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2014 British Grand Prix - Race Report: Hamilton wins at Silverstone, Rosberg retires

  • Published on 06 Jul 2014 16:51
  • comments 0
  • By: Tom Brooks
The race is Silverstone has set to be a cracker with Rosberg on pole and Vettel alongside him, Hamilton back in 6th and the two Ferraris and Williams' down the order on the 9th and 10th rows.

Weather-wise it was rather different from yesterday with cloudy conditions and a low chance of rain at the start of the race.

Off the line it was Button and Rosberg who got away well and led into the first turn. Vettel got a poor start and was back in 5th place by Turn 1. Himself and Hamilton went wheel-to-wheel through Turn 2, with the German ultimately ending up ahead of the Briton.

It was in Turn 3 though where the drama unfolded as Raikkonen was pushed wide coming onto the Wellington Straight and lost control, careering heavily into the barriers and then flying back onto the circuit and was narrowly avoided by a Caterham but was collected by Felipe Massa's Williams, causing suspension damage and a puncture for the Brazilian. Raikkonen eventually ended up to the right-hand side of the circuit, his Ferrari totally destroyed.

The race was red-flagged shortly afterwards as Raikkonen climbed out of his Ferrari and was quickly transported to the medical centre whilst Massa limped back to the grid and ultimately retired with severe floor damage.

It was decided for the race to be restarted under the Safety Car with drivers retaining their positions that they assembled on the grid in, although it appeared as if it would be a while before that would occur due to necessary repairs to the barrier that Raikkonen had collided with.

The decision allowed drivers to change tyres and planned strategies on the grid, something that Marussia's Max Chilton had decided to do, as he pulled into the pit-lane after first-lap contact and decided on a longer first stint.

It was almost an hour before the race was resumed after the repairs were completed and the clouds began to thicken overhead. Perhaps the driver who had gained the most was Lewis Hamilton who would line up 4th after qualifying 6th, another big winner was Bottas who lined-up in 9th after a poor qualifying.

The race resumed as expected behind the Safety Car and completed only one lap behind it before the racing got underway again. As they crossed the line it was Rosberg, Button, Magnussen, Hamilton, Vettel, Hulkenberg, Ricciardo, Bottas, Kvyat and Bianchi.

Alonso clawed his way up to 13th whilst Rosberg snatched 3rd place from Magnussen up the inside into Copse. Meanwhile, Bottas powered past Ricciardo for 7th down the Hangar Straight, with the Mercedes-powered Williams easily being fastest down the main straight.

On Lap 4, Hamilton got past Button up the inside through the Brookfields/Luffield complex to the delight of the British crowd, meaning that it was a Mercedes 1-2. Bottas then moved past Hulkenberg for 6th, leading to belief that the Finn could be within a chance of a podium at Silverstone this afternoon.

Lap 6 saw Ricciardo harrasing Hulkenberg's Force India for 7th, whilst Kvyat was defending from Alonso for 10th although to no avail as the Spaniard made it past coming down the old main straight. He then made an outside pass against Ricciardo for 9th and succeeded, then set about getting past Hulkenberg for 8th. He used the straight-line speed of the Ferrari to slipstream the Hulk down the Wellington Straight and got past into Brooklands on Lap 8.

It became apparent that Hulkenberg was struggling from grip as he was easy prey for Ricciardo's Red Bull. Meanwhile, on Lap 10 Gutierrez made an ill-advised pass up the inside of Maldonado into Club, the two came together, resulting in the Mexican Sauber driver beaching it into the gravel trap in Turn 2 after two punctures. Maldonado later retired with engine failure.

Vettel pitted on the same lap and resumed in 8th, whilst two laps later saw Ericsson retire his Caterham with suspension failure. Hamilton began to make in-roads into Rosberg as Magnussen was wound in by Bottas in 5th, the Finn got past on Lap 14 around the outside of Stowe and was promoted to 4th.

Alonso was awarded a 5 second Stop/Go penalty for being out of position on the restart grid, meaning that the double-World Champions hard work earlier would become undone when he made his next pitstop.

The Spanish driver then began to push in order not lose as many positions when it came to the penalty, he flew past Magnussen whilst Ricciardo pitted and resumed in 10th. Bottas confirmed his pace by passing Button around the outside of Stowe for 3rd.

Hamilton was closing the gap further to Rosberg, with a 2.8 second gap between the pair on Lap 18. The two Mercedes drivers were over 30 seconds clear of the rest of the field, meaning that they could afford to make a pit-stop and emerge comfortably ahead of the rest. Rosberg did just that on Lap 19 and it was quick stop, meaning that his British team-mate would need a stellar few laps to leapfrog his compatriot.

Rosberg began to report of a gearbox problem when downshifting, perhaps gifting Hamilton further hope. Alonso began to pressure Button for 4th in the mean-time, and a lap later, Ricciardo pushed past Hulkenberg for 8th place.

Hamilton began to report his tyres dropping off, and with Rosberg taking out significant chunks of his lead, the Briton pitted on Lap 24 and had a comparatively slow stop with 4.1 seconds, meaning that he emerged over 5 seconds behind Rosberg.

Vettel got past Magnussen for 6th, as the Dane had pitted earlier. Alonso then pitted and took his 5 second Stop/Go penalty, resulting the Ferrari driver coming out in 9th.

Lewis Hamilton then set the fastest lap of the race and again began to eat into Rosberg's lead once more, demonstrating that the hard compound of tyre was very competitive in the hot conditions. Magnussen saw the trend and pitted for the more durable set of rubber and re-joined the race in 7th.

Lap 29 saw Rosberg's earlier Gearbox problem come to light and the German driver became stuck in 5th gear, meaning that Hamilton could cruise past and take the lead, to the sheer delight of the crowd. This promoted Bottas to 2nd and then Vettel to 3rd.

Bottas pitted on Lap 32 and lost out to Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull, although only temporarily as the German would need to stop for another set of boots. Bottas then made it past Vettel at his favourite passing place of Stowe, the German later pitted at the end of the lap and resumed in 5th, just ahead of Alonso and Magnussen who were locked in their own battle. The Spanish Ferrari driver made a bold move past Vettel around the outside at Copse with the two coming within inches of touching.

It became apparent that Alonso did not have the grip to stay ahead and Vettel tried to make a move to get past the Spaniard down the outside into Brooklands, although he did not manage to to make the pass stick. This allowed Button to edge further ahead and cement his 4th place, and Magnussen to close in behind, although he never appeared close enough to mount a challenge.

Hamilton pitted for his final stop on Lap 42, and comfortably emerged in the lead with another set of hard compound tyres on. Whilst this occurred, Vettel began to mount a move again around the outside on Alonso although he firmly closed the door into Copse. Magnussen then received a radio call to close the gap to the duelling pair ahead.

Alonso and Vettel then began to complain about each other exceeding the track limits, although Fernando had received a Black/White flag (Track Limits) earlier and was more likely to receive a penalty of the two drivers.

Vettel launched a move up the outside into Brooklands once more but didn't quite manage to get past, he then had the inside line for Luffield and got alongside the Spaniard going down the straight towards Copse, the quadruple-World Champion refused to back down and got finally got past into the turn. Both drivers were immediately on the radio complaining of each others actions.

With two laps remaining, Button was reeling in Ricciardo for 3rd place and was just under 2 seconds back of the Australian into the closing stages of the race.

Hamilton meanwhile started his final lap with a 30 second advantage over Bottas and cruised to the victory to a standing ovation from the British crowd, exactly six years since his first win at the circuit in 2008 for McLaren.

Valtteri Bottas finished in second, giving some consolation for the British Williams team. Ricciardo finished in third, under one second ahead of Button, which meant it was a positive day for the McLaren team, marking an up-turn in fortunes.

Vettel finished 5th, Alonso 6th, Magnussen 7th, Hulkenberg 8th, Kvyat 9th and Vergne 10th. Perez and Grosjean were just outside the points in 11th and 12th, then came Sutil, Bianchi, Kobayashi and Chilton.

The crowd invaded the circuit for the podium celebrations with quite possibly the loudest roars that were heard so far this year when Hamilton collected his trophy. The Briton's result here today meant that he is far closer to taking the lead of the Drivers' Championship than he would have been should Rosberg have finished.

Our coverage of Formula 1 resumes in Germany at Hockenheim in two weeks time and we will have coverage of every single session throughout the weekend.

Tom Brooks
Chief UK Editor

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  • Team Mercedes
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