A wet start did little to dampen Lewis Hamilton’s afternoon as the Brit put in a dominant drive to win his home race For Lewis Hamilton, there could be no better place than his own backyard to make a major move on Nico Rosberg’s championship territory. Making it a hat-trick of victories at Silverstone, Hamilton was never seriously challenged on his way to recording his fourth victory of the season. Starting under wet conditions, the Brit was quickly able to extend his lead over Rosberg, who could never mount an adequate fightback before a gearbox issue finally put the German’s challenge to rest. Unfortunately for Rosberg, the race’s finish was only the start of a very frustrating afternoon. With what seemed like his race disappearing in front of him, Rosberg had received explicit instructions from race engineer Tony Ross on how to manage his problem, allowing the German to hold off Red Bull’s Max Verstappen for second place. However, his relief was short lived, as the race stewards saw fit to hand Rosberg a 10-second time penalty that promoted the barnstorming Verstappen above him, with some serious championship ramifications to boot. A race short on neither intrigue nor controversy, read on for a closer look at the 2016 British Grand Prix. Wet-weather pace makes the difference for Hamilton If the story of 2016 so far has been teammate Nico Rosberg closing the divide to Lewis Hamilton and his F1 throne, Sunday’s race was a reminder of why that gap exists in the first place. Under tricky conditions in the race’s early stages, the Brit had his rival comprehensively beaten for pace, consistently getting extra tenths out of a track that could be as wet in one corner as it was dry in another. Much as he had under similar circumstances in Monaco, Hamilton was able to get the power down with much more confidence compared to Rosberg, who in contrast struggled mightily, particularly as he was passed by the Red Bull of Max Verstappen in a scintillating move that showed the circuit could still very much be attacked. The switch to dry tyres may have come only 18 laps into the race, but thanks to that early difference Hamilton was able to run a race of his own, and made any challenge from Rosberg ultimately fruitless. Speaking post-race, team principal Toto Wolff couldn’t have been more complimentary of Hamilton, labelling him “unstoppable” in such conditions, and it’s easy to see why. Furthermore, it’s largely thanks to those two wet outings that he heads to the Hungaroring just one championship point behind Rosberg, coming back from 43 down. Sunday showed just why that deficit was never out of reach, and now Hamilton could very well head into the summer break with his own lead, the way he’s driving. That said, Rosberg is sure to not relinquish that final point easily, and it’s not as if it was that long ago that he bested Hamilton in Baku. With the pendulum continuing to swing in both directions, all we know is the wet provides one area where Hamilton has a decisive advantage. Controversy as Rosberg falls foul of radio ban Two races. From Baku to Silverstone – that was how long it took to see the comedy of the radio ban reach its inevitable conclusion. As was the case in Azerbaijan, a Mercedes driver was once again at the centre of the story, this time with the spotlight on Rosberg due to his aforementioned gearbox issue. Whether Mercedes’ appeal of Rosberg’s penalty succeeds or not, the real issue remains that he shouldn’t have received a penalty in the first place. There’s not much here that can be said that wasn’t already addressed in the wake of the Baku episode, other than this: if the expectation is that drivers should be able to troubleshoot these problems themselves, and yet Nico Rosberg – probably the most technically knowledgeable driver on the grid – couldn’t fix it, then the radio ban has clearly gone too far. Even Christian Horner, boss of rivals Red Bull, branded the rule “rubbish” in his post-race interview, and it was his driver who most profited from it. The only people who could be upset Rosberg received those messages are ultra-biased Hamilton fans and the Amish, who are fundamentally opposed to the use of radio. Just from the urgency in Ross’ voice, one could tell Rosberg received those messages to save his race, not improve it. Unfortunately, with the current wording of the rules, such a penalty was inevitable. Perhaps it’s best it happened to such a high-profile driver in the championship leader, and it won’t be long before common sense prevails and a change is made – just don’t count on it. Full wets given no workout under safety car Nothing adds spice to race day quite like the prospect of a wet race. Unfortunately for drivers and fans alike, the FIA seem determined to be some real party poopers. With Silverstone coming under a heavy shower just 15 minutes before the race, the prospect of some serious wet-weather action loomed very real for the British Grand Prix. Under such circumstances a safety car start was to be expected, however it would quickly wear out its welcome. Having to sit behind the safety car for the first five laps of the race, the wet-weather tyres with which the field was fitted were put to little racing use, as by the time Bernd Maylander pulled in, the track was clearly ready for intermediates. All but the top four made the decision to pit immediately, leaving the question to be asked – what’s the point of driving in true wet-weather conditions in the first place? Both on team radio and in interviews, the overwhelming sentiment from the drivers was that the safety car had unnecessarily stopped them from the racing. Hamilton, McLaren’s Jenson Button and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel were among those who voiced their displeasure, while it was perhaps Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz who hit on the crucial point, acknowledging drivers needed “two laps to see how the track is, see where the puddles are, then [be allowed to] go for it." If the purpose of providing full-wet tyres is to allow races to proceed under such tricky conditions – and by all accounts, it is – then waiting until the standing water has almost completely evaporated defeats that purpose. Drivers want that challenge, and fans want to see them face it. Maybe it’s understandable, that in the wake of Jules Bianchi’s crash that the FIA and race director Charlie Whiting are so cautious, but there’s not a driver, marshal or fan to whom the risks aren’t crystal clear. Of course there should be caution and continued efforts to improve safety (such as the Virtual Safety Car, a very welcome addition), but there’s a big difference between safe practice and avoiding the practice entirely. Wet racing is an intrinsic part of F1, let’s just hope Whiting and co. haven’t forgotten this. Has Hamilton proved he has a wet-weather advantage? Does the FIA need to change its radio ban? Are they too cautious in starting under wet-weather conditions? Sound off in the comments below.