Ask any driver about his favourite tracks and Silverstone will always make it to the list. The fast flowing circuit posses a great challenge for the drivers and engineers alike. On Sunday, Lewis Hamilton, at this very track returned to the title fight with a victory from sixth on the grid. Valtteri Bottas racked in his second successive podium finish to pilot Williams to fourth in the constructors championship while Jenson Button did all he could to secure his first rostrum finish at his home race, only to miss out by less than a second to Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo. Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso also provides us with an amusing and an equally nail biting fight as the world champions fought for a lowly fifth place result at the British Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton, in his own words, ‘’needed this result’’ after falling 29 points behind teammate and title rival Nico Rosberg in the drivers standings. The British driver started the race from sixth place after a well documented error in qualifying. However, things were a lot brighter on Sunday with the home hero moving up to fourth place in the opening sequence of corners before red flags brought the race to a halt.
Once the race resumed, he overtook the McLaren duo of Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button to set up the foundation of a close battle between him and Nico Rosberg. After the first round of pitstops, Hamilton was closing in on Rosberg by nearly a second on the orange stripe hard tyres, before the latter retired from the race due to a gearbox problem. With Rosberg out of the race, Hamilton cruised to his fifth win of the season and in the process, closed the gap to just four points in the drivers points tally.
After impressive in a mediocre machinery in 2013, Valtteri Bottas finally has a car in which he can deliver strong results, with the Finn racking up his second straight podium finish in Formula 1. This result is more impressive than the one in Austria as the the 24 year old had to fight his way up the grid from fourth place, instead of retaining his position from the front row.
For this, he gained five positions on the opening lap of the race, and then continued to move up the order on a one-stop strategy. He thus compensated for Massa’s lap one retirement and, in fact, helped Williams to edge ahead of Force India in the constructors standings.
Daniel Ricciardo was one of the many drivers that fell prey of tricky conditions in qualifying on Saturday. However, he made up that with a beautifully executed strategy when it mattered the post - race day. From eighth on the grid, Ricciardo gained a place on the opening lap of the race before red flags brought the race to a halt. Surprisingly, he then did a short middle stint on the hard tyres before doing 37 laps on the less durable but faster medium tyres. As other pitted, he kept on gained positins and eventually held off the final spot on the podium, beating Jenson Button’s McLaren by only 0.9 seconds when the chequered flag was waved on lap 52.
Jenson Button missed out on an emotional first podium finish in front of his home fans on #PinkForPapa day but nevertheless put on a strong drive to finish in fourth place.
The Brit exploited the tricky conditions in qualifying to record his best starting position of the season. But with dry conditions on Sunday, it was always going to be tough for Button to hold his position in the race. And while the 34 year old had no answer to Williams of Valtteri Bottas and Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton, he did pushed as hard as he could to steal third place from Daniel Ricciardo, before simply running out of laps.
After a poor qualifying session relegated him to 16th on the grid, Fernando Alonso drove masterfully on Sunday in what was probably the drive of the race. The Spaniard started on the hard tyres which he cleverly disposed off under the red flags. He then overtook a number of drivers in the race before enganging himself in a thrilling battle with Sebastian Vettel, the highlight of which was his pass over the German at the Corpse corner. However, in the end, the 32 year had to concede fifth place to Vettel who was on much fresher tyres.