British Grand Prix 2015 Recap

Lewis Hamilton won his third British Grand Prix title in style before the 140,000 strong crowd in Silverstone. Unlike in most of his past wins, the Brit didn’t had the lead for the most part of this race and many also didn’t expect him to win it until the closing moments of what would probably be one of the best races in recent F1 history. Let’s have a detailed look on the things that made the British GP this year a classic.

Qualifying

Hamilton once again clocked the best time in qualifying to claim his third start from the pole at Silverstone. His teammate, Nico Rosberg as almost always recorded the second fastest time again and will start behind him. For a change, the Williams duo of Felipe Massa and Valterri Bottas will be behind them here and not the Ferrari duo of Vettel and Kvyat. Both McLaren drivers Alonso and Button failed in the first qualifying session, but will start on 17th and 18th places here respectively, ahead of the Manor duo of Stevens and Merhi who will occupy the remaining slots at the back of the grid.

Racing Conditions

The skies were gloomy with a big chance of rain during race day in Silverstone. The temperature is at around 38 degrees on the track which is also known for its abrasive surface and high speed corners. The teams are well prepared for these conditions and will use the hard and medium compound tyres for this event.

The Grid

The Race

Everybody was surprised to see the Williams duo of Massa and Bottas nip past the two Mercedes drivers who both occupied the first two positions in lap 1. Massa grabs the lead while his teammate followed him. Meanwhile, at the back Button’s and Grosjean’s cars were both stranded and the safety car is now out.

Maldonado became the third retirement for this race, as his car pulled out to the side of the track during lap 2. The remaining McLaren driver, Fernando Alonso also looked to be in trouble as he pits in early. After a long stop, Alonso finally gets back in the race.

The safety car is still in on lap 4. During this lap, the order of the race leaders is as follows: Massa, Hamilton, Bottas, Rosberg and Hulkenberg. Felipe Nasr’s car had trouble too and he was also forced to retire. Also during this lap, Max Verstappen’s car spun into the gravel and he became the fifth retiree for this race. The race is yet to really warm up but there have been five retirements already.

After an eventful opening the race is now on and the Williams duo are in front. On lap six, Massa of Williams is the race leader while his teammate Bottas is on second. They’re followed by the Mercedes duo of Hamilton and Rosberg for the third and fourth positions respectively.

Raikkonen made his first stop on lap 13. Moments later, Ricciardo and Sainz also made their first trip into the pits on lap 15. Most of the other drivers are yet to make their first stop. On lap 18, Alonso made his second stop and changed to medium tyres.

Hamilton makes his first stop during lap 20. Like Alonso, he also changed tyres, but from medium to hard. The Brit came back to the race in fourth position. But moments later, Massa and Rosberg decided to make their first stop. They’re followed by Bottas and suddenly Hamilton is now back in front.

The decision to make an early stop worked well for Hamilton to grab the lead. Rosberg who is now in fourth place is told by Mercedes to go into ’plan B’ which would likely be a two stop strategy. Meanwhile, Hamilton begins to pull away from Massa.

On lap 23, Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull became the sixth retiree for this race. There are now only 14 cars remaining at this point. On the front, Massa and Bottas are on the chase for Hamilton while Rosberg is still in fourth place.

Hamilton continues to pull away and on lap 31 he already has a five second lead over Massa. Rosberg is still in fourth. He’s in danger of not having a podium finish here. On lap 33, Carlos Sainz became retiree number seven here. The virtual safety car is now out while Sainz’s car is being pulled out of the track.

Rain begins to pour down on some parts of the track on lap 36. By this stage, Hamilton already has a 7.3 second advantage over Massa. On lap 40, Rosberg finally grabs the third position from Bottas. After that, he immediately begins to pile pressure on Massa.

On lap 43, Hamilton decided to make another stop and change to intermediate tyres in order to cope with the rain. He went back to the race in second. Rosberg then follows him into the pits afterwards. Heavy rain is now pouring on the track. Then, the two Williams decided to finally pit and this leaves Hamilton, Rosberg and Vettel in for the first three spots. They went back occupying the fourth and fifth positions in the race.

The decision to pit in early proved to be crucial for Mercedes to come up with another one-two in this race. Hamilton cruises in the final lap to win the British GP and he’s followed by Rosberg.

After Thoughts

The win extended Hamilton’s lead to Rosberg by 17 points. Next stop will be Hungaroring about two weeks from now. That race has the reputation to produce unpredictable results, so it will be interesting to see how it will unfold.