Even with a Mercedes tricycle, Lewis Hamilton steers his seventh world title inexorably, Sebastian Vettel lands tenth in the Formula 1 no man’s land with Ferrari, and Nico Hülkenberg can make his comeback at Racing Point after a “blatant crime story” before the start .
While there was not much to fetch for the two German drivers at the British Grand Prix in Silverstone, Hamilton collected the 87th race win of his career with an unbearable ease for the competition – despite a left front tire breaking up half a lap before the finish.
“Wow, that was close,” Hamilton radioed to his pit crew after crossing the finish line. After his third win of the season in the fourth race, the 35-year-old extended the lead in the World Championship standings. The fact that he is catching up to record world champion Michael Schumacher at the end of the season already seems to be set in stone.
Bottas falls out of the points
A slip of Valtteri Bottas prevented another double victory for Mercedes two laps before the end, the Finn dropped 11th out of the top ten and had to leave Max Verstappen in the Red Bull and Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari to the other places on the podium. (DATA CENTER: The Formula 1 driver classification)
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Hülkenberg, meanwhile, witnessed the race as a spectator at the Racing Point command post after he was flown in on Thursday in a Hau-Ruck campaign to replace Sergio Perez, a Mexican who tested positive for Corona. “I have the toughest race of my career ahead of me,” he said with anticipation shortly before the start: “It will be a challenge, but also one that I’m looking forward to.”
The joy was short-lived, a defect in the drive unit stopped Hülkenberg on the way to the starting grid. The computer had sent an error message, all attempts by the mechanics to find and correct this error in time failed.
Hülkenberg could not start
“I can’t say exactly what was going on,” said Hülkenberg am RTL-Microphone: “The engine could not be started. It is bitter. A blatant thriller that I am in. Nothing worked, there was nothing to fix.” Racing Point team boss Otmar Szafnauer decides whether he can try again in the same place next week “at the latest on Thursday”.
Vettel will definitely try again, although the four-time world champion is as far from the ease of being as Hamilton is from the back row. Almost endless technical problems in training and qualifying fueled Vettel’s frustration, but he tried to keep a good face to the bad game. (Formula 1 racing calendar 2020)
“We are coming from tenth place and I do not think it will be a miracle that we will finish on the podium,” he had said before the race and hoped “at least a little more fun than in the last two days”: “Ideally it will work it’s a few places forward, it can’t get much worse. “
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However, he should hardly have had much fun in a poor race in the home of British motorsport.
Hamilton was lonely at the top, only Bottas could reasonably follow the world champion in the shape of his life. Mercedes drove its own race in the race, the competition had no chance to attack the silver arrows. Hamilton’s lead was ultimately so great that Verstappen could not catch up with him even after his tire was damaged.