Formula 1 at Silverstone: Vettel's accident, Hamilton's victory - Sport
- At the GP of England Lewis Hamilton also wins his home race in Formula 1.
- Sebastian Vettel makes for an accident and falls far behind.
After a brutal risk maneuver at the spectacular Grand Prix of Great Britain Sebastian Vettel can almost completely bury his low title hopes. Lying in third place, the 32-year-old Ferrari star raced to the rear of the Red Bull As Max Max Verstappen on Sunday in Silverstone. Vettel dropped to the pits to return to the track last, scoring a ten-second penalty and ending 15th in England, while his long-time Lewis Ramilton continued his triumph through the season. The five-time Formula 1 champion celebrated his seventh victory in the tenth world championship this year.
With his success on Sunday before 141 000 spectators, Hamilton also crowned the record winner in the Home of British Motorsport. He had started from second place, benefited from an impeccable performance with the fastest race lap but also from a safety car phase. Valtteri Bottas was second in the second Mercedes ahead of Vettel's team-mate Charles Leclerc, who should also have accelerated the internal changing of the guard at the Scuderia against the luckless and faulty Vettel. In the ranking Hamilton leads with 223 points in front of Bottas (184) and Verstappen (136). Vettel is 100 points behind Hamilton, who celebrated his 80th Grand Prix victory.
It was for Vettel after a messy qualification on the day before actually quite properly going on. He was successful at the start, which Hamilton did not manage there yet. He took a place well and pushed past Pierre Gasly in the Red Bull after the son of the late-season Charlie Whiting had also released the race under the eyes of James Bond actor Daniel Craig. He and everyone else got a race with the license to cheer. Because Hamilton made from the first corner of pressure on his Finnish stable rival Bottas, who had secured the pole with six thousandths of a second advantage.
"This is an incredibly important Grand Prix for him," emphasized Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff immediately before the start of the Hamilton home race. The now 34-year-old was born in Stevenage, about 80 kilometers away. In the fourth round, Hamilton tried, also passed Bottas, the fans cheered, but the Finn struck back and conquered with another attacking maneuver the lead back. "It's my plan to be the party crasher," Bottas had said before starting from the pole.
The distance between the silver arrows remained small, the smallest mistake Bottas and Hamilton would pass. A nervous game with 300 things. Behind Leclerc drove on his actually faster, because softer tires with a clear gap of over four seconds, followed by Verstappen, Vettel and Gasly. Until the Frenchman returned the favor for the starting maneuver at Hessen, but then came to the pits for a tire change.
A lap later, Leclerc and Verstappen followed, on whose Red Bull before the start had been screwed because of a broken end plate still hectic. Out came the two out of the box in reverse order, Verstappen, winner after a spectacular maneuver against Leclerc two weeks earlier on the Spielberger Red Bull Ring, in front of the Monegas. The duel of the two 21-year-olds continued brutally, again, the potential champions of the future delivered the biggest show. Vettel just drove along. Lucky for him: After a spin into the gravel of Antonio Giovinazzi in Alfa Romeo after 20 laps the safety car on the track.
Hamilton came in quickly to the tire change, Bottas had done before, disadvantage for the Finn. Also Vettel was raising new rubbers, as well as a second time Verstappen. Means: the three should be able to finish the race without further stops. Also Leclerc was ordered by Ferrari again to the pits, and came back in sixth. "How the hell have we lost the place?" Asked the Monegasque. Vettel was now suddenly on rank two course - with Verstappen in large format in his rear-view mirrors and a Leclerc with anger in the stomach. When Verstappen then passed Vettel, the native Heppenheimer wanted to counter. It ended with a little world champion rear-end collision and the low point of an already bitter season for Vettel - two weeks before the home race at the Hockenheimring.