Hamilton wins British Grand Prix after first lap collision with Verstappen

125
Hamilton wins British Grand Prix after first lap collision with Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton took a remarkable and controversial victory at the British Grand Prix after colliding with title rival Max Verstappen on the opening lap.

Verstappen’s race ended in the barriers, meaning he scored zero points while Hamilton took 26 points for victory and fastest lap, closing the gap to Verstappen to seven points at the top of the championship.

However, as Hamilton celebrated in front of his home crowd at Silverstone, Verstappen was in hospital receiving precautionary checks following the high-speed accident.

The Red Bull driver walked away from his wrecked car, but after a visit to the circuit medical centre, he was referred to a local hospital for further checks.

Hamilton went on to win the race in remarkable fashion, dropping to second behind Charles Leclerc immediately after the collision with Verstappen, falling back to fourth when he served a ten-second penalty for causing the collision with Verstappen and recovering in the second half of the race to overtake Leclerc for the lead with three laps remaining.

Leclerc took second place for Ferrari ahead of Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in third.

Hamilton and Verstappen collided at the 180 mph Copse corner, resulting in the Red Bull sliding across the run off area and burying itself in the barriers.

Verstappen, who started from pole position, was under attack from Hamilton in the opening lap of the race, with the Mercedes driver attempting overtakes in Turn 1 (Abbey), Turn 3 (Village) and Turn 6 (Brooklands).

Hamilton got his car alongside Verstappen on the old pit straight before going to the inside at Turn 9, known as Copse. The corner is a flat-out right hander taken at over 180 mph, but rarely sees two cars run side by side without one giving way.

Hamilton’s front left tyre clipped Verstappen’s right rear, sending the Red Bull into the barriers at high-speed.

Verstappen managed to get himself out of his car with the help of marshals and appeared to be heavily winded.

Hamilton was heard on team radio telling his engineer: “He [Verstappen] turned in on me, man.”

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner was furious about the accident, telling Channel 4: “Copse is one of the fastest corners in the world, you don’t stick a wheel up the inside, that’s just dirty driving.”

The FIA race stewards investigated the incident and gave Hamilton a ten-second penalty for causing a collision, which made the task of winning the race even more difficult when the it restarted after a 30-minute suspension to repair the barriers at Copse.

Leclerc initially looked comfortable in the lead of the race, and with the ten-second penalty hanging over Hamilton, the Ferrari driver appeared to be the favourite for victory.

However, once Hamilton had served the penalty at his one and only pit stop, he ripped back through the field, passing McLaren’s Lando Norris at Copse, being given a position by teammate Bottas and passing Leclerc at Copse on the inside with three laps to go.

The victory is crucial for Hamilton and Mercedes after Red Bull took five victories at the previous five races.

Outside the top three finishers, Norris took fourth place ahead of McLaren teammate Daniel Ricciardo and the second Ferrari of Carlos Sainz.

Fernando Alonso took seventh after a strong weekend for the Alpine driver, ahead of Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll, Alpine teammate Esteban Ocon and AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsuonda in tenth.