Silverstone (dpa) – One day to forget for Sebastian Vettel and Nico Hülkenberg, Formula 1 dominator Lewis Hamilton took the next step to his seventh three-band World Cup title.
In his strange seventh home win at Silverstone, the Mercedes driver eventually won like crazy 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.
“I’ve never had anything like the last lap, my heart almost stopped,” said Hamilton, after his left front tire nearly slipped off the rim in the last lap. Only with extreme sensitivity did he manage to steer the car across the finish line just after the tire burst. “I noticed it was going to be really tough,” said Hamilton, “Fortunately it was still working. I thought the last lap would go smoothly.”
In the general classification, world champion Hamilton (88 points) extended his lead to teammate Valtteri Bottas (58) after three successes in the first four rounds of the World Cup. 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. “I don’t feel well at all. The worm was there all weekend. Something has to be done, ”said Vettel in frustration. “It is not possible for everything to deteriorate at night. ‘
Until shortly before the end, everything seemed a safe win for Hamilton for Silver Arrow teammate Bottas. However, the Finn had just broken the left front tire in second place and was unable to save the points.
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.
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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.
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. Only the blowouts caused tension.
But no one can keep up with the market leader. Only the tire damage cost the maximum success. Until then, only Verstappen was able to continue the prosecution from time to time, but was never seriously within range. However, he could have won the race if he had not changed tires just before the end to achieve the fastest lap.
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.