British GP Debrief: Hamilton Three-Peats at Silverstone

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Ben Stevens, Jul 11, 2016.

  1. Ben Stevens

    Ben Stevens

    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.

    hamgbr.jpg 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.

    rosgbr.jpg 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.

    hamwetgbr.JPG 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.
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  2. TomcatMF


    That safety car was out there far too long IMO. One or two laps at the most was all that was needed. And if this is reaction to what happened to Bianchi, then Mr. Whiting needs to use his head a little more. That was a unique situation with a piece of equipment on the track that created a major hazard in the event of a crash that became a reality unfortunately for Bianchi, but that would not have been the case at the start of the British GP. Let them race!!!
    • Agree Agree x 6
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  3. Grand Tourist

    Grand Tourist
    Enjoying the beautiful world of Assetto Corsa

    • Haha Haha x 4
  4. k_badam

    Yer Nan

    Love it :D

    I personally would like to see Hamilton beat Rosberg but i don't want it to be gifted to him, I want to see him fight for it.

    Has Hamilton proved he has a wet-weather advantage? Yes
    Does the FIA need to change its radio ban? ASAP
    Are they too cautious in starting under wet-weather conditions? They have to be cautious but not as cautious as they were yesterday
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. thatmotorfreak


    Have to agree that the safety car at the start just took away the fun, my dad commented that the safety car might as well go on to win the race if it dragged on.

    Also another podium for Verstappen once again. :laugh:
  6. Joel


    One thing that wasn't mentioned and I'd like to address it.

    Since our community has lots of people based in the UK and probably lots that went to this race, not saying everyone did it and with the quality of people we have here, this post might even be redundant, but if there is someone here who did boo at the podium, you might want to reevaluate your point in life if when a driver does nothing wrong and provides great action by risking his life for you enjoyment makes you think booing is sufficient. It wasn't right in Austria and it for sure isn't right here either. Just butthurt spoiled brats who shouldn't be considered fans of this sport. Go back to football lads.

    Other than that, loved the changing conditions and Verstappen's overtake on the outside of Beckets. That was a 'lil something :confused:
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2016
    • Love Love x 4
  7. Grand Tourist

    Grand Tourist
    Enjoying the beautiful world of Assetto Corsa

    To be clear....the circus enditement is towards the FIA F1 ruling and its poor decisions and corrupt policy and even more to Bernie who is a mental old bastard with nothing else to do than figuring out idiotic penalty and ruling systems and car restrictions while he is taking a whiz 3 times a night.

    Respect goes out the drivers who give 100% of themselves and have to operate in this madhouse. Put them in a seventies car grid and they will perform an astonishing motorsport show, as the cars were not undergoing 1001 restrictions.

    Dangerous uncalled for driving manoevres that involve 3rd party suffering should be kept on the penalty list though. Like how Schumacher won his championship one season by taking out whoever it was wherever it was (if I remember correctly, not sure?). For me,sth like that is unacceptable and should mean dq from championship.

    EDIT: found it!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2016
  8. the_sigman


    LOL, I love how in the printscreen of the video both cars are at the turn in point and Hill is clearly not even alongside.
    • Love Love x 1
  9. Kakusso


    Although Max Verstappen has bearly the the age to drink the Champlain at the podium he is already a podium contender in every race. Given the right car, he can mount a real fight for the championship.
    At only 18 I hope he can manage the transfers as well as his driving. He is the F1 driver with the most potential at the moment.
    Great driving, great mental skills, he just needs a faster engine.
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. Boby Kim

    Boby Kim

    Le Mans / F1 Silverstone...are wets the new tire to dry up the track behind the safety car so the race can start? O wait, its about safety offcourse. But while im writing this suddenly an other sollution pops up in my mind: VR!! Let them race virtual in an office next to eachother. Maybe Racedepartment can host? Bram...there is gold waiting for u:D
  11. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper

    Totally agree, I was there with some friends and the crowd was huge. Most were probably your general sports fans who usually wouldn't give F1 too much attention. The fact that Lewis is winning is their only interest.

    I would say around 90% of the crowd were behind Lewis, Jenson didn't get much attention at all from the crowd which was a pity.

    The booing of Nico on the podium was frankly pathetic, especially as Nico was gracious in defeat and complemented Lewis on being faster on the day.

    Apart from that the atmosphere was great and in general the race was good fun to watch.

    I'm more of an endurance racing fan now (GT3, WEC, IMSA) but enjoy F1 every so often.

    Can't really afford it again next year (costs me about a month's wages :roflmao:), so Le Mans may be on the cards again for 2017 :) :thumbsup:
    • Like Like x 3
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