The outcome of the British Grand Prix was heavily influenced by strategy calls, with two rain showers of varying velocity hitting the track in the second half of the race. And while the decision to pit is made collectively by the teams and the drivers, the onus of executing them lies with the latter. Further, it is upon the these 20 men to make most of varying situations, with some struggling in the wet and others thriving in those very conditions.
Lewis Hamilton was no match to the fast starting pairing of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, with both overtaking him by the opening sequences of corners. Although Hamilton was able to repass Bottas, he again dropped down to third after a failed attempt to overtake Massa.
The British driver then held on to both the Williams drivers and moved ahead of them in the first round of pit stops, establishing a comfortable lead up front. His second stop was equally well timed and coincided with the rain shower, allowing him to cruise to the finish line and notch successive victories at home turf.
Although it wasn’t a perfect run by Hamilton, especially with how things panned out in the first half of the race, the 30 year old was always in prime position to have the first call on pit stops, which ultimately won him the race.
We have seen Nico Rosberg drop back from Lewis Hamilton quite often this season, but that wasn't the case at the British Grand Prix. Rosberg remained within a second of his teammate for the first stint and was in touching distance of the Williams pairing after the first round of pitstops.
But it was his drive between the two wet periods that won him a place in our rankings. The German was in a league of his own for those five laps or so, overtaking Bottas and Massa in quick succession and then initiating a charge on Hamilton.
Rosberg cut Hamilton’s advantage by nearly nine seconds before the latter dived down the pits and the resulting scenario blew any chances of a late-race wheel-to-wheel battle between the two.
Felipe Massa outqualified Williams teammate Valtteri Bottas with a late flyer on Saturday to line up third on the grid. On race day, he rocketed to first place well before turn 1 and held on to his position until the first round of pitstops.
Although the initial team orders gave Massa some unasked relief, the Brazilian was able to retain his place when Williams allowed intra-team overtaking.
Massa eventually crossed the in fourth place, after being overtaken by Hamilton and Vettel in the pits, and Rosberg between the two rain showers.
When Lewis Hamilton failed to pass Felipe Massa after the safety car dived into the pits, Valtteri Bottas sensed an opportunity and passed the British driver on the entry to Club.
He was quicker than teammate Massa during the early stages of the race but a team order prevented him from sticking a move around the Brazilian.
Had Bottas moved up to P1 and Williams timed his pit stops perfectly, the Finn might have been celebrating his first victory in Formula 1. However, one can never be sure of this result, given the lack of pace shown by Williams in wet conditions.
Nico Hulkenberg was another standout driver of the day, although he remained away from the eyes of the Race Director.
Starting from ninth on the grid, Hulkenberg shot up to fifth at the start, just behind the Williams and the Mercedes duo. He held on to his place in the first stint, despite coming under pressure from a trail of cars behind.
A late first stop allowed Ferrari and Red Bull rivals to move ahead in the race, but a seventh place was nevertheless a strong result for the Force India driver.
The team had introduced a major upgrade at Silverstone, a track that tests the all-round ability of the car. Without the upgrade, Hulkenberg and Perez would have struggled with lack of downforce and finished far down the order.