Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Happy Hamilton Celebrates Third Consecutive British Grand Prix Win

Photo Credit: Mercedes AMG

If you follow mainstream news, it's hard to ignore the United Kingdom has been engaged in a fast-moving transition in an economical sense. Perhaps the British Grand Prix was an ideally-suited distraction for an English audience welcoming momentum of a Formula 1 power unit as opposed to the forces changing a nation.

The 5.891-kilometer track of Silverstone hosts an event that has been a part of Formula 1 since its inception. The British Grand Prix is also a homecoming for several teams including McLaren, Williams Martini Racing and Manor Racing as well as several drivers. Home turf for 2009 Formula 1 champion Jenson Button and 2016 Formula 1 rookie Jolyon Palmer, the most remarkable current name part of the British brigade is the Mercedes AMG driver Lewis Hamilton. Winning the previous Austrian Grand Prix with a daring but contentious last lap incident with teammate Nico Rosberg, Hamilton continued to demonstrate superiority at Silverstone throughout the weekend leading up to Sunday's main race highlighted by his pole position on Saturday achieved in a dramatic late session run.

The British Grand Prix started on wet weather Pirelli race tires as rain soaked the Silverstone Circuit track surface roughly 15 minutes prior to the event's scheduled start. Due to the water on the track, the field was started behind the safety car. Leading the field for the opening laps of the 2016 British Grand Prix, Hamilton immediately showed the pace that has allowed him to win the previous two events at Silverstone.


The strategy for most of the front-running teams was a two-stop plan. The first stop can early with the transfer from wet weather to intermediate tires. By the end of lap 7, every car on the track had made the switch to the compound. As Silverstone track conditions dried, drivers came to the attention of their crews for medium compound tires between lap 15 and 18. As cars negotiated the wet conditions early, the track proved tricky for many runners to maintain traction. Williams Martini Racing driver Valtteri Bottas attempt to overtake the Force India-Mercedes-Benz race car of Nico Hulkenberg proved costly on lap 10. On intermediate tires, Bottas spun falling from a top-10 position in the race to 13th. The race would not improve for the Finnish Williams-Mercedes-Benz driver as would cross the line in 14th place.

Unable to make it to the first pit stop, Manor Racing driver Pascal Wehrlein lost traction on the wet track and ended his grand prix in the gravel run-off area. Collecting his first Formula 1 point on the Red Bull Ring, an early exit on a rain-soaked Silverstone for Wehrlein is a cruel fate. The British Grand Prix would become a double retirement the Mercedes-Benz powered Manor team when Rio Haryanto slid off-track after 24 laps. Despite being in the back half of the 2016 Formula 1 field, Silverstrone is the first place all season where neither Manor Racing car finished.

As Lewis Hamilton established an unmatched pace, a spirited bout for second place in the British Grand Prix was contested by the second Mercedes AMG race car of Nico Rosberg and the Red Bull-TAG Heuer piloted by Max Verstappen. The drivers battled for a good deal of the race for the runner-up spot with each holding the position through on-track passes.

Leading flag to flag, Lewis Hamilton won the 2016 British Grand Prix convincingly with a 6.9-second lead over the next car that crossed the finish line. Hamilton's 47th career victory in Formula 1, is closes to within four grand prix wins of Alain Prost in the overall record books. Having won his home event four times (including three consecutive years with his 2016 victory), Lewis Hamilton declared the British Grand Prix as the "Best weekend of the whole year!" in post-race transcript. "The engineers and mechanics did a great job, so big thanks to all of them once again. And then the crowd… I mean, where do they all come from? It’s absolutely amazing! Nothing we see in any other country even comes close – and that for me just shows the passion us Brits have for sport, regardless of the weather. It’s pouring down and these guys are just like “yeah, we love it!” This is beyond my wildest dreams, honestly." described Hamilton who enjoys a great personal attachment to the race at Silverstone.

Photo Credit: Mercedes AMG

Losing 7 points on Hamilton in the championship initially with a second-place finish, Rosberg and his Mercedes AMG team's conduct was a subject to an investigation. A radio communication between Rosberg and his crew regarding an issue with his race car led to unlawful instructions being given to the driver. Due to Formula 1's strict and specific rules on radio instructions, the communication between the Mercedes AMG team and Nico Rosberg cost him the runner-up spot. Given a 10-second penalty for violating the radio rules, Rosberg was demoted to third while Max Verstappen was elevated to second place in the final results. Entering the next race in Hungary, Nico Rosberg possesses just a single point lead on teammate Lewis Hamilton in the season's standings.

Max Verstappen out-qualified his Red Bull Racing teammate Daniel Ricciardo for the first time on the Silverstone Circuit Saturday and parlayed it into a second consecutive podium finish. Ricciardo in the second Red Bull-TAG Heuer took the checkered flag in fourth place. Kimi Raikkonen finished as the fifth driver to cross the finish line. Earlier in the week prior to the British Grand Prix, Raikkonen and Scuderia Ferrari agreed to rejoin for a 2017 season. Red Bull Racing and Ferrari are in heavy competition in the 2016 constructors' championship second place position. Ferrari leave the British Grand Prix ahead of Red Bull Racing by just 9 points.

After a disappointing Austrian Grand Prix for Force India, Silverstone resulted in both team drivers taking points. Sergio Perez took sixth place roughly 8/10ths of a second ahead of teammate Nico Hulkenberg.

Forced to 11th place at the start of the grand prix, Sebastian Vettel was stalled in his progression up the field in 52 laps. A five-second time penalty assessed to the German Ferrari driver for a late incident with Felipe Massa did not affect him in the final results where he crossed the line in 9th place. Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat came from a 15th place starting position to grab the final point available in the 2016 British Grand Prix. The race was a double-point scoring outing for Scuderia Toro Rosso as Carlos Sainz Jr. bettered Kvyat's effort with 8th place.

Formula 1 drivers and teams receive an upcoming off-week from competition while the Hungarian Grand Prix is set for July 24th.

2016 Formula 1
British Grand Prix
Race Results 

Pos #/ Car #/ Driver/ Team/ Engine

1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Mercedes-Benz
2 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull TAG Heuer
3 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG Mercedes-Benz
4 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull TAG Heuer
5 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari Ferrari
6 11 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes-Benz
7 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India Mercedes-Benz
8 55 Carlos Sainz Jr Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari
9 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari Ferrari
10 26 Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari
11 19 Felipe Massa Williams F1 Mercedes-Benz
12 22 Jenson Button McLaren Honda
13 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda
14 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams F1 Mercedes-Benz
15 12 Felipe Nasr Sauber Ferrari
16 9 Esteban Gutierrez Haas F1 Team Ferrari
17 20 Kevin Magnussen Renault Renault
18 8 Romain Grosjean Haas F1 Team Ferrari
19 98 Rio Haryanto Manor Mercedes-Benz
20 30 Jolyon Palmer Renault Renault
21 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari
22 28 Pascal Wehrlein Manor Mercedes-Benz

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