• Lewis Hamilton won the 2020 British GP.
• Nico Hulkenberg returned with Racing Point, but failed to start the race.
• Charles Leclerc scored another lucky podium for Ferrari.
• For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za
This past Sunday's British Formula 1 Grand Prix (2 August) was a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, it was dreary. But on the other, the action-packed final two laps had more than enough oomph to make up for the predictability.
And all the while, some racers made the most of the conditions than others. Here are some of the winners and losers from the race.
Hamilton and his Mercedes team mate, Valtteri Bottas, were in a class of their own. Up until the final two laps that almost saw both men retire from the race, nothing was preventing either Hamilton or Bottas from bringing home maximum points. But when both drivers suffered left front tyre failures, it was Bottas who pulled on the shortest end of the stick. Hamilton, however, was lucky to make it to the finish line… on three wheels!
Hamilton had to caress his car throughout the entire final lap. And were it not for a last-ditch effort by Red Bull to pit Max Verstappen for fresh tyres, the race would not have gone Hamilton's way. In the end, Hamilton increased his points advantage over Bottas in the championship standings and became the first driver in F1 history to win his home race for a record eighth time!
Bottas, meanwhile, came home in eleventh place.
We know, how on earth can Leclerc and Ferrari be classified as 'winners'? Leclerc qualified in fourth place in his dreary Ferrari. And in the race, maintaining the position for the duration thereof. Although he had no answer to the two Mercedes drivers and Verstappen ahead of him, he still managed to fend off challenges from Daniel Ricciardo (Renault) and Lando Norris (McLaren).
So when bad luck hit Bottas two laps from the end, Leclerc managed to pass him for third place (by this time, Verstappen had already taken second). Leclerc kept the position and made his second appearance on the podium in four races. The Ferrari is nowhere near fighting for a podium slot cleanly, but picking up the scraps is they can do for now.
And Leclerc seems to be at the right place at the right time.
For those unaware, Racing Point driver, Sergio Perez, contracted Covid-19 ahead of the race. In his place, the team roped in the services of former driver, Hulkenberg. In his return, he qualified ninth for the race, but a technical issue prevented him from starting the grand prix.
Minutes before the start, the Racing Point engineers were scrambling to get his car ready, but to no avail. Hulkenberg will stand in for Perez again for this weekend's race.
Rumours are swirling around of Raikkonen calling time on his F1 career, but his possible final season is far from going according to plan. So far, Raikkonen failed to score a single point, and this past Sunday was another forgetful race.
It was made even worse when his team called him into the pits for fresh tyres, only to make a u-turn on the decision. That was the straw that broke the camel's back, and Raikkonen gave his team an earful over the radio.
Warning: The video below contains foul language.