Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari were the big winners, while Lewis Hamilton’s afternoon went awry in what was an eventful race on a sunny afternoon at Silverstone.
FOX Sports Asia takes a look at some of the major points for discussion in the aftermath of the British Grand Prix.
Hamilton takes the hit
Things got heated at Silverstone on Sunday and it wasn’t just a result of the scorching weather. The controversy stemmed from Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari clipping Lewis Hamilton on Turn Three of Lap One, a collision that dropped the Brit from near the front to the back of the field and effectively ended his chances of recording a record sixth win before the race had even begun.
Much to his credit, Hamilton fought back valiantly to claim second place and limit the damage done by Sebastian Vettel’s victory (the German leads the championship by eight points) with half the season now gone. Still, it left a bitter taste in Hamilton’s mouth as the defending champion accused Ferrari of dirty tactics in the aftermath of the race. The collision controversy aside, it was still a stunning drive in his home Grand Prix as he ploughed back through the field, and combined with a bold strategic gamble that almost paid off, Mercedes should take heart that they were almost able to pull off what would have been one of the most spectacular comeback wins of all time.
Ferrari on the defensive
With a Ferrari taking out a Mercedes for the second time in three races, the Silver Arrows could be forgiven for thinking that there was a plot by the Prancing Horses to harm their title chances. And while the accusations flew in the heat of the moment, common sense prevailed once everyone had calmed down. Most experts agreeing that although it looked suspicious, the collisions were most definitely not intentional as it would be, as Vettel later commented, almost impossible to judge such an impact.
Still, it’s safe to say that Ferrari benefitted from the collision as Hamilton was only able to finish behind Vettel, while Raikkonen grabbed third place despite the 10-second penalty dished out to him for his leading role in the coming together.
More worrying for Mercedes, however, should be that Ferrari has now been able to compete with the Silver Arrows on tracks (Silverstone and Canada) where the champions were expected to dominate. As Toto Wolff admitted, Ferrari’s new found pace should be a major concern with Ferrari-friendly Hungary and Singapore fast approaching.
Red Bull needs wings
How things change. Just a week after his impressive win in Austria, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen suffered a mechanical failure as he was forced to pull out at Silverstone with a brake-by-wire issue. A bigger concern for Red Bull, however, was the lack of straight-line pace shown by the team’s Renault power unit. This was starkly demonstrated by Daniel Ricciardo’s inability to get past a floundering Valtteri Bottas late on in the race. Verstappen later branded his lack of power a “joke” while team supremo Christian Horner was a little more diplomatic, saying his team was badly exposed by their engine deficiency.
With the change to Honda for next season already confirmed, it will be interesting to see if the change in power unit works out for Red Bull, especially given the experience of McLaren with the Japanese manufacturer.
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