Hamilton takes controversial eighth British GP victory at home
- Hamilton wins at home for the eighth time, a record
- Verstappen falls in the first round
- Red Bull driver’s lead reduced to eight points
- Leclerc second for Ferrari
SILVERSTONE, England, July 18 (Reuters) – Lewis Hamilton won his British Grand Prix at home for the eighth time on Sunday, after battling a 10-second penalty for a first-round collision that interrupted the race and left the rival of Red Bull. Max Verstappen in the hospital.
The Mercedes driver, now just eight points behind Verstappen after 10 races, passed Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc for the lead with two laps to go as a crowd of 140,000 rose to cheer him on.
Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas finished third after obeying the team’s orders to let Hamilton pass to chase Leclerc, who had led since the restart and was voted driver of the day. Read more
The victory was the 99th in Formula One career of seven-time world champion Hamilton, his fourth in the current campaign and one of the most controversial on his long list of achievements.
It was also the worst possible result for Verstappen, who started from pole position 33 points clear but did not complete a lap after suffering the biggest crash of his career when he crashed at the Copse corner.
Hamilton got inside, Verstappen got through and they got the wheels tangled – the Red Bull’s left rear touching the Mercedes right front.
The stewards deemed Hamilton to be to blame.
Red Bull said Verstappen was beaten and bruised and hospitalized for further checks. Team boss Christian Horner criticized Hamilton for a mistake he deemed amateur, dangerous and hopeless.
A day that was almost a return to pre-pandemic normality, with crowds cheering in the sun from crowded stands, ended with a British winner, a thrilling chase for late victory – and plenty to do. discuss.
It also kindled a fire under the title battle, following previous banter between the two rivals, with the gloves now decidedly off and Red Bull’s momentum abruptly stopped after five straight wins.
The pair of heads are now at loggerheads with Red Bull accusing Hamilton of dangerous driving and the Briton highlighting Verstappen’s aggressive approach.
However, none of this stopped the local hero from celebrating with his army of fans.
“It’s a dream for me today to do it in front of all of you,” Hamilton told the largest crowd to attend a sporting event in Britain since COVID-19 made its presence felt. Last year’s race took place without spectators.
“I always try to be measured in my approach, especially with the fights with Max, he is very aggressive. And then today I was fully by his side and he did not let go. ‘space.
“It doesn’t matter if I agree or disagree with the penalty, I take it by the chin and just kept working.
“I was like ‘I won’t let anything get in the way of the weekend crowd fun and the national anthem and the British flag’.”
Leclerc also kept his head held high after missing what would have been Ferrari’s first win since 2019.
“I didn’t give 100% but I gave 200%. I gave everything but it just wasn’t enough in the last two laps,” said the Monegasque.
“Kudos to Lewis, he did an amazing job. It’s amazing to see so many fans in the gallery.”
No points were awarded for the fastest lap, with Mexican Sergio Perez of Red Bull establishing it and then dropping out with no prospect of a top 10 finish that would have triggered the bonus.
The main goal at this point, however, was to keep him out of Hamilton’s hands.
McLaren’s Lando Norris gave fans more reason to rejoice with fourth place, a result that lifted him to third place in the standings, ahead of Australian teammate Daniel Ricciardo.
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was sixth as his hopes were hit by a wheel stuck in a slow pit stop, but the points helped Ferrari close the gap with McLaren.
Behind them, the two-time world champion Fernando Alonso finished seventh for Alpine, owned by Renault, and the Canadian Lance Stroll eighth for Aston Martin.
French rider Esteban Ocon made a comeback in the points with ninth place for Alpine and Japanese rookie AlphaTauri Yuki Tsunoda took the last point.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by Toby Davis, Pritha Sarkar and Hugh Lawson
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