Formula One

Max Verstappen’s Uncompromising Race Craft Gift’s British Grand Prix To Lewis Hamilton

2021 British Grand Prix - Victorious Hamilton Waves Flag - Dailycarblog

The Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton battle for the world drivers championship reached breaking point at the 2021 British Grand Prix. The weekend began with a new qualifying format and despite qualifying on pole Hamilton lost out to Verstappen in the qualifying sprint race which reset the grid for Sunday. Sounds confusing? The new qualifying format is both a reward and punishment. It’s on a trial phase for a few races this year. But as we always say, Sunday is where the main points are won or lost. And Max Verstappen needlessly lost a certain win because he has an uncompromising, no retreat no surrender race craft. It works 98 percent of the time, but when you are fighting for the world championship against Lewis Hamilton you have got to be precise and have an equal amount of spatial awareness. And you can not assume that a 7-times world champion is easily intimidated.

2021 British Grand Prix - Start - Dailycarblog

On the opening lap, Verstappen (1st) and Hamilton (2nd) battled it out wheel to wheel, fair but firm. Hamilton knew he had about three maybe five laps to assume the lead before his tyres would degrade and lose the advantage. The opening lap tussle was like watching the Chariot race from the 1959 movie Ben Hur. Verstappen the Massala to Hamilton’s Juda Ben Hur. Hamilton got a significant tow from the Red Bull in the run-up to Copse, Verstappen weaved to the left, Hamilton dummied to the right. Verstappen squeezed Hamilton as much as he could as they approached Copse at up to 190mph. The Red Bull and Mercedes entered Copse flat out, side by side, Hamilton on the inside Verstappen on the racing line.

2021 British Grand Prix - Hamilton and Verstappen wheel to wheel - Dailycarblog

Hamilton’s angle of entry into Copse meant he had a negative apex, in effect, it is the slowest way to navigate the high-speed corner. This meant Hamilton had to back off at some point and he did, perhaps a little bit too late. Equally, Verstappen would have known Hamilton was somewhere close to his right/rear flank. Verstappen should have the spatial awareness to give Hamilton room for his own safety as much as Hamilton’s. But it seems he gambled into intimidating the Mercedes driver and it cost the Red Bull its a right rear tyre, a visit across the gravel trap and onwards into the tyre barrier beyond.

2021 British Grand Prix - Crashstappen - Dailycarblog

It was a huge crash, the impact alone registered 51G. Verstappen survived bruised and maybe a little confused. The race was stopped for over 20 minutes to fix the crash barrier and clear the Red Bull, its left side damaged beyond repair. The stewards adjudged Hamilton to be at fault and handed the Mercedes driver a 10-second penalty. Charles Leclerc was the main beneficiary of the Verstappen vs Hamilton war and was on pole at the restart. Initially, Hamilton couldn’t find a way past the Ferrari until he pitted for fresh tyres on lap 28 of 52.

2021 British Grand Prix - Hamilton British Flag waving - Dailycarblog

Ten-second penalty added during the pitstop, Hamilton rejoined in 5th and fought his way back into the lead two laps from the end. Charles LeClerc fought bravely but after his pitstop the Ferrari began to lose faith in its hard set of tyres. In the end, there was nothing Leclerc could do to fend off the faster Mercedes. Hamilton deserved victory, he fought like a titan but victory was overshadowed by the first lap incident. Should Hamilton have backed out earlier? yes almost certainly. But he saw the gap and went for it.

2021 British Grand Prix - Hamilton and Podium on the podium - Dailycarblog

Should Verstappen have had the spatial awareness and the courtesy to give Hamilton room? When it involves high-speed corners absolutely yes. To beat Hamilton, speed is not enough, having a faster car will never do. For Hamilton, it is a game of chess and Verstappen brought a hammer to the table. The truth is Verstappen has got to bring his smartest strategy to the game. It is as simple as that. And that is why Verstappen ended his 2021 British Grand Prix in the tyre barriers.


2021 British Grand Prix Results: Silverstone

POSNODRIVERCARLAPSTIME/RETIREDPTS
144Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES521:58:23.28425
216Charles LeclercFERRARI52+3.871s18
377Valtteri BottasMERCEDES52+11.125s15
44Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES52+28.573s12
53Daniel RicciardoMCLAREN MERCEDES52+42.624s10
655Carlos SainzFERRARI52+43.454s8
714Fernando AlonsoALPINE RENAULT52+72.093s6
818Lance StrollASTON MARTIN MERCEDES52+74.289s4
931Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT52+76.162s2
1022Yuki TsunodaALPHATAURI HONDA52+82.065s1
1110Pierre GaslyALPHATAURI HONDA52+85.327s0
1263George RussellWILLIAMS MERCEDES51+1 lap0
1399Antonio GiovinazziALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI51+1 lap0
146Nicholas LatifiWILLIAMS MERCEDES51+1 lap0
157Kimi RäikkönenALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI51+1 lap0
1611Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING HONDA51+1 lap0
179Nikita MazepinHAAS FERRARI51+1 lap0
1847Mick SchumacherHAAS FERRARI51+1 lap0
NC5Sebastian VettelASTON MARTIN MERCEDES40DNF0
NC33Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA0DNF0

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