Lewis Hamilton overcame first lap contact with title rival Max Verstappen and a 10-second penalty to take an eighth British Grand Prix win at Silverstone, passing Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc – who led the majority of the race – with just three laps of the race to go, as the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas took P3.
Hamilton and Verstappen had sparred spectacularly throughout the first half lap of the Grand Prix, but made contact at Copse when Hamilton tried to pass up the inside into the fast sweeping corner, with Verstappen spinning hard into the barriers and out of the race – with Hamilton handed a 10-second penalty for the collision.
But a committed recovery from Hamilton saw him close down the gap to Leclerc in the final stages of the race, Hamilton passing the Monegasque driver on Lap 50 of 52 to take an emotional victory in front of an ecstatic British Grand Prix crowd – with the reigning champion closing the gap to Verstappen in the title race to just eight points.
It created incredible scenes at Silverstone – but you had to feel for Leclerc, who led so much of the British Grand Prix, but was still able to claim his first podium of the season, 70 years on from Ferrari’s first ever Grand Prix win here in 1951.
FORMULA 1 PIRELLI BRITISH GRAND PRIX 2021
|1 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes||1:58:23.284||25|
|2 Charles LECLERC Ferrari||+3.871s||18|
|3 Valtteri BOTTAS Mercedes||+11.125s||15|
|4 Lando NORRIS McLaren||+28.573s||12|
|5 Daniel RICCIARDO McLaren||+42.624s||10|
Bottas in third was ahead of the McLaren pair of Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, the latter doing a sterling job to hold off the attack of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz for much of the latter half of the race, with Sainz taking P6.
Following his heroics in the F1 Sprint, Alpine’s Fernando Alonso finished in the P7 he started in, ahead of the Aston Martin of Lance Stroll, as the second Alpine of Esteban Ocon collected his first points since Monaco for P9, ahead of Yuki Tsunoda in 10th.
Meanwhile, Sergio Perez – Red Bull’s only runner in the race following Verstappen’s crash – could only take P16, after making three pit stops across the Grand Prix.
So it was win number 99 for Hamilton – but while the British crowd was lapping it up, the rumblings from the 2021 season’s most controversial moment to date – that Hamilton-Verstappen collision on Lap 1 – are set to continue for a number of days and weeks yet.