British GP F1 Report: Drama All Around as Hamilton Wins After Crash Controversy With Verstappen

Published 07/18/2021, 12:02 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 18, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen leads at the start of the race ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton REUTERS/Peter Cziborra


A chaos-ridden Sunday afternoon at Silverstone witnessed Lewis Hamilton claim his 4th F1 race win of the season. Behind the Briton came Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who despite showing massive resilience, ended up losing the lead during the latter part of the race.

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The British Grand Prix also ended up being the first time this season where Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen crashed into each other. While the former managed to keep his car going, the latter’s car was absolutely shattered, triggering the Dutchman’s second DNF of 2021.

Behind the duo came Valtteri Bottas, who is recovering quite well from the crisis, early on in the season. Lando Norris managed to secure another top 5 finish for McLaren, ahead of his teammate, Daniel Ricciardo.

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Chaotic race start at Silverstone

It was an incredible wheel-to-wheel battle between the two title contenders from the lights out, but the worst was yet to come. It took just 9 turns into the race for Hamilton and Verstappen to cause their first incident of this season.

However, the championship leader suffered the worst, as Verstappen ended up in the barriers, completely shattering his Red Bull. Thankfully, the Dutchman was okay, as he got out of the car safe and sound.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 18, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen leads at the start of the race ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

Amidst the chaos, Leclerc managed to get into the lead and led the race for two laps behind the safety car before the stewards decided to red flag the session. Both the Aston Martin drivers enjoyed a brilliant start, as Vettel and Stroll made up a handful of places.

During the restart, Leclerc managed to pull away quite well, leaving Hamilton with no hopes of regaining the lead. And then came the news that Hamilton will need to serve a 10-second penalty.

First round of pit stops

Perez along with Raikkonen and Russell entered the pit-stop on lap 20. The Mexican finally managed to get past the Alfa Romeo driver after being stuck behind a train of cars.

Meanwhile, Ricciardo entered the pits on the very next lap to enjoy a quick stop. However, his teammate, Norris, wasn’t as lucky, as the Briton had to endure a painful six-second stop after an issue with the front-right.

Bottas saw an opportunity and pitted on lap 23. Unsurprisingly, the Finn made the much-needed jump on Norris, slotting himself into P4. Similar to Norris, Alonso, too, suffered a slow 5.4s pit stop, and almost lost his position to Stroll.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 18, 2021 Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. during the race REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

On lap 28, Hamilton entered the pit stop for a change of tires and to offload his penalty. Ultimately, after a 14s stop, Hamilton rejoined the track in P5. It was then time for Ferrari to bring in their drivers, with Sainz being the first of two.

However, the Spaniard joined the list of slow stops, with his time falling around a mammoth 12.3s. Hence, Sainz ended up losing his place to Ricciardo.

Battle for the F1 win

It was game on for Hamilton, who served his 10-second penalty and set for a late charge on the cars ahead. The first obstacle was Norris, who never tormented much.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 18, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during the race REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge

After getting past the McLaren driver, the driver ahead was his very own teammate, Bottas, who was running on much older hard tires. What’s more, Leclerc was steadily falling under pressure, as the Monegasque struggled with an engine mapping issue, causing significant power loss.

On lap 41, Bottas was struck with team orders, asking the Finn not to fight Hamilton. And rightfully so, the two Mercedes drivers swapped positions before turn 15.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 18, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during the race REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

Then came the battle for the win. Hamilton kept pulling a chunk of lap time off Leclerc, by gaining almost a second on the Monegasque each lap. The Briton finally made the much-needed move on the race leader with just over two laps in hand.

Incidents during the race

It took just half a lap into the race for Silverstone to witness its first incident. And the names involved were big – Hamilton and Verstappen. The latter showed an incredible level of defense against his title rival. However, it all went haywire when the duo arrived at turn 9.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 18, 2021 Williams’ George Russell during the race REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

Hamilton was on the inside around the high-speed corner but failed to complete the move. What’s more, while letting go of the throttle, Hamilton also ended up tapping Verstappen’s left-rear. This ultimately left Verstappen spiraling into the barriers.

During the safety car restart, it was time for Vettel to cause a spin. The German lost his rear while battling alongside Alonso and ended up spinning near the old pit lane entry. After battling hard at the bottom of the field, Aston Martin ordered Vettel to retire his car on lap 42.

Updated F1 Drivers’ Standings

  1. Max Verstappen – 185
  2. Lewis Hamilton – 177
  3. Lando Norris – 113
  4. Valtteri Bottas – 108
  5. Sergio Perez – 104
  6. Charles Leclerc – 80
  7. Carlos Sainz – 68
  8. Daniel Ricciardo – 50
  9. Pierre Gasly – 39
  10. Sebastian Vettel – 30
  11. Fernando Alonso – 26
  12. Lance Stroll – 18
  13. Esteban Ocon – 14
  14. Yuki Tsunoda – 10
  15. Kimi Raikkonen – 1
  16. Antonio Giovinazzi – 1
  17. George Russell – 0
  18. Mick Schumacher – 0
  19. Nikita Mazepin – 0
  20. Nicholas Latifi – 0

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Updated F1 Constructors’ Standings

  1. Red Bull Racing (Honda) – 289
  2. Mercedes AMG (Mercedes) – 285
  3. McLaren (Mercedes) – 163
  4. Scuderia Ferrari (Ferrari) – 148
  5. Scuderia AlphaTauri (Honda) – 49
  6. Aston Martin Racing (Mercedes) – 48
  7. Alpine (Renault) – 40
  8. Alfa Romeo Racing (Ferrari) – 2
  9. Williams (Mercedes) – 0
  10. Haas (Ferrari) – 0

Overall, Silverstone yet again managed to deliver what it usually does – an eventful F1 race weekend, which also held the first-ever sprint race qualifying.

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And, now, the next stop is at Hungaroring, which will witness F1 returning to the normal weekend schedule. So, how interesting and unpredictable will the weekend in Hungary shape up to be?

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Rohit Kumar

919 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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