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F1 2015: British GP Review – Hamilton Shines At Silverstone

British Grand Prix - Lewis Hamilton

One-hundred and forty thousand fans were treated to quite a race around the famed Silverstone circuit.

Lewis Hamilton thrilled the home crowd with pole position on Saturday ahead of teammate Nico Rosberg while Williams locked out the second row of the grid. At this point you would’ve been forgiven if you’d assumed that it was going to be another Mercedes dominated afternoon. Felipe Massa rocketed off the starting line and straight into the lead of the race followed by teammate Valtteri Bottas.

The Finnish Williams driver soon fell prey to a determined Lewis Hamilton but held of Nico Rosberg to settle in third. An accident involving both Lotus and both McLaren’s brought out the safety car and saw the end of the race for Romain Grosjean and Jenson Button. Fernando Alonso clunked into the side of his teammate but was able to continue after a stop for a new nose.

The restart of the race saw Hamilton launch an attack on race leader Felipe Massa but the canny Brazilian held his line and the position. The move sent Hamilton off the circuit at Club corner and into third as Valtteri Bottas seized second place. The fight for the lead of the race was a welcome sight and more so was Hamilton’s doggedness. In truth Hamilton’s championship fight is not with Massa and he couldn’t have been faulted for choosing the cautious route, but he didn’t. At the heart of Lewis Hamilton is still an out-and-out racing driver whose sole ambition is to win and that is what he put on display in that move.

Britain 2015_Sunday Press ConferenceThe Williams driver couldn’t manage to run away from Mercedes but they were holding their own. As if to underline the difficulty of overtaking in Formula 1 Felipe Massa was able to resist a visibly quicker Bottas during the phase of the race. The Williams pitwall initially called off the fight between their drivers but quickly changed course and gave their drivers the freedom to fight. Despite this Bottas was unable to overtake his teammate.

Lewis Hamilton was the first of the frontrunners into the pitlane and used the undercut to perfection as he took the lead of the race as the two Williams made their respective stops. The front running back had now reshuffled with Hamilton in the lead from Massa, Rosberg and Bottas.

It wouldn’t be Silverstone if the weather didn’t have some sort of impact on proceedings. At first the rain was steadily falling on one side of the circuit while the other remained bone dry. As drivers were slipping and sliding their way around several drivers including Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso gambled with a switch to intermediate tyres. It proved a touch too early for Raikkonen who shredded his intermediates on the drying surface.

Alonso_Britain 2015Lewis Hamilton timed his tyre switch to perfection as the rain started falling once more as he exited the pits on the green-walled intermediate tyre and retook the lead of the race. Rosberg made his stop a lap later and emerged in second place where he would remain until the chequered flag. Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas chances of the podium evaporated as the pair struggled for pace in the wet conditions. The duo eventually finished fourth and fifth as a slightly later call for intermediates from Vettel meant that the Ferrari jumped both Williams’ into third place.

Red Bull Racing’s Daniil Kvyat finished sixth while Nico Hulkenberg brought home his heavily revised Force India in seventh ahead of Kimi Raikkonen. The sister Force India of Sergio Perez finished ninth ahead of Fernando Alonso who ended a miserable non-point scoring run with tenth place.

To win on home ground is something special and Hamilton has now done it three times. This win is an invaluable boost of confidence that could carry him all the way to that coveted third world championship title.

About Natalie Le Clue

Natalie Le Clue is an F1 aficionado of the most dedicated vein. And, true to form for any F1-enamoured junkie, she readily admits to crying the first time she saw a F1 car, calling it an ‘overwhelming moment’. Natalie has won the 2010 gSport Woman In Media award, the 2015 Woman In Media Print award, and has been named as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in South African Sport by the Department of Sport and Recreation. Natalie is currently serving as SAfm's F1 correspondent. Follow Natalie on Twitter @nlc27

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