Eager Hamilton almost comes a cropper
If you hadn’t already guessed from his frequent radio messages imploring race director Charlie Whiting to bring the safety car in, Lewis Hamilton was keen to get going at Silverstone on Sunday - but his eagerness (allied to cold brakes and tyres) very nearly cost him, as this onboard shows. Just watch how close his front-left tyre comes to collecting the side of the safety car. Now that’s what you call a close call…
Hamilton distances himself from Rosberg
Lewis Hamilton’s performance at a drenched Silverstone in 2008 is the stuff of legend, but does his first proper racing lap of 2016 deserve to be held in the same regard? The world champion was 1.3s up on team mate Nico Rosberg as they crossed the startline to begin lap 6 as the safety car peeled off, yet that gap had grown to a full 3.7s just 5.8km later as Hamilton exploded off the front like a (silver) bullet out of a gun. Yes, Hamilton had the benefit of a clear track ahead of him, but unlike his 21 rivals he had no reference in front of him from which to pick his braking points, instead having to rely on an innate feel for the conditions. A masterful lap by any standard.
Verstappen punishes Rosberg error
Back in 2006 Lewis Hamilton set pulses racing in the paddock when he passed two cars on the way into Becketts during the F1-supporting GP2 race. Overtakes like that simply weren’t supposed to happen at Silverstone’s alarmingly fast signature section – something they clearly forgot to tell Formula One racing’s current ‘pass master’ Max Verstappen. In the damp early stages of Sunday’s race the young Dutchman clearly had the legs on Nico Rosberg, but was struggling to find a way past - that was until the Mercedes man made an error mid-corner. Not needing a second invitation, Verstappen pounced, making the most of his superior momentum to sweep almost effortlessly around the outside of his rival. Red Bull boss Christian Horner labelled the move sensational - and it’s hard to disagree.
Verstappen saved by deft car control at Abbey…
Max Verstappen picked up second place and Driver of the Day honours at Silverstone, but it could have been oh so different had his razor sharp reflexes not kicked in at just the right moment entering Abbey on lap 23...
…and again at Vale
And the Red Bull star had to be equally quick on the wheel eight laps later when, approaching Vale, he lunged up the inside of Esteban Gutierrez’s Haas and suddenly felt the rear of his Red Bull trying to overtake the front. Nothing that a quick flick of the wrists couldn’t solve.
Alonso shows superhuman powers of recovery
Fernando Alonso has long been praised for his ability to think clearly while in the heat of battle, and the Spaniard showed his unerring mental capacity once again at Silverstone. Not only was Alonso able to extricate himself quickly from the gravel after a dizzying sequence of spins at Abbey, he also had the presence of mind to position his McLaren in such a way that prevented Valtteri Bottas’s onrushing Williams from getting straight by. If the Finn wanted the position he’d have to go around the outside, and as you can see, that didn’t work out too well…
Vettel charges past Kvyat
The British Grand Prix was largely one to forget for Sebastian Vettel, with the German’s uncompromising pass of Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso into Stowe one of the only stand-out moments. As you can see in the video above, Kvyat does all he can to break the Ferrari’s slipstream as they race onto the Hangar Straight, but in the end there’s nothing the Russian can do to keep the more-powerful SF16-H at bay.
Rosberg rides the outside line
Having been off the pace in damp conditions, Nico Rosberg well and truly got his groove back in the dry, and before too long was looking to reclaim the second place that Max Verstappen had so boldly stolen at Becketts on lap 16. For lap after lap the German tried to make his move into Stowe, but each time Verstappen fended him off until finally, on lap 38, with the Dutchman’s tyres fading, Rosberg got the slingshot he wanted out of Chapel Curve, opened his DRS along Hangar Straight, and barrelled around the outside of the Red Bull.
Alonso and Bottas resume battle
Having tussled following the Spaniard’s off-track excursion on the 24th lap, Fernando Alonso and Valtteri Bottas resumed their battle in the latter stages of the race, with P13 changing places a couple of times. But the McLaren driver would eventually settle things in his favour thanks to this brilliant move, which began around the outside at Vale and was completed through Club.
Vettel pushes it too far
It’s not often that Sebastian Vettel is slapped with a penalty, but the stewards wasted little time in adjudging the German the guilty party in this tete-a-tete with Williams’ Felipe Massa. Capitalising on Massa’s error at Abbey, Vettel had every right to try his luck into Village, but it was his subsequent ushering of the Brazilian off the road that led to him being investigated and quickly awarded a five-second time penalty.