Silverstone (dpa) – One day to forget for Sebastian Vettel and Nico Hülkenberg, Formula 1 dominator Lewis Hamilton has taken the next step towards his seventh world title.
In his spectacular seventh home win on just three tires at Silverstone, the Mercedes driver curiously won for Max Verstappen in the Red Bull and Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari. Ex-champion Vettel finished tenth in the paralyzing Ferrari, while the lightning-fast return of Hulkenberg to Racing Point during the British Grand Prix failed in the short term.
In the general classification, world champion Hamilton extended his lead after three wins in the first four rounds of the world championship. With 87 Grand Prix wins, Michael Schumacher’s record 91 is within reach. The English long-term winner also left no doubt that he wants to overtake record champion Schumacher after winning the title at the end of the season. In his last year with Ferrari, Vettel had no chance of his fifth world championship at a young age and went entirely to the extras in gloomy midfield.
When the traffic lights went out and Hamilton won the start, it was completely over for Hülkenberg. The comeback of the 32-year-old from Emmerich did not come, because the drive of his car was defective. Racing Point did not get the car afloat and the German had to leave the garage disappointed. He would stand up for Mexican Sergio Perez, who was infected with the corona virus. If Perez does not get approval from the doctors, the German may still be there on Sunday at the second race in Central England.
“The power source could not be obtained. It is of course bitter,” said Hülkenberg at RTL: “Such a thriller the past few days and beyond. It was beyond repair.” He wanted to stay fit now. “The next few days will tell if I’m going to drive next week.”
As expected, Mercedes set the pace on the high-speed track. Hamilton already had a pole position on Saturday with a track record and checked his laps in the front. Six of the past seven races have won the Silver Arrows on their parade route at the team factories in Brackley and Brixworth. Interrupted only by Vettel in the Ferrari two years ago.
But the Heppenheimer was no surprise. After several technical problems and a poor presentation in qualifying, the 33-year-old was unable to work his way up from tenth place on the grid. However, two early safety car phases due to accidents by Kevin Magnussen (Haas) and Daniil Kwjat (Alpha Tauri) prevented the normal course of the race, in only six of the first 18 laps the car could be driven freely.
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After the second restart, Vettel even lost a seat for empty stands due to the corona regulations and now had problems with the hard tires. At the top, Hamilton and Bottas rode fast laps safely and were even able to set the pace at will. The duo gave an idea of what the highest class of motorsport would encounter in the coming weeks in the coming weeks during the Corona season: quite boredom.
No one can keep up with the market leaders. A one-time foul cost the one-two win when Bottas lost the track in the 50th of 52 laps and ruined his tires. That happened to Hamilton in the last lap and he just dragged himself to the finish.
At the time, only Verstapppen could sometimes chase, but never seriously hit. Behind that, Vettel’s stable rival Charles Leclerc was long behind. The bitter reality of Vettel, however, were duels in the no man’s land against Pierre Gasly of Alpha Tauri or Esteban Ocon in the Renault.
The seasoned Ferrari is currently unable to advertise for the next year in the inferior Ferrari and will stand by 2021 without a cockpit. After six years he has to leave Scuderia at the end of the year. At Silverstone, he emphasized that he wanted to take the time to make a decision and not rush. One option is to switch to Racing Point. The race team will become Aston Martin’s new factory team next year.