Lewis Hamilton Earns Sixth British Grand Prix Victory

July 14, 2019 by Doug Hirdle

British F1 driver Lewis Hamilton raises the Union flag on the podium while celebrating winning his sixth British Grand Prix title as teammate Valtteri Bottas applauds.
Four Time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton won his sixth British Grand Prix on Sunday at Silverstone after a gaining an advantage over teammate Valtteri Bottas on the restart after a safety car exited the track, making history in the process.

The win gave Hamilton his sixth Formula One victory at Silverstone and with it, overtook Alain Prost and Kim Clark for the most wins at the famous British track. The win came after Hamilton was able to take over the lead not by overtaking but through superior pit stop strategy that gave him a 25 second lead and catapulting him to 39 points above second place driver, Bottas.

Just as England’s cricket team had done only hours before, Lewis Hamilton put Englanders in front before over 140,000 spectators who came out to watch hoping to see Hamilton make history. Hamilton now sits in a predominate position to another drivers championship, his sixth, and while many want to see changes to make the sport more competitive, it never gets old watching the Brit display his talents. Commenting on the win, Hamilton said,

“I have done so many races and you would think I’d get used to it, but this felt just as amazing as the first win I ever had here in 2008.”

There is little doubt of the affection that Silverstone has for Hamilton, being it is his home track. He is now ranked as the best British driver to drive in F1, and while not traditional in some ways, during post-race interviews one reporter stepped out of line asking why “people question your Britishness.”

Hamilton was dismissive in his reply over those who question his patriotism, evident by his immediately after stepping onto the podium by grabbing a Union Jack flag and draping it over his shoulders. Speaking on that moment, Hamilton said,

“This is the greatest single moment for an athlete, to raise their flag as the number one. One day, I will have that picture of me in the car holding the British flag. I will always be able to look at that and smile about it for the rest of my life.”

The course of the race changed for Hamilton when on lap 20l, he chose to pit for a tire change while the safety car was out after a spin out by Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi. The move saw Hamilton rejoining ahead of teammate Bottas who had pitted earlier. Speaking on the move, Hamilton said,

“We had a really good fight in the beginning. I nearly got him going into turn seven, but he was next to me and I couldn’t really close the door. After that I backed off a little and waited for the pit stops, hoping that I could maybe overtake him in the pits. I extended my first stint for a few more laps, then the safety car came out and that was perfect timing for me as I came back out in front of Valtteri.”

Lewis Hamilton had first attempted to get past Bottas early on the fourth lap and succeed but was unable to maintain the lead after Bottas retook the lead. Bottas, while speaking on losing the lead to Hamilton stated,

“Effectively got a free stop and came out ahead of me. I was hoping that there might be another opportunity in the race, but I knew the chances were slim because I had to do another stop to change to a different compound anyway. The tire life was ultimately much better than we had thought, so a one-stop would have been possible, but our simulations before the race had predicted a two-stop to be the fastest option. I’m disappointed because the win was definitely possible for me.”

The one-two finish for Mercedes was a tough battle between two drivers and an improvement from the opening race of the season when Hamilton finished in fifth while Bottas claimed second. Toto Wolf, team principal for Mercedes commented saying,

“It was a tough battle, but there’s a lot of respect between the two of them and they always left each other enough space.”

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc managed to finish third after Sebastian Vettel crashed into Max Verstappen on the 38th lap. That saw LeClerc take over third. That incident pushed Vettel back to 15th and all but ended his hopes of challenging Hamilton in the driver’s series due to being 100 points behind and sitting in fourth overall. For Vettel, he acknowledged his mistake stating,

“It was my mistake. He passed me and he ran a bit wide which gave me the chance to come back. I looked for a second he was going for the right and there would be a gap on the left … but it didn’t open and by that time it was already too late.”

By the time Vettel released the gap wasn’t open, it was too late to avoid the collision. That saw Verstappen’s Red Bull car suffering damage to its diffuser and floor. Commenting, Verstappen said,

“I’m not angry but disappointed as it was hard racing and Seb didn’t do it on purpose. He also apologized as soon as I got out of the car which I respect. I think we put on a pretty good show for the fans today and proved the sport is far from boring.”

Doug Hirdle

Doug Hirdle Author

Doug is a passionate sports fan and has written extensively about breaking sports stories in Canada. Whether writing about hockey or American football, he will always give you the best highlights.