What a race to get 140,000 fans back to the Grand Prix.
A home winner, a first clash between two champions, a sprint for the first time and everything in between – Silverstone delivered some moments that will change the rest of the F1 season.
Here are five key lessons from the British Grand Prix…
Stream every FIA Formula One World Championship™ match, qualifier and race in 2021 Live & On-Demand on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try it for free for 14 days now>
HORNER MAXIMUM OFFER
It’s always been inevitable that there will be a flashpoint between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen this season, both have raced hard and fair and both acknowledge the respect they have for each other. when doing so.
And it was inevitable that the victim of the flash point would completely change his mind at that point, as Verstappen did, calling Hamilton “unsportsmanlike” while his boss Christian Horner thinks the seven-time world champion is ‘desperate’ and ‘dirty’.
But Horner’s tune has changed since a similar incident at the Spanish Grand Prix, when Hamilton moved to where Verstappen held his ground, and Brit was able to continue the race.
“Round 1 was huge,” Horner said at the time. “I mean Max, that’s the full Max Verstappen – he just goes for it – and he positioned the car brilliantly.
“He’s hooked, he’s got a little bit of pull and a bit of momentum. And yeah, he just braked then and drove wide. Luckily Lewis got out because otherwise he would have gone under the fence.”
The last sentence of that is very important. Verstappen’s driving was as aggressive as Hamilton’s, maybe even more – and Horner celebrated it, but Hamilton was more pragmatic. That’s why Hamilton finished with 25 points and Verstappen went over the hurdles.
There will be many more flash points ahead with an eight-point lead in the drivers’ championship now, but this could serve as an important learning curve for Verstappen, where he He realizes that you can lose the battle and still win the war.
POINTS FOR RICCIARDO
Away from all the movies, there was a big win for Daniel Ricciardo, who finally finished in the top five with McLaren After months of struggling with his new car, he fell far behind his teammates’ pace.
Lando Norris was brilliant, but Riccioardo’s defeat made him look even better as Aussie’s lack of experience in the car business was obvious to everyone.
But the British Grand Prix was a steady performance from Ricciardo, who made it through Saturday qualifying for the sprint, where he finished sixth to qualify for Sunday’s ‘real’ race.
He’s already one better in that spot, coming in at fifth, but more impressively edged out Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari, which is always a second behind him in the rearview mirror.
“Happy with my first top 5 of the year,” said Ricciardo. “It took a while, better late than never. Yes, happy with that.
“When I saw Carlos come in for the second game, he caught me too quickly.
“I was obviously ready for the fight and defense but the speed with which he caught me, I think maybe – if I was a bettor or if I watched from the outside, I guess he was favorite betting (pass).
“But I definitely supported myself and I wouldn’t go out without a fight.
“I think really pushing back on defense has allowed me to be a little bit more confined and a little more comfortable with the car at the edge.
“I actually learned a little bit more from that so we’ll move on.
“I definitely need to have a few (good results) in a row. I need to be consistent now to have a little more faith in saying it.
“I want to say that and I feel better but there is definitely still some time on the table where I need to find and feel comfortable with the car.
“But overall, a good weekend. Well let’s go.”
He has his next Hungarian Grand Prix in the span of two weeks before the mid-season break takes effect, giving Ricciardo and McLaren more time to strengthen that relationship. We’re all looking forward to seeing a more familiar Ricciardo with the Spa season at the end of August.
SPRINT RACE DIVIDES FANS
Formula 1’s first sprint seems to have a love-or-hate-it feeling, leaving fans divided on both sides of the fence.
But what have race fans really lost?
Hamilton has a habit of being picked up by television cameras by accident as he heads to the garage on his scooter after 20 minutes of Friday’s practice have passed. Many teams even use reserve drivers or junior drivers to give them experience in an F1 car, which makes them lack importance on Friday in the big show weekend.
However, at Silverstone, while we were treated to the traditional Q1, Q2 and Q3 format, we had the added bonus of a 17 lap race as a tasty treat for the main 52 laps on Sunday. japan. All that was lost was an hour of non-competition – an hour and a half before – of training sessions.
There are a lot of changes in the top 10 for the race from the sprint, negating any concerns that the drivers will easily avoid collisions.
But it didn’t give us the simple finish we usually get from qualifying, with pole being decided in the opening round followed by 30 minutes of essentially a practice session because the teams have data. to inform them of the real race scenarios they will experience the next day.
“For me personally, qualifying is where you get to pole position, and of course Lewis has the lead there, but you jump out of the car and it’s really not… well, what does it mean? there,” Verstappen said.
“You know, not really hype about me nailing my thigh and I put it on a pole or whatever. So yeah, when I crossed the line today after this race and they said, ‘yes, great job, mainstay’, I felt a bit like, ‘yes, I did like a guy. third of the way’ and Then to hear you took pole position for tomorrow, it’s a bit weird but yeah we’re going to look at it and I guess everyone has their own opinion about everything. stuff. “
However, Ricciardo was more optimistic: “Qualifying is fun. It’s stressful and stressful, but for me Sunday is always my favorite day. This is like having two Sundays, and having two chances to start the race and this level of intensity and compete twice, it’s fun. “
But it created debate, intrigue and more eyes on the screen over the course of three race days, meaning it is likely to stay here.
FERRARI ‘50% HAPPINESS, 50% REAL INDUSTRIAL’
For a while, it looked like the stars were aligned and Ferrari would win at Silverstone on the 70th anniversary of its first F1 victory in 1951.
That was until Charles Leclerc was overtaken by Hamilton with just three laps to go, leaving him in the second step of the podium.
Starting in P4, Leclerc jumped Valtteri Bottas before the collision between Hamilton and Verstappen put him in the lead.
He kept the lead while the race restarted despite engine problems and heavy pressure from behind until he finally succumbed to three laps remaining due to the Mercedes. cannot be detained any longer.
“[I’m feeling] 50% disappointed, 50% happy,” Leclerc said afterwards. “Clearly going into this weekend, there is absolutely no hope of winning at Silverstone here. So this shows how great a job we are doing as a team. It’s not an easy situation for the team, but the team is working extremely well.
“We showed that today with this second place and we have to keep working because that’s what we want to do consistently – fight to win.”
It’s a positive sign for Ferrari, who are working hard to return to the championship debate after a disastrous slump last year, and for Leclerc himself, as he is able to showcase his abilities. himself again, despite competition from a very talented teammate in Sainz.
DOUBLE CHAMP’S QUIET ORIGIN
There’s a lot of excitement about Fernando Alonso’s return to Formula 1 this season, especially in a Renault that Ricciardo is showing that could fully challenge the regular podiums if power is to come. .
His slow start, however, left him with just one extra spot, as Alonso was racing another former multiple-time champion – and former teammate – in Sebastian Vettel, but at the wrong end of the pitch.
However, 7th place at Silverstone saw the Spaniard take 5 points in a row, compared with just 2 of the previous 5 games.
And while it’s not Alpine’s best result, Alonso insists it still is, showing that there’s still a lot more to come this season.
“Our best result was Baku, P6, but it was an odd race – so today P7 was probably our strongest weekend in terms of race pace,” said the Spaniard. Nha reflect. “And happy for that. Tough race in tire management with blistering concerns, and yes we managed pretty well and we delivered a good result, I think. “
Alonso was also the star in the inaugural F1 Sprint as he jumped from P11 to P5 in a stunning opening lap. There is still some life in the old dog yet.