It may have been a familiar result with Hamilton claiming victory and Rosberg finishing in second, but for me the British Grand Prix was the best race of the season by far. It was the first time since Vettel’s win for Ferrari in China back in April that it looked like another team, albeit Mercedes powered could win the race. I truly felt that Williams had the pace to win in the dry but the rain did fall during the final third of the race which put Williams on the back foot and allowed Mercedes to claim another 1-2 finish.
The race got off to an exciting start with both Williams jumping the Mercedes off the line, which immediately peaked my interest for two reasons, (1) being a Williams fan and (2) not seeing the Mercedes disappear into the distance and control the race. Hamilton did come back at Bottas when the Finn gave too much room to the Briton going into turn 4 allowing Hamilton to slide up the inside.
Meanwhile a little further back, Hulkenberg jumped from eighth to fifth place to demote the Ferrari’s back to sixth and eighth places with Red Bull’s Kvyat splitting Raikkonen and Vettel. Maldonado went back to his crashing ways, losing the back end of his car and taking out his team mate, Grosjean, which in turn forced Alonso to take avoiding action and collected his McLaren team mate, which ended Button’s race. Maldonado continued but stopped one lap later while Alonso had a lengthy stop for a new front wing.
All this first lap calamity brought out the safety car to recover the stopped cars of Grosjean, Button and Maldonado. During the restart on lap 4, Hamilton was keen to jump Massa for the lead and got a little overzealous, locking up his front wheels causing him to go off the track allowing Bottas to retake second.
I believe Williams made a mistake telling their drivers to hold station when Bottas was clearly faster than Massa and by the time that Bottas was given the go ahead to attack as long as it was a clean overtake, the opportunity had passed. Bottas clearly had the speed to put some distance between himself and Massa if he was allowed to pass the Brazilian. I feel this early race decision was the difference between a podium and finishing fourth and fifth, why on Earth would you not want your faster driver ahead on track?
On lap 39, the heavier rain started falling which changed the complexion of the race, Raikonen pitted for intermediate tyres, which turned out to be a bad decision as he had to make a second stop for intermediates on lap 48. Hamilton and Vettel both elected to pit on lap 44 and it paid off big time for both drivers, Hamilton retaking the lead and Vettel jumping both Williams to claim the final podium spot. Williams’ Bottas made a request for intermediate tyres a number of times including lap 43, one lap before Hamilton and Vettel pitted. I honestly think Williams made bad strategy calls at the British GP!
Massa and Bottas both lost out to Rosberg and Alonso as the rain fell because of Williams’ slow reaction to the changing weather conditions despite Bottas’ pleas to switch to intermediates. I think that it’s a massive missed opportunity for Williams to get onto the podium at the British Grand Prix.
Red Bull’s Kvyat had an anonymous race and claimed sixth place while Nico Hulkenberg had to settle for seventh place despite his lightning start followed by the second Ferrari of Raikkonen in eighth while Perez for Force India and Alonso for McLaren round out the points scorers in ninth and tenth respectively.
I certainly enjoyed the British Grand Prix much more than the previous two Grand Prix’ in Canada and Austria. Obviously the changeable weather conditions helped, but the Williams pace in the dry was a revelation, which adds excitement purely because Mercedes were on the back foot a little with the weather and Williams poor strategy being the equalizer for the Silver Arrows allowing for the 1-2 finish!
2015 British Grand Prix Results
1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:31:27.729
2. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) +10.9
3. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) +25.4
4. Felipe Massa (Williams) +36.8
5. Valteri Bottas (Williams) +63.1
6. Danill Kvyat (Red Bull) +63.9
7. Nico Hulkenberg (Force India) +78.7
8. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) +1 LAP
9. Sergio Perez (Force India) +1 LAP
10. Fernando Alonso (McLaren) +1 LAP