

As the dummy grid forms up, the air temperature 23°C; track 30°C

Grid: HAM, RAI, VET, VER, HUL, PER, OCO, VAN, BOT, GRO, PAL, KVY, SAI, MAS, STR, MAG, WEH, ERI, RIC, ALO

HAM leads everyone away on the formation lap
Radio from PAL – brake by wire failure, brake pedal going long
PAL pulls off to the side of the track; he’s told they’ve lost hydraulics

The grid forms up but PAL is still in a dangerous position
Smoke from OCO’s brakes, and from Force India teammate PER’s front left brake
Start is aborted; HAM leads the remaining 19 cars around on another formation lap
That also drops the race distance from 52 laps to 51

Grid forms up again; more smoke
Radio from VER reporting fire in VET’s rear left brake

01/51: VER up to P3 in Turn 1 but VET fights back
VER attacks again and this time keeps P3
Contact between the Toro Rosso pair; SAI is off but KVY has rejoined
HUL passes OCO for P5
Radio from SAI blaming KVY for his off

02: HAM, RAI, VER, VET, HUL, OCO, BOT, PER, VAN, MAS, GRO, STR, MAG, RIC, ERI, ALO, WEH, KVY; retirements: SAI, PAL
Safety Car deployed
Replay shows SAI passes KVY, then KVY runs wide and side-swipes SAI when he rejoined the track
Incident involving KVY and SAI under investigation – causing a collision

03[SC]: Replay of lap 1 – VER got a great start and was well ahead of VET before Turn 1
VER got boxed in behind RAI and VET reclaimed P3
Then VER drove around the outside of VET and secured P3

04[SC]: Marshalls steal cleaning up debris
WEH pits; soft tyres; rejoins still P17
SC in at the end of this lap
MAG reporting damage after he was clipped by the spinning SAI

05/51: RIC takes P13 from MAG
RIC now past STR for P12
ALO past MAG too
RIC runs wide, across the gravel; drops to P18

06: HAM fastest lap 1:33.079
BOT takes P6 from OCO
RIC fighting his way back up, passing KVY and ERI

07: DRS enabled
WEH forces Sauber teammate ERI wide; WEH takes P16

09: RIC on ALO’s tail
ALO ran a little wide but RIC’s not close enough to benefit
Drive-through penalty for KVY for rejoining the track unsafely

10/51: HAM, RAI, VER, VET, BOT, HUL, OCO, PER, VAN, MAS, GRO, STR, ALO, RIC, MAG, WEH, ERI, KVY
KVY serves his penalty

11: RIC still behind ALO, and ALO now attacking STR for P12

12: RIC dives inside ALO at Stowe; takes P13
VET closing on VER; how long before VET is on the radio whining about VER?

13: HAM f/lap 1:32.895
RIC inside STR to steal P12
VET looks for a way past VER
VER defends
VET pushes VER wide, then VER does the same to VET

14: HAM f/lap 1:32.504
Radio from VER – “he wants to play bumper cars or something!”
VET has another go but VER holds on to P3

15/51: HAM, RAI, VER, VET, BOT, HUL, OCO, PER, VAN, MAS, RIC, GRO, STR, ALO, MAG, ERI, WEH, KVY
VET has an armful of opposite lock as the Ferrari’s tail steps out

17: GRO reporting that RIC went off track in order to pass him

18: VET all over the gearbox of VER, looking for a tiny gap
Radio from VET complaining that VER moved under braking (I thought that rule had been dropped this season)
RIC closing on MAS who is in P10

19: HAM f/lap 1:32.360
VET pits from P4; soft tyres; rejoins P6 ahead of OCO
RIC attacks MAS into Stowe; MAS defends the outside line so RIC dives inside and takes P10

20/51: VER pits; softs; slow stop – 3.4sec – rear left was slow going on; rejoins just behind VET

21: HAM f/lap 1:32.286
Radio from VER asking what happened in the pit stop; told it was a problem with the wheel nut
VET f/lap 1:32.225
OCO pits; softs

22: VET easily past HUL for P4

23: HAM f/lap 1:32.190
VER past HUL too
RIC takes P8 from VAN

25/51: HAM, RAI, BOT, VET, VER, HUL, RIC, VAN, MAS, MAG, OCO, PER, ERI, WEH, GRO, ALO, KVY, STR; retirements: SAI, PAL
RAI pits from P2; softs; rejoins P3, well ahead of his teammate
HUL pits; rejoins P9

Half distance

26: HAM pits from P1; softs; 2.3sec stop; rejoins alongside BOT; HAM edges ahead to remain P1
Radio for HAM – “if you can’t pull away from Valtteri (BOT) then let him pass”; HAM says “I’ll pull him along with me” 🙂

28: HAM f/lap 1:31.529
Radio from RAI – “there is something jumping” by his leg(?)
Radio from KVY – “right front (?) is broken”; told to pit

29: KVY pits; they change his tyres and send him out again

30/51: HAM, BOT, RAI, VET, VER, RIC, HUL, MAG, OCO, PER, MAS, VAN, GRO, WEH, ALO, STR, ERI, KVY
PER is faster than OCO but will Force India instruct the drivers to switch order, and if so will OCO comply?

31: Blisters appearing on both of BOT’s front tyres; how long before he pits?

33: BOT pits from P2; super softs going on (because he starts on softs); rejoins P4 between VET and VER
RIC pits; rejoins behind the Force India pair

34: ALO has lost power; pits and retires the McLaren
RIC gets very close to PER

35/51: HAM, RAI, VET, BOT, VER, HUL, MAG, OCO, PER, RIC, MAS, VAN, GRO, STR, ERI, KVY, WEH
RIC takes P9 from PER
RIC inside OCO at Stowe to go P8

36: MAG is the only one yet to pit; currently P8

38: Radio from HAM reporting his tyres are blistered

39: MAG pits; rejoins P13
OCO runs a little wide in Woodcote

40/51: HAM, RAI, VET, BOT, VER, HUL, RIC, OCO, PER, MAS

41: Radio from VET – “my left front tyre is giving up”

42: BOT closing on VET

43: BOT tries to go around the outside of VET into Stowe; VET pushes BOT wide
BOT gets close again in Luffield but VET closes the door

44: BOT takes P3 and starts to open a gap
STR in the pits – that’s late if it’s a scheduled stop

45/51: HAM, RAI, BOT, VET, VER, HUL, RIC, OCO, PER, MAS (MAS has been lapped)
GRO pits too
Radio from VET saying “I have no more front (tyres)”
Radio for VER telling him that VET is struggling with his tyres
Replay of contact between GRO and a Sauber (ERI?)

46: HAM laps PER (P9) and then OCO
BOT f/lap 1:31.007

47 = 5 laps left: RAI has BOT closing in on him

48: Radio for RIC telling him he’ll catch HUL before the end

49: Radio from HUL asking why “so many derates?” (losing battery power); team says there is a problem
HAM f/lap 1:30.621
RAI has a front left puncture; BOT steams past for P2

50/51: HAM, BOT, RAI, VET, VER, HUL, RIC, OCO, PER, MAS
RAI pits from P3; rejoins P4
VER pits too; on the radio saying “should have stayed out”; rejoins P5
VET has run wide – he’s got a puncture too!

51 = final lap: VET is limping around with his front left tyre flapping around
VET pits; he was down to P7 when he came into the pits

HAM takes the chequered flag
BOT home for P2
RAI followed by VER and RIC – when did RIC pass HUL?

Wow, what a couple of laps right at the end!
Radio for VER – “what happened to VET is exactly why we pitted you”

Provisional result: HAM, BOT, RAI, VER, RIC, HUL, VET, OCO, PER, MAS; VAN, MAG, GRO, ERI, KVY, STR, WEH
DNF: ALO, SAI, PAL

In the pre-podium room, HAM and BOT talk about blistering tyres and RAI just looks like he wants to be left alone.

HAM equals Jim Clark & Alain Prost’s record of 5 British GP victories, and equals Jim Clark’s record of four consecutive GB GP wins.

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