Sebastian Vettel took the lead in the final laps to win the F1 British Grand Prix ahead of Lewis Hamilton on Sunday!
Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari has won the F1 British Grand Prix, finishing just ahead of his Drivers Championship rival, Lewis Hamilton. Kimi Raikkonen, Vettel’s teammate, rounded out the podium by finishing in third.
Hamilton started the race on pole with hopes of taking the championship lead back, but a crash with Raikkonen early had him at the back of the pack early in the race. But a hard, hard race for him ended with a second-place finish to mitigate the damage.
Valtteri Bottas finished the race in fourth after he led going into the final laps, but his tires simply quit on him near the end. Mercedes had elected to keep both of their cars out during the safety car that saw Vettel and others pit, and Vettel had the pace to take the win. Raikkonen wound up having the pace to take third from Bottas for good measure.
Vettel had a phenomenal start and was immediately past Hamilton and everyone else. Hamilton also lost out to Bottas, his teammate, and was scrapping with Raikkonen for position. Around the third turn, Raikkonen hit Hamilton and spun him out all the way to the back of the pack on the first lap, a drastic fall from first place.
Raikkonen was given a 10-second time penalty for the incident, and Hamilton was immediately in damage control mode. Despite complaining that his car didn’t feel right, Hamilton carved all the way up from the back of the pack up to sixth place, behind only his teammate, the Red Bulls and the Ferraris, by Lap 11 of the race.
Raikkonen wound up serving his penalty and pitting what many viewed to be early for the medium tires, but he was quickly back on the track and moving through the field.
After the start and Raikkonen’s pit stop, the top three was Vettel, Bottas and Verstappen.
Later in the race after everyone had pit, Red Bull pit Ricciardo for a second time to re-fit the soft tires. It was a bold move that may have been a bigger deal if not for the fact that Marcus Ericsson went off the track and crashed out of the race, bringing out a safety car around Lap 31.
Mercedes kept both Bottas and Hamilton on the track with older medium tires while Vettel, Verstappen and Raikkonen all went into the pits to fit the soft tires, setting up a sprint for the finish.
Brendon Hartley had car issues and this team was working tirelessly as the race approached to get it ready for the race. Unfortunately, his Toro Rosso wasn’t ready in time and shortly after his car was led out of the garage (while the rest of the pack was starting the second lap), he became the first driver to retire from the race.
Charles Leclerc was the second one to retire from the race after he suffered a car issue shortly after his first pit stop. Then his teammate, Marcus Ericsson, retired a bit later after a crash that prompted the first safety car. Four laps later, there was another safety car when Carlos Sainz Jr. pushed Romain Grosjean aside and didn’t leave enough room, leading to both to retire from the race.
Below you can see the full finishing order for Sunday’s race, and below that is the full live blog as it happened on Sunday!
2018 British Grand Prix Finishing Order
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull|
|7||Esteban Ocon||Force India|
|10||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso|
|11||Sergio Pérez||Force India|
|15||Max Verstappen||Red Bull|
|16||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Renault|
|20||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso|
Lap 52/52 – FINAL
Gasly makes it past Perez for 10th place and a championship point. Hamilton is trying hard to get to Vettel but he’s not going to make it. Ricciardo is half a second behind Bottas going into the final lap. Bottas has fallen back four seconds back of Raikkonen. Onto the final lap and Vettel finishes in first! Hamilton, after the Lap 1 crash, finishes second and Raikkonen has the final podium spot!
Ricciardo is within a second of Raikkonen, who is attacking Bottas. Vettel is 2.1 seconds ahead of Hamilton. Bottas is having some issues with his tires. Raikkonen easily overtakes him on the straight! It’s Vettel, Hamilton and Raikkonen as of Lap 50! Hamilton isn’t making gains on Vettel with two laps to go. Gasly is right behind Perez scrapping out for the final points position. Only Gasly, Vandoorne, Stroll and Sirotkin are out of the points with six retirements.
Vettel keeps trying to push on Bottas, and Hamilton keeps getting closer as a result, with Raikkonen just behind. Less than two seconds separate the top four drives. Perez is trying to fight Alonso for the final points position further back. And Verstappen is off! He’s off the track! He loses a place to his teammate, Ricciardo, but he gets back on track having only lost one spot. Or maybe not? He may have a tire issue after going off the track. Meanwhile, Vettel finally makes the move on Bottas and gets past him when Bottas has a late braking turn. Verstappen down in 14th, and it looks like he’s stopping. Vettel sets a fastest lap of the race. There are yellow flags in Sector 1 as Verstappen retires. Hamilton gets past Bottas, but it’s unclear if that was team orders or not.
Raikkonen and Ricciardo go wheel-to-wheel upon the restart. Alonso picks up a place on Magnussen. The top six hold after we get racing again. Vettel is right behind Bottas, who tries a quick pass but Bottas cuts him off. Vettel is setting purples, and he’s trying very, very hard to get pas Bottas. Verstappen is pushing on Hamilton. Raikkonen pushes Verstappen wide and he passes the younger driver for fourth! It’s Bottas, Vettel, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, Ocon, Magnussen and Alonso for the points positions a couple laps into the restart! Vettel tries hard to take first from Bottas! He nearly gets it, but both cars are squeezed, with Hamilton real close behind. Vettel has DRS assistance, but Bottas is defending very well. Raikkonen tries to make a move on Hamilton, but the Mercedes defends!
The back of the pack is Sirotkin and Stroll with five cars out of the race. Grosjean says Sainz cut him off, and Sainz says Grosjean understeered into him. That incident will be investigated after the race. Safety car should be coming in on Lap 42.
The safety car is coming in as of Lap 37. Hamilton is complaining on the team radio, but that’s nothing new. Bottas plays it well, too. Hamilton is under pressure from Verstappen upon the restart. Raikkonen is pushing Verstappen, too. Raikkonen makes the move on Verstappen a few turns later and takes the lead from him. Verstappen takes it back a turn later, and keeps the position! Sainz and Grosjean have crashed out of the race in Sector 2, and we have another safety car! Both the Haas and the Renault will retire from the race.
Ericsson has gone off the track and very hard into the barrier! He’s far off the track, but they deploy the safety car regardless. It was a very, very hard crash but Ericsson gets out of his car, fortunately. He crashed after going off at Abbey. This safety car should help Ricciardo a whole lot, who just pit. Vettel pits, but Bottas stays out. Vettel fits the soft tires. Verstappen and Raikkonen both pit as well. Both Mercedes drivers stay out on track. Unfortunately for Ricciardo, he doesn’t wind up ahead of either of them, but he’s not far behind now. Both Mercedes are on the medium tires still. This will be an interesting back half of the race.
Hamilton is within seven seconds of Raikkonen in fith. Ricciardo is pitting for a second time — it’s unclear why at this point. He fits the soft tires, rejoining the track behind Hamilton but ahead of the Hulkenberg-Ocon-Alonso-Magnussen-Sainz train. Seems Red Bull have pitted Ricciardo to potentially cut off Raikkonen, who they think won’t make it to the end of the race on that one. Bottas is nearing the two second mark to Vettel, who once again might be nursing his left front tire. Verstappen is 14 seconds back of Bottas.
Grosjean pits, and rejoins all the way back in 15th. Magnussen is in 10th, behind Alonso, Ocon and Hulkenberg, who are all very close together, about 30 seconds behind Hamilton in sixth. Vettel remains about three seconds up on Bottas as of Lap 29.
Raikkonen is within a second of Ricciardo, and is pushing hard. Raikkonen is about 20 seconds ahead of Magnussen behind him. On Lap 25, Hamilton is told to pit. It’s a 3.5-second stop, and he rejoins the track behind Raikkonen, and ahead of Magnussen, who finally pits as well. Magnussen rejoins in 11th behind Alonso. Grosjean and Stroll are the only ones who have yet to stop.
Vettel pits with a big flat spot on his left front tire. He rejoins the race in second, ahead of Hamilton and behind Bottas. A lap later, Mercedes bring in Bottas and he rejoins in third place behind Hamilton, though the latter hasn’t stopped yet. Hamilton tells his team radio that the car feels fine at the moment. Neither Haas car has stopped as of Lap 22. Hulkenberg and Sainz are both running the hard tires, the only ones on the grid doing so. Magnussen and Grosjean both are still on the softs, along with Hamilton, who has been instructed to let Bottas past. He does so and Bottas begins chasing down Vettel, back 3.8 seconds.
Vettel has a bad lockup and he loses some time to Bottas in second. He should be stopping soon at this point. He’s got five seconds on Bottas who has about 11 seconds on Verstappen in third. Raikkonen moves past Ocon, and then Leclerc to seventh. Verstappen pits on Lap 18, as Raikkonen passes Hulkenberg. Verstappen fits the medium tires, and rejoins the race ahead of Raikkonen but behind Hamilton. A lap later, it looks like Ricciardo is coming in. Sainz pits and fits the hard tire, surprisingly, but he started on used mediums. Leclerc pits and fits the mediums. Leclerc has an issue — he’s having to pull out and stop. He has to retire from the race, which is a huge shame as he was running in the points.
Hamilton makes it past Leclerc and is up to seventh … and a few turns later, he easily passes Hulkenberg on the back straight so he’s in sixth, behind Ricciardo, but a little over 10 seconds behind the Red Bull. Vettel is leading by about six seconds. Hamilton rounds Turn 9 just as Ricciardo is making his way through Turn 13. Raikkonen pits a lap later and serves his penalty. He fits the medium tires, but doesn’t get a nose cone change. He comes back out in 10th, elevating Hamilton to fifth. Hamilton is a full pitstop behind Vettel in first.
Raikkonen locks up and goes wide while chasing Verstappen, and then Raikkonen is given a 10-second stop-go penalty for spinning out Hamilton, and that’s going to be huge. Hamilton moves past Magnussen, and then past Sainz so he’s up into ninth and into the points, behind Ocon.
The stewards are looking at the incident involving Raikkonen and Hamilton. Raikkonen, meanwhile, is less than a second behind Verstappen and is trying to make a pass on him, as Vettel sets purples. Hamilton makes it up to 13th, ahead of Grosjean and behind Gasly. It’s Vettel, Bottas, Verstappen, Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, Leclerc, Ocon, Sainz and Magnussen for the top 10. Upon replay, we see why Perez is out as he’s tapped from behind, which spun him around and through the pit lane. Vettel has a five-second lead on Bottas, and Hamilton passes Gasly. He then passes Alonso and is up to 11th.
Vettel gets off the starting line much, much faster than Hamilton and he quickly has the lead! Bottas also starts well and passes his teammate, then Raikkonen and Hamilton come together, spinning Hamilton out! He’s dropped several places as a result! He’s running down in 18th, and there are yellow flags in the first sector. Raikkonen also dropped back, but not far — he’s in fourth, with Verstappen in third, and ahead of Ricciardo. Perez also has fallen far to the back of the pack. Hamilton passes Lance Stroll, but he’s got a ways to go. Looks like Hartley is being retired from the race before it can even start!
Vettel will keep him company on the front row as he tries to maintain his lead.
The Formula One British Grand Prix is set to begin at 9 a.m. ET in the United States, and will be broadcast on ESPN. Live online streaming of the race can be had via WatchESPN, the ESPN App or F1 TV Pro.
Hamilton said that his pole-setting lap was one of the most intense laps of his career.
“It’s one of the best laps I’ve ever produced,” Hamilton said. “I would say it was the most pressurized lap that I’ve ever had.
“I was shaking through the emotions,” he went on to say. “The adrenaline rush was actually way above the limit that I had experienced before. Its kind of crazy to think it’s my 76th [pole position].”
The second row includes Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari and Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes. Max Verstappen out-qualified his Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo, as they occupy the third row in fifth and sixth on the grid, respectively. Verstappen is coming off a win in the Austrian Grand Prix.
Once again, there are a couple nice surprises: the American-owned Haas team locked out the fourth row with Kevin Magnussen just edging out Romain Grosjean, who once again had some crashing issues prior to qualifying.
And then there’s the young Charles Leclerc of Sauber, amid many rumors of where he’ll end up next season, he’s managed to put his car back into the Top 10, starting ninth on the grid. Sergio Perez of Force India rounds out the top 10.
It will be interesting to see how much Ferrari pushes Mercedes on Sunday, given Bottas seemed primed to finish qualifying ahead of Vettel but had an error at the last corner that forced him down to fourth on the grid.
“[I did the] same thing and even bigger mistake in Q3 run two,” Bottas said after the session. “I just ended up going a bit too deep and struggled out of [turn] 17. So I lost about three-tenths or something, for sure we should’ve been in the front row both cars today. It was extremely close, so it’s disappointing to be fourth.”