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Great Britain analysis - Hamilton profits as Bottas stars

07 Jul 2014

Lewis Hamilton has had his fair share of bad luck this season, but at Silverstone it was the turn of his Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg to experience technical misfortune.

The German’s gearbox maladies allowed the Briton to slice his championship lead down from 29 points to just four, whilst further back Williams’ Valtteri Bottas showed his star potential once more with a charging drive from 14th on the grid to second. We take a team-by-team look back at Sunday's formbook in Great Britain...

Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton, P1

Nico Rosberg, retired lap 29, gearbox

After 17 laps the Mercedes duo were almost half a minute ahead of Bottas’s Williams, and that told you all you needed to know about their dominance on the fast sweeps of Silverstone. Initially Rosberg set the pace on medium tyres as Hamilton nursed his rubber and was then able to go seven laps longer in his first stint. At the same time the Briton had slashed a 5.9s disadvantage to just over 2s, but had to do it all again after a delay with his left-rear tyre in his pit stop. Where Rosberg opted for more mediums Hamilton went for hards, and it proved a wise choice as he continued to hunt his German team mate down. Things were approaching crunch point when Rosberg struck his first insurmountable trouble of the year and was forced out with downshift problems, leaving Hamilton to cut his world championship points lead to a mere four as he equalled Jackie Stewart’s record of 27 wins. After his disaster in qualifying - when he mistakenly abandoned his final run in Q3 - it was the perfect redemption job for the popular local hero.

Williams

Valtteri Bottas, P2

Felipe Massa, retired lap 1, accident

What a bittersweet race it was for Williams. After a miserable Friday and an unfortunate Saturday which saw both white cars miss the Q1 cut, the Grove-based team lost Massa early on when, after bogging down at the start, he was unfortunate to get caught up in Raikkonen’s opening lap incident. That capped a weekend to forget for the Brazilian in what should have been a celebration of his 200th race start. Fortunately for Williams, Bottas showed how strong the FW36 now is on all types of track with a stunning drive through the field from 14th to second and fifth place in the driver rankings ahead of reigning champion Sebastian Vettel. Williams are now within three points of Force India for fourth place in the constructors’ championship.

Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo, P3

Sebastian Vettel, P5

Split strategies didn’t really please either driver; Ricciardo made the best of a one-stop and counted himself lucky to hang on to the final podium slot ahead of the closing Button whose tyres were much fresher, while the two-stopping Vettel had to content himself with winning an angry but gripping duel with Alonso. Third and fifth might sound reasonable, but by Red Bull’s high standards it was a less than satisfactory afternoon.

McLaren

Jenson Button, P4

Kevin Magnussen, P7

What a fairy tale it would have been had the race been one lap longer! That’s all that Button reckoned he would have needed to finally catch and pass Ricciardo whose tyres were on the verge of falling off the cliff. But that shouldn’t take away from the fact that Button drove a terrific race for McLaren in which he saw off a persistent challenge from Alonso before pulling away. Some way behind him team mate Magnussen struggled at times for pace and despite running third early on, he brought his MP4-29 home seventh.

Ferrari

Fernando Alonso, P6

Kimi Raikkonen, retired lap 1, accident

Ferrari’s race began badly, with Raikkonen’s heavy shunt after he ran wide exiting The Loop, got flicked into a tank-slapper as he rejoined the circuit over a kerb, and then crashed very heavily. In contrast, Alonso looked terrific as he scythed his way up from 13th to fifth. Unfortunately, the Spaniard mistakenly started too far forward of his grid slot and thus lost time to Button when he was required to serve a five second stop and go penalty at his first pit stop. Thereafter he was embroiled in a super-intense fight with Vettel which, despite some fabulous defensive driving, the Red Bull driver eventually won.

Sahara Force India

Nico Hulkenberg, P8

Sergio Perez, P11

Perez’s chances were ruined when he made a very slow getaway from seventh and was pushed off the track by Vergne at the first corner. But Hulkenberg drove another of his quietly intelligent races to become the only man other than Alonso to score in all nine races. In truth, Force India seemed to be lacking their usually strong race pace at Silverstone and they’re now under attack from Williams in the constructors’ stakes.

Toro Rosso

Daniil Kvyat, P9

Jean-Eric Vergne, P10

For once everything pretty much went to plan for Toro Rosso, and once Vergne had been cleared of any blame for his first corner clash with Perez, neither driver had any real problems on their way to valuable points-scoring ninth and 10th places.

Lotus

Romain Grosjean, P12

Pastor Maldonado, retired lap 50, exhaust

It was another race to forget for Lotus who were unable to mount a serious challenge for points. Grosjean could was only able to muster 12th, while Maldonado was advised to stop two laps from home with exhaust problems.

Sauber

Adrian Sutil, P13

Esteban Gutierrez, retired lap 10, accident

As has been the case in recent races, neither driver was able to draw much performance from their C33s. Sutil finished 13th for the third race in a row, while Gutierrez retired after a territorial dispute with his Bahrain Nemesis, Maldonado. The Mexican was subsequently handed a three-place grid drop for the next race in Germany for flicking the Venezuelan’s car spectacularly into the air at Vale.

Marussia

Jules Bianchi, P14

Max Chilton, P16

Marussia’s race was compromised from the start when Chilton’s car was damaged by a tyre that had been flung from Raikkonen’s spinning F14 Ton the opening lap. The Briton’s misfortune was then compounded when he was given a drive-through penalty for pitting illegally at the end of that opening lap. Bianchi, meanwhile fought hard early on but didn’t have the pace to hold onto an initially promising 11th place.

Caterham

Kamui Kobayashi, P15

Marcus Ericsson, retired lap 11, front suspension damage

Kobayashi was lucky to escape unharmed when the spinning Raikkonen forced him to take avoiding action on the grass on the opening lap, and a big jump over a kerb certainly did his Caterham no favours. Meanwhile, Ericsson jumped a kerb at Brooklands a few laps later, and smashed his front suspension.