The insight: Mercedes has been the measure of all things in Formula 1 for years, with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas negotiating the first four wins of the current season. That this does not apply to every race became clear for the first time on the 11th lap at Silverstone. Red Bull driver Max Verstappen drove the Mercedes cars along in such a way that his team asked him for patience via pit radio in view of the great stress on the tires. His concise answer: “I’m not going to sit here like a grandma”.
The result: After the pit stops of the Mercedes drivers, Verstappen took the lead on laps 14 and 15. After his tire change on lap 27, he came back onto the track immediately behind Bottas, but only needed a few corners to take the lead again. It should remain the last critical situation for the Dutchman. Read the message here. And read here the live ticker to.
Reife (n) examination: The tire strategy was also an issue at the anniversary Grand Prix in Silverstone. A week earlier, several tires had burst on the same route. Now the temperatures and the resulting wear and tear were even higher. Nine of the first ten drivers followed the recommendation of the tire manufacturer Pirelli and started on medium-hard slicks, only Red Bull driver Max Verstappen started with the hard compound. This allowed him to stay longer on the track after the start, while the competition with the softer compound had to change tires early.
The almost unbelievable Hulk: When Nico Hülkenberg wanted to start his comeback race last week, his Racing Point failed to hit the clutch. In the second attempt at Silverstone, the replacement of the Coronavirus infected Checo Pérez was allowed to start, after a strong qualifying even from third place. As if out of nowhere, a place on the podium seemed possible, it would be the first in the 178th Formula 1 race for the Hulk, as he is called. Been. Because even before the first corner he had lost the podium to Verstappen. “In the end it wasn’t the fairy tale that everyone wanted,” said Hulkenberg on RTL. “But that was maybe a bit presumptuous.”
Faster than dad allows: Nevertheless, Hülkenberg drove a strong race, with seven laps to go he finished fifth ahead of his team-mate Lance Stroll. But then he was suddenly called into the pits, a precautionary measure because of tire wear, as team boss Otmar Szafnauer said. Hulkenberg came in seventh. Stroll finished in sixth place, the son of billionaire and team owner Lawrence Stroll did not have to give in to the nakedness of being slower than a temporary driver in the same car.
There will probably not be a third chance on the podium for Hülkenberg at Racing Point. Pérez will compete 99 percent of the time at the Spanish Grand Prix next week, said Szafnauer. But maybe another team noticed the German.
The surprise: Ferrari is lagging behind this season. In qualifying, Charles Leclerc in the car of the legendary works team was almost one and a half seconds behind the Mercedes. Sebastian Vettel even two seconds, but that’s another topic. Nevertheless, Leclerc managed again to exceed expectations. As one of only three drivers, he only made one pit stop. His excellent tire management on one of the most “aggressive” courses on the racing calendar, as Pirelli explained in his defense after last weekend, brought him fourth after third place in the previous week.
The weekly hag: While Leclerc was cheering, Vettel’s mood was in the basement again. After he drove over one of the curbs in the first corner, he lost his grip, spun and found himself in last place. Then he fought his way through the back midfield and also saw himself disadvantaged by his team’s strategy, which should have brought him to change tires too early: “I’ll stick with it, but you know you screwed it up,” he said of the Pit radio. Vettel finished the race in twelfth place. In the overall ranking he is 13th with ten points. Only four points ahead of Hulkenberg. Both Vettel and Ferrari can apparently hardly wait for the separation at the end of the season.