Hamilton beats Williams and rain for home win

By on Sunday, July 5, 2015
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Lewis Hamilton claimed his third British Grand Prix victory during a thrilling race at Silverstone as Mercedes battled Williams before reading the weather conditions as rain struck during the last part of proceedings.

Hamilton slipped to third at the start as Felipe Massa shot into the lead and Valtteri Bottas followed through, but the Briton took control after the pit stop phase.

Rain then fell at Silverstone but Hamilton made his stop at the right time for Intermediates and cruised home, beating Nico Rosberg by 10.9 seconds.

Sebastian Vettel ended in third position after switching to Intermediate tyres early, leaving initial leader Massa in fourth and Bottas in fifth.

Both Mercedes drivers bogged down at the start, allowing Massa to surge into the lead and Bottas to battle Hamilton for second.

Bottas took the advantage into Abbey but Hamilton hung on around the outside and re-gained second position into The Loop as Rosberg dropped to fourth.

The Safety Car was deployed on the opening lap as the Lotus drivers collided into Village – forcing both out – and in taking evasive action Fernando Alonso clipped Jenson Button, meaning he had to pit for a new front wing and Button had to retire.

Hamilton immediately tried to pass Massa for the lead but went wide at Vale, taking to the run off and dropping behind Bottas, as Rosberg had to defend from Nico Hülkenberg, while behind Max Verstappen spun off at Farm curve and retired.

The lead quartet began to pull away from Hülkenberg, as Massa led Bottas, with a one second gap back to Hamilton and Rosberg.

On lap eight Bottas closed up to the back of Massa and began to put his team-mate under pressure, with the Mercedes pair moving nearer to the back of the Williams.

Bottas was informed not to race Massa, but a few laps later received the call to attempt a move, so long as he felt he could pull clear.

Bottas remained glued to the back of Massa’s car as Hamilton and Rosberg kept a watchful eye in third and fourth, with Mercedes feigning a move to pit the pair in an attempt to catch out Williams.

Hamilton was the first to pit on lap 19 for a fresh set of Prime tyres and emerged narrowly ahead of the yet-to-stop Sergio Pérez.

Williams reacted a lap later and serviced race leader Massa but a slow stop meant he emerged side-by-side with Rosberg, who also pitted, as Hamilton swept by.

Bottas stopped a lap later and dropped in narrowly behind Massa and just ahead of Rosberg and the pair decided through The Loop section until Bottas maintained third.

That left Hamilton in a three second lead, ahead of Massa, Bottas and Rosberg.

As Hamilton marginally increased his advantage, attention soon turned to the darkening skies as the weather radar picked up showers in the area.

The Virtual Safety Car was deployed on lap 34 as Carlos Sainz Jr. stopped his STR10 on the exit of Club.

Almost as soon as the Virtual Safety Car period ended the umbrellas began to go up in the grandstands as light rain started to fall across the circuit.

The leaders all stayed out as the first and final sector was unaffected by the rain, though sector two was becoming increasingly drenched, with a twitch from Bottas allowing Rosberg into third exiting Copse, while Hamilton had to use the run-off at the same corner.

Rosberg immediately closed up to the back of Massa and dived up the inside on the approach to Village and moved into second place.

Rosberg began to slice into Hamilton’s advantage, taking out almost two seconds a lap out of his team-mate.

Hamilton stopped for Intermediates at the end of lap 43 as the rain intensified, with Rosberg and the Williams drivers following suit a lap later.

Hamilton consequently led by nine seconds over Rosberg, while Vettel – who had recovered from a poor start – moved into third place after stopping a lap earlier than most of his rivals.

Hamilton cruised home to take victory and open up his title advantage to 17 points, while Vettel returned Ferrari to the podium for the first time since Monaco.

Massa and Bottas trailed home in fourth and fifth, with the Finn narrowly holding off Daniil Kvyat.

Kimi Räikkönen had headed Vettel during the first part of the race but Ferrari pitted him when the rain initially fell, dropping him down the order and forcing him to stop again when the rain intensified. He eventually finished eighth, behind Nico Hülkenberg.

Sergio Pérez was ninth while Fernando Alonso scored his first point courtesy of 10th place.

Daniel Ricciardo was in a points paying position but his Red Bull suffered a loss of power, leading to his retirement.

Felipe Nasr was unable to start the race after his car stopped with a gearbox problem on the way to the grid.


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