Lewis Hamilton chases Charles Leclerc down to win the British GP

Lewis Hamilton overcame a penalty and an inspired drive from Charles Leclerc to win a dramatic British GP. 

Mercedes’ Hamilton hurdled several barriers as he snatched victory in today’s dramatic race.

Like yesterday’s sprint race, the driver in second got a better launch off the line. Hamilton immediately pressured pole-sitter Verstappen. The Dutchman out-braked Hamilton into Brooklands as the Mercedes’ superior top speed made Verstappen sweat.

A tardy exit out of Luffield provided Hamilton with another slipstream towards Copse. Hamilton moved to the inside to overtake; Verstappen came back to take the corner, and the pair collided. The crash sent Verstappen spearing into the barriers at Copse. He luckily walked away despite suffering a 51g impact.

In the melee, Charles Leclerc capitalised after he leapt off the line to beat Bottas. Leclerc then swooped through Copse to take the lead. The resulting barrier damage caused a red flag. The stewards awarded Hamilton a ten-second penalty when the race restarted.

At the restart, Leclerc once again aced his start and fended off Hamilton. Lando Norris beat Bottas to third place, although it didn’t last beyond the first stop as a slow tyre change for McLaren gave Bottas track position.

Meanwhile, in the lead, Charles Leclerc serenely wrestled control of the race as he drove his heart out in a Ferrari car that held no right to challenge the Mercedes cars. Leclerc was arguably the fastest car on track in the medium tyres; he stopped later than Hamilton and came back out in the lead.

After Hamilton served his penalty, he hunted down Norris, Bottas let him through, and then the reigning champion chased down Leclerc as he voraciously ate into the Monegasque’s lead.

The harder tyre suited Hamilton over Leclerc’s Ferrari, the British driver got an orderly exit out of Luffield; he then overtook Leclerc at Copse to win a famous race.

Daniel Ricciardo benefited from a sticky stop for Ferrari on Carlos Sainz’s car. The Spaniard did chase Ricciardo in the final stint but to no avail. Lance Stroll, Fernando Alonso, Esteban Ocon and Yuki Tsunoda rounded out the points.

The other Aston Martin driver endured a tough day. Vettel spun off on the exit of Luffield before he retired the car in the late stages. Sergio Perez’s miserable weekend got compounded with a bizarre pit strategy, although he did snatch the fastest lap point away from Hamilton.

Ultimately, today’s British GP ignited this year’s championship rivalry. It also served as a reminder of Charles Leclerc’s brilliant talent.

It was one of the big, shifting moments of the 2021 season. A line in the sand got drawn by Lewis Hamilton today; he is not backing down. The championship fight is on.

Final Classification

1 44 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Mercedes 52 2 25
2 16 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari Ferrari 52 3.871 3.871 3.871 2 18
3 77 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes Mercedes 52 11.125 11.125 7.254 2 15
4 4 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes 52 28.573 28.573 17.448 2 12
5 3 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren Mercedes 52 42.624 42.624 14.051 2 10
6 55 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari Ferrari 52 43.454 43.454 0.830 2 8
7 14 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine Renault 52 1’12.093 1’12.093 28.639 2 6
8 18 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes 52 1’14.289 1’14.289 2.196 2 4
9 31 France Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault 52 1’16.162 1’16.162 1.873 2 2
10 22 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri Honda 52 1’22.065 1’22.065 5.903 2 1
11 10 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri Honda 52 1’25.327 1’25.327 3.262 3
12 63 United Kingdom George Russell Williams Mercedes 51 1 lap 2
13 99 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Ferrari 51 1 lap 2
14 6 Canada Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes 51 1 lap 2
15 7 Finland Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Ferrari 51 1 lap 2
16 11 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull Honda 51 1 lap 4
17 9 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin Haas Ferrari 51 1 lap 2
18 47 Germany Mick Schumacher Haas Ferrari 51 1 lap 2
DNF 5 Germany Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin Mercedes 40 3 Gearbox
DNF 33 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda 0