Rate the Race and Driver of the Weekend, Round 10, Silverstone, British GP 2019
Mean Reader Score 8.53 Ranked 1st or 2nd /10 races so far.
Well, what a race that was! If we exclude Austria (which, due to time constraints, did not have a ‘proper’ poll associated with it) then Silverstone has been rated the best race of the season so far, scoring 8.53, ahead of Bahrain’s 8.08. The score of 8.53 is the best of the last four years (8.14, 2018; 6.67, 2017 and 6.79 in 2016) which bodes well for the next five years, where Silverstone will be hosting the British F1 GP until 2024.
As usual, the British weather played it’s part. Last year was blisteringly hot as the heatwave took its toll but this year it was the turn of the wind (and boy was that wind cold, especially in the grandstands). Having had his chances of setting another record scuppered last year by Vettel, could Hamilton make THIS his sixth win at Silverstone? In a word: yes.
Having been pipped at the post for pole by team-mate Bottas, Hamilton started in P2, with Mercedes taking yet another front row lock-out, ahead of Leclerc, Verstappen (could be interesting) on row 2 and (surprisingly?) Gasly and Vettel on row 3.
The start was clean, with Bottas keeping the lead and try as he may, Hamilton could not take it away from him. Ricciardo had a go at Norris into Copse but again, the youngster held his place. Lap 4 saw the first of several excellent dogfights: Hamilton caught Bottas along the Wellington straight, badgered him wheel to wheel through Brooklands, where Bottas managed to stay ahead, but went wide on the exit allowing Hamilton to finally snatch the lead into Luffield. Bottas, however was having none of it and re-took the lead almost immediately into Copse Corner. Phew More scraps followed between Leclerc and Verstappen, Leclerc and Verstappen in the pits, more Leclerc and Verstappen (x2), as well as Albon and Norris, (x2), Hulkenberg and Albon, Hulkenberg and Ricciardo, Perez and Hulkenberg (crash), Leclerc and Verstappen, Leclerc and Gasly and last but not least, Vettel and Verstappen (crash). No wonder this was voted best race of the season so far.
Pitstops and safety cars played their part as well, as Hamilton took advantage of the safety car caused by Giovanazzi’s spin to dip into the pits and come out in P1, where he stayed for the rest of the race to take this, his sixth Silverstone victory, where, of course, he applauded the fans as ‘the best in the world’. We can’t not mention Gasly, who, having been a little (ahem) lackluster this season, picked up a very respectable 4th place in this race.
Last year Vettel won this race and it was team-mate Raikkonen who took a ten second penalty for crashing into Hamilton. This year it is Vettel who took the 10s penalty and team-mate LeClerc who not only made it to the podium, but won our Driver of the Weekend as well.
Driver of the Weekend: Charles Leclerc 33.49% of reader vote
As we can see from above, a lot of the action this race came from Leclerc, who started and finished in P3, giving us lots of wheel to wheel racing throughout. This bodes well for the future, as the older drivers begin to retire and are replaced by these young guns. To mis-quote Bowie, ‘I’m not sure what the future holds, but I know it won’t be boring’. Well done Charles!!