Lewis Hamilton times his pitstop for rain tyres to perfection to win in front of home crowd at the British Grand Prix for third time, his fifth race win of the season.
SILVERSTONE, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JULY 5, 2015)(FOM) – Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton soaked up the energy of a roaring home crowd to win the British Grand Prix for the second year in a row on Sunday (July 5) and forge 17 points clear of Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg.
Germany’s Sebastian Vettel finished third for Ferrari, behind Rosberg, with Williams driver Felipe Massa of Brazil bumped off the podium after leading for the first 20 laps following a blistering start.
On a tricky afternoon of safety cars, sunshine and showers Hamilton got his choice of tyres exactly right to chalk up his 38th career win and fifth of the season — and get his hands on a ‘proper’ gold trophy.
The victory in front of an estimated 140,000 fans made Hamilton only the third Briton, after Jim Clark and Nigel Mansell, to win three times at home.
The race began with both Mercedes cars of Hamilton and Rosberg left behind by the fast-starting Williams cars of Massa and Valtteri Bottas.
British fans cheered to see the Williams duo lead the two Mercedes, which have been dominant all season. But a smart early pitstop for tyres saw Hamilton inherit the lead as Massa, Rosberg and then Bottas pitted in turn.
After 43 laps out of 52 intermittent light rain gave way to a heavy shower and it was then that Hamilton came into the pits for a change to intermediate tyres, at just the right time to benefit from their grip.
Rosberg, who had been gaining on Hamilton, stayed out for another slippery lap before pitting, and got left behind.
“I was pushing hard to try to catch Lewis under the difficult conditions and then he just made the better call with the pitstop so that’s where I lost it and fair play to him, he did a great job all weekend,” said the German afterwards.
Ferrari’s Vettel also timed a change to intermediates well and moved up to third place, ahead of the Williams cars of Massa and Bottas.
The safety car was deployed for two laps at the end of the first lap after Lotus drivers Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean collided as well as the McLarens of Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button.
Button retired on the spot but Spaniard Alonso stayed in the race and finished 10th, one lap down, for his first point of a troubled season.
Only 13 cars finished, with Sauber’s Brazilian Felipe Nasr retiring before the start when his car stuck in sixth gear as he headed for the grid.
Sixth place went to Red Bull’s Russian Daniil Kvyat who had been chasing down the Williams car of Valtteri Bottas in the closing laps.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was eighth, sandwiched between the Force Indias of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez in seventh and ninth.
“Thank you everyone for coming out today and making my weekend,” Hamilton told the crowd from the podium after his win.
“I was gunning the whole way and I really wanted to do it for you guys. I am so thankful for the support and I couldn’t have done it without you guys. I could see you every lap in the corner of my eye and I just felt you spur me along so thank you so much.”
Result from the Formula One British Grand Prix at Silverstone on Sunday
1. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1:31:27.729
2. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes +00:10.956
3. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 00:25.443
4. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes 00:36.839
5. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams-Mercedes 01:03.194
6. Daniil Kvyat (Russia) RedBull – Renault 01:03.955
7. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India – Mercedes 01:18.744
8. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1 lap
9. Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India – Mercedes 1 lap
10. Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren 1 lap
11. Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Sauber – Ferrari 1 lap
12. Roberto Merhi (Spain) Marussia – Ferrari 3 laps
13. Will Stevens (Britain) Marussia – Ferrari 3 laps
r. Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso – Renault 21 laps
r. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) RedBull – Renault 31 laps
r. Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Toro Rosso – Renault 49 laps
r. Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus – Mercedes 51 laps
r. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 52 laps
r. Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus – Mercedes 52 laps
ns. Felipe Nasr (Brazil) Sauber – Ferrari 52 laps
(rank: r = retired, nc = not classified)
Fastest Lap: Lewis Hamilton,1:37.093, lap 29.
Driver and constructor standings after the Formula One British Grand Prix at Silverstone on Sunday
1. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 194
2. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 177
3. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 135
4. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams 77
5. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 76
6. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams 74
7. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull 36
8. Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Red Bull 27
9. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India 24
10. Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 17
11. Felipe Nasr (Brazil) Sauber 16
12. Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India 15
13. Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus 12
14. Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Toro Rosso 10
15. Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso 9
16. Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Sauber 5
17. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 4
18. Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren 1
19. Roberto Merhi (Spain) Marussia 0
20. Will Stevens (Britain) Marussia 0
1. Mercedes 371
2. Ferrari 211
3. Williams-Mercedes 151
4. RedBull – Renault 63
5. Force India – Mercedes 39
6. Lotus – Mercedes 29
7. Sauber – Ferrari 21
8. Toro Rosso – Renault 19
9. McLaren 5
10. Marussia – Ferrari 0