Another year, another Lewis Hamilton victory at Silverstone. His win may have sliced Sebastian Vettel’s championship lead to just one point – but it was more significant than that…
Before this year, only two drivers had won five British Grands Prix – Jim Clark and Alain Prost. Lewis Hamilton matched them on Sunday with his fourth successive home victory – a feat only Clark had managed previously.
Clark holds the record for the most Grand Slams (pole, fastest lap, win, led every lap) in F1 history with eight, so it was somewhat appropriate that Hamilton matched the double world champion’s British win tally with a Grand Slam performance of his own. The Mercedes driver now has five career Grand Slams – tied for the second-most of all-time with Michael Schumacher and Alberto Ascari.
But there’s more on the Grand Slam front. Three of Hamilton’s four wins this season have now come in this fashion, tying Ascari (1952), Clark (1963 and 1965) and Nigel Mansell (1992) for most Grand Slams in a single season. Will he set a new benchmark before the year is out?
Some other notes on Hamilton: it was his 57th win, his 110th podium finish and his 162nd finish in the points, matching Jenson Button (who interviewed him on the podium) for joint fourth all-time. The other Sunday, he also took his fifth British Grand Prix pole – again matching Clark’s record. Michael Schumacher’s all-time pole record of 68 is now just one away.
Behind Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas came home second to complete both Mercedes’ second one-two of the season and their second ever at Silverstone. For Bottas, it was his second career podium finish at Silverstone, and just like his first this one came from outside the top four rows on the grid. In 2014 he finished second from 14th on the grid – this year he started ninth.
Kimi Raikkonen ensured that there were two Finns on the British Grand Prix podium for the first time ever as he overcame a late tyre deflation to finish third. It was the Iceman’s sixth Silverstone podium, but his first since 2007 when he also started on the front row of the grid with Lewis Hamilton. That year the Briton finished third as Kimi won; this year they traded places.
Raikkonen’s podium was his 36th for Ferrari, equalling his tally for McLaren and tying Felipe Massa for the fourth-most for the Prancing Horse. Only Fernando Alonso (44), Rubens Barrichello (55) and Michael Schumacher (116) have stood on the rostrum more for the Scuderia.