7th July, 2014 (F1Plus / Rosie Baillie) - This weekend the British Grand Prix celebrated its 50th anniversary of the race being held at Silverstone, and weren’t we given a race worthy of that celebration?
Kimi Raikkonen brought the race to a halt on the opening lap after a crash that registered 47G. The race was red flagged for an hour while the guardrail was repaired. Ferrari said the Finn left the circuit before the end of the race and seemed ‘ok’, however he will not take part in the Silverstone test for them.
Once the race restarted Lewis Hamilton was able to capitalise on teammate Nico Rosberg’s gearbox issue to win his home grand prix for the second time.
Here’s how each drivers race went.
1. Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes - 25 points
The Briton had a strong initial start and gained a few places on the opening lap. After the restart Hamilton climbed up to second place and began hunting down race leader and teammate Rosberg.
Before he could make the move Rosberg was forced to retire with a gearbox problem. Hamilton went on to win his home race and is now four points behind Rosberg in the drivers’ championship.
2. Valtteri Bottas - Williams - 18 points
During Thursday’s press conference Bottas commented that he thought his performance in Austria, where he finished third, was a one off. The Williams driver took the second step on the podium and pulled off some great passes throughout the race.
3. Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull Racing - 15 points
Once again the Australian driver was the fastest Red Bull on track and finished third for the third time this year.
Post-race Ricciardo said that it was the best third place he’d ever earned as he felt he’d redeemed himself after qualifying eighth.
4. Jenson Button - McLaren - 12 points
The Briton took advantage of changeable conditions on Saturday and qualified third for his home race. Button was competitive throughout the race but ran out of laps and opportunities to pass Ricciardo for third place.
5. Sebastian Vettel - Red Bull Racing - 10 points
The quadruple world champion wasn’t quite able to match the performance of teammate Ricciardo. Post-race Vettel said that the pace was there but the strategy was wrong.
Towards the end of the race we witnessed a brilliant battle between Vettel and double world champion Fernando Alonso. The pair were all over each other and all over team radio complaining about each others lack of respect for the track limits.
6. Fernando Alonso - Ferrari - 8 points
Shortly after the restart Alonso came under investigation for being out of his grid box on the initial start. TV footage showed that the Ferrari was much further forward than he should have been and Alonso was handed a 5 second stop-go penalty. After the race he explained that he couldn’t see the board that indicated where he was supposed to stop.
A few laps before the chequered flag there was nothing Alonso could do to keep Vettel’s charging Red Bull behind him.
The Spaniard was heard on team radio demanding that Vettel gave the place back, arguing that he had overtaken him while off the track.
7. Kevin Magnussen - McLaren - 6 points
The Dane had a strong start but was unable to keep Vettel and Alonso behind him. Post-race Magnussen explained that they had much better pace on the prime tyre and struggled a little on the option tyre.
8. Nico Hulkenberg - Force India - 4 points
A poor start for the German saw him drop two positions after starting fourth on the grid. Things got worse from that point onwards for Hulkenberg who described the race as ‘difficult’ and said the Force India lacked pace.
9. Daniil Kvyat - Toro Rosso - 2 points
Following three retirements in a row, the Russian rookie was happy to reach the finish line and pick up two points.
Kvyat began chasing down Hulkenberg in the closing laps but wasn’t able to find a way past to pick up another two points.
10. Jean-Eric Vergne - Toro Rosso - 1 point
An opening lap incident with Sergio Perez saw him drop to the back of the grid. Surprisingly Vergne was happy with his race and later said he enjoyed working his way back through the field to pick up the last point.
11. Sergio Perez - Force India
On the opening lap Perez and Vergne made contact, knocking the Force India driver down the order which meant he had to try to work his way back through traffic on prime tyres, which they were struggling with. A switch to option tyres saw things improve and he finished just shy of the points.
12. Romain Grosjean - Lotus
A switch issue resulting in limited power meant Grosjean had a poor initial start which meant he dropped down the order and suffered visor damage after being hit by some debris from Raikkonen’s crash.
The restart was stronger and the Frenchman finished 12th, losing one place overall throughout the race.
13. Adrian Sutil - Sauber
The Sauber driver described his race as ‘unspectacular’ as he spent most of his race defending. Sutil explained that once he passed Jules Bianchi early on his lap times began improving, but after switching to the hard tyre he wasn’t able to attack.
14. Jules Bianchi - Marussia
Bianchi’s initial start was strong and saw him move up to 10th place and enjoying his first stint after the restart.
The Frenchman knew he wouldn’t be able to hold off faster cars but enjoyed defending against them and tried to keep pace with the midfielders.
15. Kamui Kobayashi - Caterham
On the opening lap the Japanese driver had to swerve and go across the grass to avoid a collision with Raikkonen. Unsurprisingly his bit of off-roading damaged the car and affected it’s downforce, meaning he wasn’t able to get the best out of the car.
16. Max Chilton - Marussia
Saturday’s was a day of mixed fortunes for the Brit - he scored a 13th place grid position for the race but then took a five place grid penalty for a gearbox change.
On the opening lap Chilton’s car was hit by a loose tyre from Raikkonen’s Ferrari and narrowly avoided injury. He then pitted under the red flag which put him further back after serving a drive through penalty and crossed the line 16th.
17. Pastor Maldonado - Lotus
On lap 12 the Venezuelan’s E22 was lifted up off the track when he was caught up in a tangle with Esteban Gutierrez. Maldonado was able to continue to race but retired a few laps before the end with an exhaust issue.
DNF - Nico Rosberg
As Hamilton began to chase down Rosberg it looked like we would be treated to an exciting battle between the two teammates. Before we could see that though, Rosberg’s gearbox suffered an issue which forced him to retire.
DNF - Marcus Ericsson
A strong start saw the Caterham driver move up from 21st to 16th on the opening lap of the race. A few laps after the restart he hit something in the kerb which damaged his suspension and forced him to retire.
DNF - Esteban Gutierrez
A few laps after the restart Gutierrez collided with Maldonado heading into turn 16, which ended his race.
Post-race the stewards decided the Sauber driver was at fault and gave him a three place grid penalty for the German Grand Prix.
DNF - Kimi Raikkonen - Ferrari + Felipe Massa - Williams
On the opening lap of the British Grand Prix, Raikkonen ran wide and hit the gravel as he rejoined the track which caused him to skid, hit a wall and then skid back across the track.
The Finnish driver was taken to the medical centre and as he left the circuit before the end of the race Ferrari said he seemed ‘ok’. The Maranello based team later reported that crash measured a huge 47G. (To put that into perspective, Massa’s crash in Canada was 27G.)
Massa swerved to avoid the out of control Ferrari but caught the back of his Williams. He was able to limp back to the grid to be checked over by his mechanics but the car had to be retired.