Mercedes drivers all the way at Silverstone


The Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas were left euphoric after giving the team based in nearby Brackley a home race to remember with a 1-2 at the British Grand Prix.
For Lewis Hamilton, it was a stroll around the Silverstone park after leading from pole and having that position completely to himself throughout the 51 laps. As for Valterri Bottas, a little more adrenaline was involved, recovering from a five-place grid penalty that left him ninth on the grid to inherit second from Kimi Raikkonen after a puncture hit the Ferrari while under pressure.
The alternative strategy worked perfectly for the race winner in Austria seven days earlier, moving ahead of the midfield cars early, he was able to use superior speed to overhaul Max Verstappen before his pit-stop and would then sweep past Sebastian Vettel on the Hangar Straight for third before the last twist to complete a Mercedes 1-2 finish.
“For us as a team, it was really a perfect weekend for the circumstances,” The Finn said afterwards. “It’s just amazing what we’ve done today, the car was so good to drive, it was really quick, the team did perfect strategy for both of us, me and Lewis.
“I started the race with soft tyres, I had to run really long and we actually extended the first stint quite a bit because everything was still looking good. Towards the end on supersofts, the pace was good with the fresh tyres.
“I got through on Sebastian and was closing on Kimi, but I think realistically he was too far away for me to get P2, so I got lucky.
“On the other hand he got unlucky to lose his second place in the end, but a 1-2 is perfect.”
As for Hamilton, Sunday marked the fifth win at his home race and fourth in a row. With Vettel also suffering a puncture, dropping him to seventh on the penultimate lap, it sees the three-time champion move back to within a point of the four-time champion.
“The team did an exceptional job this weekend and the car felt great. Valtteri did an exceptional job to come back,” he said. “A perfect weekend for us as a team.
“I had a very good start and after that, I was able to manage the gap between myself and Kimi and just bit by bit, extend it by quite a bit.”
Hamilton would admit that he too had tyre issues towards the end, but would avoid a repeat of the 2013 failure that took him out while leading.
“In the end, I had a decent gap so it was really just about managing it, I could see the 14s gap I had to Kimi on the TV screens and then I heard at the end that there were some tyre blow outs.
“I had some graining and vibration on my tyres in the last couple of laps, so I just took it easy as I knew other guys were struggling.”
Finally, he acknowledges the backing he received this weekend in front of home crowd, going crowd-surfing after finishing on the podium.
“The support has just been immense this weekend, with the amount of flags, the amount of support today was tremendous,” he said.


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