/Silverstone 2014: Hamilton Triumphant, Rosberg Out

Silverstone 2014: Hamilton Triumphant, Rosberg Out

silverstone1 at Silverstone 2014: Hamilton Triumphant, Rosberg Out

The three days of the 50th British Grand Prix took place under typical British weather – one minute you needed tanning oil, the next an umbrella and waterproofs.

Silverstone also threw a metaphorical spanner into the works for Mercedes, the Silver Arrows once again showing signs of weakness. Hamilton suffered problems early on Sunday morning whilst Rosberg eventually retied due to a faulty gearbox – although Hamilton won the race, is this the beginning of the end regarding total dominance and reliability? Will they suffer more gremlins whilst other teams snap at their coattails?

silverstone2 at Silverstone 2014: Hamilton Triumphant, Rosberg Out

Practice saw the familiar names duking it out in the top 10, Lewis Hamilton giving the home fans something to cheer about as he placed his Mercedes on top, despite oil pressure problems. At the other end of the spectrum, Williams suffered an engine problem that meant Susie Wolff only managed a single lap in her debut test during an actual race weekend. Felipe Massa compounded William’s problems further by having a big crash – thankfully, the Brazilian was unhurt and managed to continue over the weekend.

Fernando Alonso took third, whilst teammate Raikkonen only managed ninth fastest – as a Ferrari fan, I do wonder what the big wigs at Maranello are thinking regarding the Finn’s future. Trailing Alonso were both of the Red Bulls, Daniel Ricciardo once again faster than his four-time World Champion teammate, Sebastian Vettel.

silverstone3 at Silverstone 2014: Hamilton Triumphant, Rosberg Out

Although the capricious conditions weren’t extreme, they played a significant role in qualifying. The almighty Ferrari (not for the first time) completely misjudging their timing, which ultimately saw them fail to make even Q2.

Drivers to capitalise on the changing conditions were McLaren’s Jenson Button, taking third, and both of the Force Indias and Toro Rossos. Despite locking out the front row last time out in Austria, both Williams failed to make the final shootout.

Qualifying Top 10:

  1. Nico Rosberg – (Mercedes)
  2. Sebastian Vettel – (Red Bull Racing-Renault)
  3. Jenson Button – (McLaren Mercedes)
  4. Nico Hulkenberg – (Force India)
  5. Kevin Magnussen – (McLaren Mercedes)
  6. Lewis Hamilton – (Mercedes)
  7. Sergio Perez – (Force India)
  8. Daniel Ricciardo – (Red Bull Racing-Renault)
  9. Danill Kvyat – (Toro Rosso)
  10. Jean-Eric Vergne – (Toro Rosso)

silverstone4 at Silverstone 2014: Hamilton Triumphant, Rosberg Out

The start of the British Grand Prix saw Rosberg maintain his pole position whilst both McLarens took Vettel going into Abbey. Having started sixth, homeboy Hamilton also passed the World Champion’s Red Bull, taking Vettel on the outside at Village – this fantastic move by the Brit meant wheel-to-wheel racing and light contact.

Trailing the leaders, Jean-Eric Vergne and Sergio Perez made contact going into Abbey. Meanwhile Massa made a terrible start and found himself at the back of the pack.

silverstone5 at Silverstone 2014: Hamilton Triumphant, Rosberg Out

For what looked to be an exciting afternoon’s racing was suddenly over as Kimi Raikkonen ran wide leaving Aintree. After steering his Ferrari back on track, the Finn hit a bump and lost control, taking out a guardrail, ricocheting back on track and swiping out Massa – soon after the Safety Car was deployed, the race was Red Flagged due to debris and extensive guardrail damage. Thankfully, both drivers were reported as being okay.

Nearly a full hour later, the safety car peeled off and Rosberg caught the field napping and opened up a good lead. Hamilton, however, made easy work of dispatching Magnussen and Button to claim second.

Fernando Alonso shone some light on the Ferrari garage as he started to make his way through the field, first passing Ricciardo and then Kvyat. All was looking good for the Spaniard until he received a 5-second stop-go penalty for starting outside of his grid box.

silverstone5 at Silverstone 2014: Hamilton Triumphant, Rosberg Out

More action and chaos came in the form of Esteban Gutierrez and Pastor Maldonado colliding into Vale. The Mexican’s Sauber pitched the Lotus into the air, both cars retiring due to suspension problems.

Rosberg pitted on Lap 19, and this was the point reports of his downshift problem were heard over the team radio. Despite this, he still managed to eat into Hamilton’s lead as the Brit still had to stop. Hamilton pitted five laps later, and due to a lengthy stop, Rosberg managed to maintain a five second lead.

silverstone6 at Silverstone 2014: Hamilton Triumphant, Rosberg Out

By Lap 30, the gremlins decided enough was enough and Rosberg peeled off the track, watching as Hamilton and Bottas screamed past.

Valtteri Bottas eventually made his one and only stop from second place, returning to track in third behind Vettel. Clearly on from and on a mission, it didn’t take long for the Finn to make quick work of Vettel to regain second place. The reigning champion then pitted and rejoined in forth, just ahead of Alonso.

silverstone7 at Silverstone 2014: Hamilton Triumphant, Rosberg Out

Alonso, on warm tyres and brakes was able to pass Vettel going into Copse, which sparked a thrilling duel of champions. After some daring attempts Vettel just couldn’t pass the wide Ferrari of Alonso. Frustrated he wasn’t getting his way, Vettel was quick to rant over the radio about Alonso’s “frequent abuse of track limits”.

silverstone8 at Silverstone 2014: Hamilton Triumphant, Rosberg Out

On Lap 41, Hamilton made his second stop, rejoining with a comfortable lead. Never giving in and fuelled by anger, Vettel eventually passed the Alonso for fifth after a side-by-side battle along the old start-finish straight.

silverstone9 at Silverstone 2014: Hamilton Triumphant, Rosberg Out

Nothing could prevent Hamilton from taking the chequered flag for his second home win, and as the streak of Silver flashed down the finishing straight, the fans exploded into cheer.

Bottas managed to lift Williams’ spirits after a poor showing in qualifying by taking second. Stepping onto the final step of the podium, Daniel Ricciardo managed to outscore his teammate again – Vettel finished a place behind and must’ve been wondering when his luck will change.

Alonso took sixth, followed by Magnussen in seventh and Nico Hulkenberg in eighth. Both Toro Rosso drivers put in a good show rounding out the points in ninth and tenth.

Race Results:

  1. Lewis Hamilton – (Mercedes)
  2. Valtteri Bottas – (Williams-Mercedes)
  3. Daniel Ricciardo – (Red Bull)
  4. Jenson Button – (McLaren-Mercedes)
  5. Sebastian Vettel – (Red Bull Racing-Renault)
  6. Fernando Alonso – (Ferrari)
  7. Kevin Magnussen – (McLaren-Mercedes)
  8. Nico Hulkenberg – (Force India)
  9. Daniil Kvyat – (Toro Rosso)
  10. Jean-Eric Vergne – (Toro Rosso)
  11. Sergio Perez – (Force India)
  12. Romain Grosjean – (Lotus)
  13. Adrian Sutil – (Force India)
  14. Jules Bianchi – (Marussia)
  15. K Kobayashi – (Caterham)
  16. Max Chilton – (Marussia)
  17. Pastor Maldonado – (Lotus) DNF
  18. Nico Rosberg – (Mercedes) DNF
  19. M Ericsson – (Caterham) DNF
  20. E Gutierrez – (Sauber) DNF
  21. Felipe Massa – (Williams-Mercedes) DNF
  22. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) DNF

World Drivers’ Championship Standings:

  1. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 165 points
  2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 161
  3. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull Racing-Renault) 98
  4. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) 87
  5. Valtteri Bottas (Williams) 73
  6. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing-Renault) 70

With only 4 points separating the Mercedes boys, will there be fireworks at Hockenheim in two weeks?

(Journalist) – James is a published fiction and article writer from London (UK) with a serious penchant for Ferrari F1, anything with an engine, and English Pointers.