Hamilton will be full of confidence heading to Hungary for round 11 this weekend
The British Grand Prix was dominated by Mercedes, with pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton taking the chequered flag ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas.
That was Hamilton’s fifth British Grand Prix victory and he is now level in the all-time list with Jim Clark and Alain Prost.
Bottas suffered the same gearbox problems that had beset Hamilton in Austria and he was forced to take a five-place grid penalty, pushing him down to ninth place and effectively ending his race before it had started.
In the circumstances, he did well to finish second.
And the young Finn’s star is still in the ascendency. Hamilton sits just one point behind Sebastian Vettel in the championship, with Bottas a further 21 points back in third.
Hamilton will be full of confidence heading to Hungary for round 11 this weekend, as he has enjoyed plenty of success at the Hungaroring, winning here last year and in 2013, 2012, 2009 and 2007.
In fact, British drivers have won the Hungarian Grand prix seven times in the past 11 years – Jenson Button was victorious in 2006 and in 2011, with his first victory the most memorable as he came from 14th on the grid in wet conditions.
It’s not the easiest circuit on which to overtake.
And Hamilton will need another good qualifying performance if he’s to enter the mid-season break with a lead over his main championship rival. If Hamilton qualifies fastest it will be his 68th pole position, matching Michael Schumacher’s record.
Ferrari had a forgettable experience at Silverstone, with both drivers suffering similar tyre problems. Kimi Raikkonen, running second with just three laps to go, was looking set to hold off the late surge of Bottas before his left-front tyre failed, forcing him into the pits.
He re-joined to finish third and is now fifth in the standings, a massive 79 points behind teammate Vettel.
Shortly after Raikkonen’s misfortune, Vettel’s front-left tyre also failed and the German dropped down to seventh place.
Strategy often plays a huge part at the Hungaroring and with Ferrari having out-thought Mercedes in some of the early clashes this season, they’ll be hoping to put their Silverstone disappointment firmly behind them.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has been consistently out-qualifying teammate Daniel Ricciardo but has not been able to maintain that form in the race, though has had more than his fair share of plain bad luck.
A cautious late tyre-change possibly cost him a podium position at Silverstone but his fourth place was a step in the right direction after three consecutive non-completions in Canada, Azerbaijan and Austria.
Another good performance should be on the cards in Hungary.
Ricciardo’s fifth place was arguably the best drive of the British Grand Prix, as he had started 20th on the grid after car trouble and the resulting penalties.
The Australian was flying in Friday’s early practice session in Hungary, running three tenths of a second quicker than Hamilton. He has a fine recent record here – winning in 2014, finishing third to Vettel in 2015 and filling the same position behind Hamilton 12 months ago.
He was very complimentary about the circuit in this week’s press conference, saying ““I love that track and it has always been a good one for me. I’ve had some great weekends there even before Formula One.”