Locked in a Formula 1 World Championship title fight where every point matters, it’s safe to say Sunday did wonders for both Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes.
Through a perfect combination of Hamilton’s dominance, a hard-charging Valtteri Bottas, and two untimely punctures, the complexion of both championships changed dramatically. In the driver’s, Hamilton now trails Sebastian Vettel by a solitary point, while Mercedes now have room to breathe in the constructor’s with a 55-point lead.
Conversely, the day was almost as bad for Ferrari as it was good for Mercedes. What caused their tyres to fail? Were they overworked, damaged by debris, or unstable to begin with? Certainly it’s curious it happened to both cars in such short succession, but as the precautionary-pitting Max Verstappen noted afterwards, Silverstone’s multiple fast right-handers take a serious toll on a car’s front left, so maybe Ferrari just overstretched its limit, although it would be unsurprising if debris also played a part.
Still, even if we set aside Ferrari’s tyre woes, this weekend reaffirmed that Mercedes simply have the faster package. Particularly in the hands of an en fuego Hamilton, they will enter each weekend strong favourites until proven otherwise. It’s kind of hard to believe that after Monaco four races ago it was the Silver Arrows scrambling for answers, but it seems those all-nighters they pulled afterwards paid off – if only I could’ve said the same about my uni assignments.
Kvyat does himself no favours… again
It’s never a good sign when you’re compelled to write about the same driver crashing two races in a row, but for Daniil Kvyat it’s particularly concerning.
Having found himself once already the victim of Red Bull’s cutthroat young driver programme, the odds of him sticking around much longer continue to slim after Sunday’s shenanigans.
Not only was he once again the cause of an accident that ruined both his and another Red Bull driver’s race (last time Max Verstappen, this time Carlos Sainz) but he had the cojones to stand up after the race and blame it on Sainz. And sure, most drivers don’t rush to accept the blame for their incidents, but to try and place it on the victim instead shows a disturbing lack of maturity for the four-year veteran.
You’d have to think at this point Red Bull is running out of patience, and don’t be surprised if Pierre Gasly is in for a seat-fitting sooner rather than later.
Interesting decision by Williams to bar Jacques Villeneuve from their garage on the weekend they celebrate their 40th anniversary. It’s not like he won them a championship or anything.
Picking up right where he left off on Saturday, Nico Hulkenberg absolutely drove his socks off in the race. A well-deserved P6.
Finally, an all-round positive day for Red Bull, with Max Verstappen making it to the end of the race, and Daniel Ricciardo coming back from P19 to finish behind him. Let’s hope the upgrades for Hungary make a difference, if not for the championship battle, then at least for the odds of more duels with the Ferraris.
Speaking of which, we know Kimi is Kimi, but does he really have to be such a Debbie Downer on the podium?
Big Question: Do Mercedes have the faster package right now?