Good Race, Bad Race: Britain


Silverstone gives us a reminder about just how good F1 can be, Williams' decision "not to chase rainbows" backfires and more…

Good Race
Formula 1

Felipe Massa ducking in between the two Mercedes cars after a blistering start, the two McLaren team-mates tagging each other, the two Lotus drivers making contact, the top four separated by two seconds, Williams ordering Valtteri Bottas not to overtake Massa, Mercedes' dummy pit stop, the rain, Lewis Hamilton's inspired pit for inters and Sebastian Vettel sneaking a podium. We could go on and on and on about how great the race was.

After all the complaints we had about the state of Formula 1, the British Grand Prix came to the sport's rescue on Sunday 140 000 fans turned up on race day and then the drivers and teams put up a spectacular show. More of the same at Hungary in three weeks' time please.

Lewis Hamilton
The Monaco Grand Prix must have been in the back of Lewis Hamilton's mind when he made the decision to come in for intermediate tyres. However, this time it proved to be an inspired call as he stole a march on his rivals at the British Grand Prix. It ultimately helped him to a very comfortable victory at Silverstone.

"It wasn't luck, it wasn't genius, it was just for once the right call. Sometimes you get it right, sometimes you get it wrong," he said after the race.

He has now joined legends Jack Brabham, Niki Lauda and Michael Schumacher as three-times winners of the British GP. Next on the list is Nigel Mansell on four wins. It was also Mercedes' third win in a row at Silverstone.

Sebastian Vettel
Having been outqualified by his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen for only the second time this season, Sebastian Vettel found himself labouring in P7 during the early stages of the race.

His first pit stop was relatively early, but he was still stuck behind Raikkonen and we barely saw any footage of him before the rain hit Silverstone. However, he didn't blink first time, but was one of the first once to pounce when the second shower came down.

The gamble paid off, take note Williams.

Force India
The first impressions of the VJM08 have been very good. Nico Hulkenberg was there or thereabouts for most of the race weekend and he made it into Q3 while team-mate Sergio Perez was a bit further down the grid.

Although Hulkenberg was as high as P5 early on, he eventually finished seventh with Perez two places below. The eight points to Lotus' none mean Force India have a bit of breathing space in the Constructors' standings, but Daniil Kvyat's P6 means they didn't close the gap to Red Bull.

They still have plenty of reason to be optimistic for the remainder of the campaign.

Nobody saw Fernando Alonso's point coming after another difficult qualifying session for McLaren. They lost Jenson Button on the opening lap and Alonso was also forced to stop early after he got caught up in a first-lap tangle.

Yet the team managed to finish the race with a point as Alonso somehow stayed ahead of the struggling Marcus Ericsson for Sauber.

Bad Race

Yes, Mercedes would probably have won as their car is better in the cooler conditions and they are better at pit stops. And yes, it is easier to come up with a race-winning strategy from the comfort of your couch or the safety of the office.

However, Williams didn't do themselves any favours early on as they shot themselves in the foot by not allowing Valtteri Bottas to pass Felipe Massa.

Sometimes you have to take risks to give yourself a chance of upsetting the applecart. Williams didn't do that by keeping Bottas behind Massa and then later in the race they didn't gamble by bringing one of their drivers in early for intermediate tyres.

Williams performance chief Rob Smedley admitted earlier this year that the days of rolling the dice and "chasing rainbows" are in the past as they would rather settle for solid points. They are happy to do "flat, boring races".

Well, doing "flat, boring races" backfired spectacularly at Silverstone and they ended up without a podium as Sebastian Vettel sneaked P3 by "chasing rainbows" and going for an early stop for inters.

Felipe Nasr
Well, he didn't actually take part in the race due to a gearbox problem so it's not really his fault. For a Formula 1 driver it can't get any worse as you've done the hard yards the two previous days only to be denied 30 minutes before the light goes green.

Toro Rosso
"Only Mercedes was a bit faster," was Max Verstappen's verdict on Toro Ross's pace after Friday's practice sessions at Silverstone.

He was right, Toro Rosso looked impressive during FP1 and FP2, but things started to go wrong during qualifying and it got worse on race day and they eventually left the circuit empty handed.

At least Carlos Sainz can point to a good qualy run as he started P8, but Verstappen's race weekend will be remembered for the constant moaning over the team radio. We will put that in the "still learning" file.

Another double DNF for Lotus and to add insult to injury Romain Grosjean was the one who ended Pastor Maldonado's race, through no fault of their own as Daniel Ricciardo set off the chain of events. Ah well, the Hungarian Grand Prix is only three weeks away.

Shahida Jacobs