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British GP: Hamilton limps to dramatic home win, puncture costs Bottas

03/08/20

Mercedes looked to be cruising to an impressive one-two result.

Lewis Hamilton continued his dominance of the British Grand Prix despite suffering a last-lap puncture, though a blown tyre was costly for Valtteri Bottas in a dramatic finish.

Hamilton dominated for the most part having started on pole position, winning the race for the sixth time in seven years to increase his record tally of victories at Silverstone.

Yet he was in danger of missing out on a seventh victory of his career at the famous circuit when he suffered a puncture, just as he looked to be cruising to a third successive race triumph in the 2020 season.

The Brit was forced to limp home on three tyres, with Max Verstappen second after pitting following Bottas' mishap with two laps to go.

Verstappen may well have won had he not been called in, with Red Bull looking to clock the fastest lap, but had to settle for second, while Bottas ended up back in 11th place.

An incredible success for Hamilton stretches his lead over Mercedes team-mate Bottas to 30 points in the overall standings, with the Finn returning to the garage empty handed.

Hamilton did not get off to the quickest of starts, yet Bottas was unable to capitalise before Kevin Magnussen's race was ended by a first-lap collision, one which resulted in Alex Albon being given a five-second penalty.

The safety car was out for a second time following a heavy high-speed crash for Daniil Kvyat at the Maggots-Becketts section on lap 13, prompting cars to head into the pits for hard-compound tyres after the Russian walked away unhurt.

Bottas tried to nibble away at Hamilton following a lap-18 restart, but the six-time world champion remained out in front despite seeing his lead drop to less than a second.

It appeared that it would be plain sailing for Mercedes, but first Bottas saw his front-left tyre blow and Hamilton was then rocked by the same tyre bursting. Still, the latter was still able to finish 5.856 seconds ahead of Verstappen, with Charles Leclerc taking third place for Ferrari.

MAJOR BLOW FOR BOTTAS

Bottas won the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix but since then normal service has resumed, Hamilton taking three in a row.

While Hamilton was able to reflect on a great escape and more home comforts despite watching his tyre fall off the rim on the final circuit, Bottas had to slowly make his way back to the pits so late in the race.

He was unable to even salvage a point and given there is uncertainty over how many races there will be this season, Hamilton already has a nice cushion in the battle for the title.

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN FOR RED BULL

Mercedes have won every race so far this season, but it could have been a different story if Verstappen had stayed out on track as the Silver Arrows seemed to pay the price for pushing a little too hard.

Verstappen was able to pick up an extra point to go along with a runner-up finish, while Red Bull were not to know Hamilton was also going to suffer such a problem so near the end.

Albon, the Dutchman's team-mate, could only finish eighth, but it was a good day for Renault. Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon were fourth and sixth respectively, Lando Norris sandwiched in between the pair.

INCREDIBLE MISFORTUNE FOR HULK

Nico Hulkenberg was given an 11th-hour call to replace Sergio Perez for an unexpected first F1® drive of the year after the Mexican tested positive for coronavirus.

It was certainly not a fairytale end to a whirlwind few days for the German driver, however. Having qualified in 13th, he was unable to even take his place on the grid due to a problem with his car.

IN THE POINTS
  1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
  2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +5.856s
  3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +18.474s
  4. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault) +19.650s
  5. Lando Norris (McLaren) +22.277s
  6. Esteban Ocon (Renault) +26.937s
  7. Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri) +31.188s
  8. Alex Albon (Red Bull) +32.670s
  9. Lance Stroll (Racing Point) +37.311s
  10. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) +41.857s
STANDINGS
Drivers
  1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 88
  2. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 58
  3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 52
  4. Lando Norris (McLaren) 36
  5. Charles Leclerc (Ferraril) 33
Constructors
  1. Mercedes 146
  2. Red Bull 78
  3. McLaren 51
  4. Ferrari 43
  5. Racing Point 42
WHAT'S NEXT?

Silverstone will also stage the fifth round of the season next weekend, with a race named the Formula 1® 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.