Lewis Hamilton wins the British Grand Prix after he sent rival Max Verstappen
crashing out following a 180mph first-lap collision.
Championship leader Verstappen started in pole position at Silverstoneafter winning
the inauguralF1 Sprint race on Saturday, but the Red Bull driver’s left rear tire hit
Hamilton’s front right tire on the Copse corner on the opening lap, leading the
Belgian to spin off the track and hit the barrier hard at approximately 180mph.
Verstappen, who had won the last three grands Prix ahead of Sunday’s event,
emerged from his wrecked car and was checked by medical staff before being
transported to a local hospital.
In the immediate aftermath of the crash, which resulted in Hamilton receiving a 10-
the second penalty, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc surged past the Briton and into the lead.
A red flag followed, leading to a 40-minute suspension of racing, but Leclerc retained
his focus for a standing restart and would retain his lead for 49 laps.
Hamilton was hunting the Monegasque, however, and finally caught Leclerc on Copse
with just two laps to go in a dramatic finish.
Hamilton saw out the final laps to record his third straight British GP victory, seventh
in eight years, and eighth overall. In doing so, the defending champion – second in
the drivers’ standings – closed the gap to Verstappen to eight points in the race for
Leclerc finished second for his first podium of the season, with Hamilton’s Mercedes
teammate Valtteri Bottas third and Briton Lando Norris fourth.
Norris’ McLaren teammate Daniel Ricciardo came fifth, ahead of Spaniards Carlos
Sainz and Fernando Alonso. Elsewhere, Britain’s George Russell finished 12th, one
place behind Pierre Gasly, while Sergio Perez came 16th. Sebastian Vettel span off the
track shortly after the restart in a display of poor car control, and – although he was
able to quickly resume – the four-time F1 champion’s Aston Martin was retired late
on. “Is Max okay?” Hamilton asked the Mercedes team radio as the cars pitted shortly
after the lap-one crash.
The seven-time champion, 36, added shortly thereafter, “I was ahead there, man.
He turned into me,” before adjusting his evaluation to suggest that he was “alongside” his title rival.
During the race’s suspension, Red Bull’s team principal Christian Horner offered a different perspective while communicating with the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) over the radio.
“It was 100 percent Max’s corner,” Horner said. “As far as I’m concerned, full blame is on Lewis. I hope you’re gonna deal with it appropriately
“Thank God [Max] walked away. Lewis has stuck a wheel in. He knows you don’t do that here.”
After the race, a visibly frustrated Horner said to Sky Sports: “I hope Lewis is very happy with himself. He’s put a competitor in hospital.
“I don’t care what Lewis said. For me, that’s a hollow victory. [Ten seconds] wasn’t much of a penalty, was it?”