Lewis Hamilton won the domestic British Grand Prix for the eighth time and for the first time this season after the Spanish Grand Prix after he overtook Charles Leclerc in Ferrari three laps before the end and colliding with Max Verstappen in the first lap.
The race was marked by a collision between Verstappen and Hamilton in the Copse corner in the first lap when Verstappen was ahead of Hamilton from the outside, but the world champion touched the rear right wheel of Verstappen’s car from the inside with the front left wheel, spun him and sent it into the barriers.
In a terrifying collision, in which the right side of the Red Bull RB16B was unrecognizably damaged, Verstappen fortunately escaped without major consequences, and the race was first neutralized with a safety car and interrupted in the third lap.
Verstappen started well and kept the lead from the outside of the first corner, and fought Hamilton in both turns six and seven after which Hamilton approached Verstappen on his way to the turn nine and took the inside line.
The judges investigated the incident for a long time and only after the restart were Hamilton given a ten-second penalty for the incident with Verstappen, which the world champion served nefore changing his tyres.
Leclerc took the lead after the Verstappen-Hamilton collision and led the drivers at the restart of the race while Hamilton was given the opportunity to replace the damaged front wing due to red flag period. Meanwhile, Norris overtook Bottas at the restart and held third place for McLaren behind Leclerc and Hamilton.
Leclerc kept Hamilton in the first lap and maintained his lead at between a second and a half and two, and around the twentieth lap Leclerc had a problem with the power unit and was losing power, causing Hamilton to come seven-tenths behind and be able to use DRS.
But Leclerc’s Ferrari regained power and held his lead around two seconds before the pitstops started – Bottas entered the pits in lap 23 and overtook Norris who had a slow tyre change of six seconds and Hamilton entered the pits in lap 27, served a ten second penalty and had a slow tyre change of 4.2 seconds.
Leclerc made his tyre change in lap 30 and came back ahead of Bottas and Hamilton while McLaren drivers Norris and Ricciardo held fourth and fifth place ahead of Sainz in his Ferrari.
Alonso, Stroll and Perez had a big fight for the seventh place, which was held by the Spaniard after the tyre changes and Red Bull invited Perez to the pits for the second time in the lap 40 as he returned to 16th place.
Hamilton overtook Bottas in the lap 40 after the team told their drivers to swap positions before the Stowe corner and the Finn obeyed once more and Hamilton took second place, 8.8 seconds behind Leclerc.
At the start of lap 45, Hamilton was less than five seconds behind Leclerc and in lap 48 the gap dropped to 1.9 seconds while the Briton was for the first time below a second behind in the lap 49.
Hamilton overtook Leclerc in the lap 50 in the same corner in which he collided with Verstappen, on the same, inner side, but this time Hamilton left enough space for his opponent who then went wide off the kerb and gifted the lead to Hamilton.
Hamilton celebrated with a 3.8 seconds advantage over Leclerc, making up for the ten-second penalty he had served in the pits, while Bottas finished third with 11.1 second gap and completed the podium for Mercedes.
For Leclerc, this is the first podium in this season and the first since the 2020 Grand Prix when he finished third while McLaren drivers Norris and Ricciardo finished fourth and fifth and limited the damage in the fight with Ferrari for third place – McLaren lost just four points in this race and hold a 15-point advantage over their rivals.
Sainz failed to overtake Ricciardo behind whom he spent half the race and finished less than a second behind the Australian while seventh Alonso in Alpine finished in the same spot where he started.
Stroll scored four points for Aston Martin in eighth place after Vettel overtook Alonso in the first start, but spun in the first lap of the second start in a fight with Alonso in the turn seven and fell to the back of the standings.
After four point-less races, Ocon managed to break his duck with ninth place ahead of Tsunoda in AlphaTauri who have won at least one point three times in the last five races.
Gasly was knocked out of the points when the team invited him to the pits for the second time due to puncture and after a late breakthrough he finished in 11th place ahead of Russell who had a hard job in the end of the race because his early pitstop.
Giovinazzi was the better-placed Alfa Romeo driver in 13th place after Raikkonen spun after contact with Perez which the stewards promised to investigate after the race, while Latifi separated the Alfa Romeo drivers in 14th place for Williams.
Perez finished only 16th after the team invited him to the pits for the third time in order to take a point for the fastest lap from Hamilton which the Mexican achieved in the lap 50, only Haas drivers Mazepin and Schumacher finishing behind him.
Vettel retired in the lap 40 after falling out of the points following his spin and he and Verstappen were the only drivers not to finish today’s race.
The next race will take place in two weeks in Hungary.
BRITISH GP RESULTS
|6||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Ferrari||52||43.454|
|8||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin/Mercedes||52||1:14.289|
|12||63||George Russell||Williams/Mercedes||51||1 lap|
|13||99||A.Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||51||1 lap|
|14||6||Nicholas Latifi||Williams/Mercedes||51||1 lap|
|15||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||51||1 lap|
|16||11||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull/Honda||51||1 lap|
|17||9||Nikita Mazepin||Haas/Ferrari||51||1 lap|
|18||47||Mick Schumacher||Haas/Ferrari||51||1 lap|
|5||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin/Mercedes||40||Retired|
|33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda||0||Collision|
Fastest lap: Sergio Perez – 1:28.617 (lap 50)
DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP AFTER 10/21 RACES
|7||Carlos Sainz Jr.||68||4||10||–||6||18||4||–||8||10||8|