German Grand Prix Technical Preview

The German Grand Prix returns as Round 10 of the 2018 Formula 1 World Championship, after a one-year absence, in what is likely to be its final appearance on the calendar for the foreseeable future.

The Hockenheimring, not nearly as challenging as the old route through the forest, features a mix of cornering speeds, albeit slightly biased to the lower – medium end of the spectrum, together with multiple full throttle sections.

Downforce vs Drag

The part of the lap to Turn 8 favours a medium or even low downforce set-up, with Turns 3, 4, 5 and 7 all being flat-out. However, the remainder of the lap features very little in the way of straights, with a series of corners challenging the drivers, including the Stadium section. It is likely that Red Bull will aim to run lower downforce rear wings than both Mercedes and Ferrari in order to overcome its straightline speed deficit and improve its competitiveness in the first part of the lap.

Car Strengths Needed

A car with good traction and Aerodynamic efficiency will perform well here, as the majority of the lap is made up of low speed corners and straights. Those teams with a Mercedes or Ferrari power unit will benefit on the long flat-out run up to Turn 6.

Key Corners

Turn 2 is critical in setting up an opportunity to overtake heading down towards the Turn 6 hairpin. In addition, Turns 1 and 12, being the only high-speed corners on the track, will test the grid’s Aerodynamic downforce.

Tyres and Strategy

Given the absence of data from the current generation of cars and tyres at the Hockenheimring, an assessment of potential strategy options is difficult. Back in 2016, when Pirelli’s tyres were still fragile and subject to overheating, the race required a three-stop strategy to be competitive, using the SuperSoft and Soft compounds. The current tyres are more durable than in that period, with this year’s tyres a little softer than the equivalent 2017 tyres.

Given that the 2016 SuperSoft was capable of stints of up to 20 laps in the 2016 race, the UltraSoft should be able to run a similar distance, at least over the weekend, when temperatures are forecast to be lower than on Friday. The question then centres around which tyre can result in a one-stop strategy, the Soft or the Medium?

Both tyres have shown consistent performance through the year, and the selection of two or more sets of the Medium for at least one driver in every team suggests that the answer is not clear as yet. Of course, the front runners may choose to avoid the UltraSoft in the race completely, using the Soft to set their fastest time in Q2 and begin the race, before switching to the Medium.

Renault’s selection of ten sets of the UltraSoft tyre stands out as particularly aggressive, while its Soft/Medium combination guarantees that one driver will not run the preferred race tyre during practice.


The mix of slow corners and reasonable number of straights usually makes for good racing in Germany. For 2018, this will be assisted by the introduction of a third DRS zone along the pit straight which, like the additional zone in Silverstone, will be designed to move cars closer together in a bid to overtake into Turns 2 or 6, rather than providing a passing opportunity into Turn 1 itself.


Friday is expected to be extremely hot, but dry, with temperatures over thirty degrees Celsius, before cooler conditions set in for the weekend. This will make judging the long run data from FP2 particularly tricky for the teams, while the preparation for a flying lap may well need to be altered due to the temperature drop. Note that on Saturday particularly, but also on Sunday, there is the possibility of some rain showers.

Form Guide

In France and Austria certainly, and arguably in Silverstone as well, Mercedes had the outright fastest car over the weekend. However, all three of these circuits featured multiple medium-high-speed corners, and long-radius turns in the case of the first two, which seemed to suit the W09 better than the Ferrari SF71H.

Hockenheim has a very different circuit layout that could play more to the strengths of the Ferrari and Red Bull cars. In the midfield, Force India and Renault should perform more strongly than in recent races, thanks to the greater bias towards low-speed corners, while Haas should become relatively less competitive, with the VF-18’s high-speed corner performance hidden on this circuit.


Giovinazzi set for Sauber duty in Hockenheim FP1

Ferrari reserve Antonio Giovinazzi will be back in a Formula 1 cockpit when he does duty for Sauber during the first free practice session of the German Grand Prix weekend on Friday.

The Italian driver, who made his Formula 1 race debut at the 2017 Australian Grand Prix, in place of injured Pascal Wehrlein, will do the FP1 session in place of Marcus Ericsson, with Charles Leclerc in the sister car meaning that both Ferrari proteges will be in action during the 90-minutes morning session at Hockenheim.

Giovinazzi drove during Barcelona F1 testing, after the Spanish Grand Prix in May, for Sauber on day one of the in-season testing and then for Ferrari a day later.

Last year the 24-year-old Italian did seven FP1 sessions with Haas and has recently been linked to a return to the American team as a possible replacement for wayward Romain Grosjean, if not this season then as a contender to do so next year.

Ferrari ran out of seats this season for their drivers as the Maranello bosses were keen to place both Giovinazzi and Leclerc on the grid. They opted for the latter with Sauber who has done a stellar job, setting himself up as the first Ferrari Drivers Academy (FDA) graduate to step up to the Scuderia.

At the time Haas were committed to both their current drivers, however, However Guenther Steiner and Gene Haas may well think twice when considering their line-up for next season because Giovinazzi would come with a substantial discount on their Ferrari engine deal.


Hulkenberg: I’m German, I’m a machine, I just do my job!

Nico Hulkenberg’s career to date has been something of an enigma, highly rated and respected among his peers yet he has never stood on a Formula 1 podium thus far in his career but that could change soon as he sees Renault as a force for the future.

In an interview ahead of the German Grand Prix weekend, Hulkenberg was realistic when summing up where he and Renault are in the pecking order this season, “At the moment we’re still quite far away.”

“In Canada we were lapped by the top six guys, which is obviously a lot, a big gap. But you need to see the progression since Renault came back. From last year to this, we’ve made really good improvements.”

“The big teams are doing a very good job and they have huge budgets, huge resources, so it’s hard… it’s also naïve to think that you can just catch them up like that over one or two years.’

“It takes time, because it’s in every detail. We’ve made good progress and we’re not lifting off the throttle, we will keep on pushing.”

Hulkenberg has normally had the better of his teammates, but Carlos Sainz’s arrival in the team was a wake-up call for the German who had to raise his game relative to the pressure he was getting when Jolyon Palmer was his teammate.

But The Hulk has his own opinion, “I don’t really agree with that. I think last year, yes, I was more comfortable, let’s say I was always clear. But I don’t feel that having a team-mate closer to you makes you find extra stuff.”

Looking back at last year, I’m pretty confident that there was not one instance in qualifying or the race where I underperformed because of that.”

“I don’t see it because of my own ambition, my own challenge is to always get the best out of me and my car. I don’t need someone to push me to do that. I’m German, I’m a machine, I just do my job!”

Renault have lagged behind Mercedes and Ferrari in the power unit stakes, but the goal is to slug it out for victories and titles in the future, how far ahead that is only time will tell.

Hulkenberg might have been an option for Mercedes and Ferrari at some point, there was talk at some point of a deal to drive for Maranello but nothing ever materialised. However, Renault came calling and the rest is history.

“I’m very happy here,” admitted the 30 -year-old, “I can see that they want what I want, and that everybody is pushing in the same direction and that, for me, is important. To be able to see and feel the progress.”

“It takes that kind of time, the same for Ferrari years and years ago, for Red Bull and for Mercedes. When they came back in 2010, Mercedes started to dominate only when we changed to the new regulation cars, but before that there was a four-year time period leading up to being the best in the game.”

“You need to be in the right car to be winning and win races and to go for the championship. Of course, I feel I have what it takes, and I am confident I can deliver if I have the right car one day. So far, I haven’t, and that’s why I haven’t even been on the podium. Those are the facts. That’s the nature of this sport.”

Formula 1 has been dominated by Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull for the past half dozen years, with no other team coming close to victory.

Knowing this, he rationalised, “What are the alternatives? If you don’t like it you can walk away, but this is Formula 1, the best there is in the world. This is the best of racing, the best drivers are here, the best engineers.”

“This is where I want to compete and challenge other people and challenge myself. Even if I’m upset or not happy that I don’t have the winning car, the alternative is to leave – and I don’t want to do that. I love what I do and I’m good at it; I’m still chasing that dream, wanting to win races.”

“Right now, I have an excellent opportunity with Renault to work our way up there over the next few years and that’s very exciting for me and gives me a lot of motivation.”

Asked during the interview if this was the most enjoyable period in his career, Hulkenberg replied, “I think so, yeah. I feel good, I feel confident, and I’m probably doing the best driving of my whole career.”

The Hulk has made 145 grand prix starts since his debut at the 2010 Bahrain Grand Prix and scored 447 points. He won the Le Mans 24-Hours on his first attemptin 2015 with Porsche.


There was a school of thought that said when Carlos [Sainz] came into the team, it would be good for you because he would be the best team-mate you’ve had to date and that it would push you to another level. Have you felt that?

Going back to the performance gap between the top teams and those in the midfield, that’s something that’s existed for quite a bit of your career…
Yes, always.

Do you feel that a lot of you have missed out on big achievements because of that performance gap? If there had been a cost cap in place then it would have shrunk that gap.



Hamilton: Kimi said sorry, I accept it and we move on

Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton has accepted an apology from Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen and recognised that their first lap collision in Sunday’s British Grand Prix was a racing incident and not deliberate.

The Mercedes driver, who fought back from last to second after being sent spinning at the third corner by the veteran Finn, had spoken immediately after the race of the Italian team’s ‘interesting tactics’.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff had suggested two collisions between Ferraris and his cars in three races were either deliberate or incompetent.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel also collided with Mercedes Valtteri Bottas in France last month.

“Kimi said sorry and I accept it and we move on. It was a racing incident and nothing more,” Hamilton posted on Instagram. “Sometimes we say dumb shit and we learn from it.”

Wolff’s comments had angered Ferrari principal Maurizio Arrivabene, particularly as he had referenced former Ferrari technical director James Allison, who is now working for Mercedes. “In James Allison’s words, ‘do you think it is deliberate or incompetence?’. So this leaves us with a judgement,” the Austrian had said.

Arrivabene told Sky Italia after the race that Allison should be ashamed if he had said that, “We’re here in England, sometimes they want to teach us how to be gentlemen, and he should start first. Really, this annoyed me so much.”

“It’s been a beautiful battle, a battle that I think the audience appreciated, there will be other battles where most likely Mercedes will win and this is a lesson for us to stay classy, a thing that they haven’t done today.”

Mercedes defended Allison on Twitter, emphasising he had not spoken to media and there had merely been a ‘jokey conversation’ during the race that Wolff repeated and that had been misinterpreted.

“We know it was just a stupid mistake on Kimi’s part. Like Seb in France. It’s the race but it’s still annoying twice on three GPs,” the team said.

Vettel now leads the championship standings by eight points and Ferrari top the constructors’ table by 20, leads that increased at Silverstone, the tenth round of the championship.


Mallya: They want to hang me on the holy cross

Embattled Indian tycoon and Force India owner Vijay Mallya said on Sunday he will comply fully with court enforcement officers seeking to seize his British assets, but there was not much for them to take as his family’s lavish residences were not in his name.

India wants to extradite the 62-year-old former liquor baron from Britain to face charges of fraud as a group of Indian banks seek to recover more than $1 billion (752.45 million pounds) of loans granted to his defunct Kingfisher Airlines.

A verdict is expected by early September, with July 31 the final date for closing oral submissions and appeals likely whatever the outcome.

Speaking to Reuters at the British Grand Prix, where he is principal and co-owner of the Force India team, Mallya said he would hand over British assets held in his name. But a luxury country residence belonged to his children and a house in London belonged to his mother, making them untouchable.

“I have given the UK court on affidavit a statement of my UK assets. Which, pursuant to the freezing order, they are entitled to take and hand over to the banks,” he said. “There’s a few cars, a few items of jewellery and I said ‘OK, fine. You don’t have to bother to come to my house to seize them. I’ll physically hand them over. Tell me the time, date and place.’”

“There’s no question of being homeless because at the end of the day, they are entitled to take my assets in my name declared on oath to the court. They can’t go one step beyond,” added the man branded a ‘fugitive’ by his country.

Mallya said a super-yacht he used for entertaining at races in Monaco and Abu Dhabi, which was recently sold at auction in Malta after a dispute over unpaid crew wages, was not his problem either.

“I have not owned the Indian Empress boat for more than seven years now,” he said. It had belonged to “a Middle Eastern gentleman”, whose name he would not disclose, in a deal that gave Mallya use of it for one month a year, he said.

Mallya has been in Britain since he left India in March 2016, unable to travel after his passport was revoked, so the annual British Grand Prix is the only race he has been able to attend since then.

The Indian government’s Enforcement Directorate, which fights financial crimes, is seeking to declare him a “fugitive economic offender” and to confiscate 125 billion rupees worth of his assets.

Mallya has denied the charges, decried a “political witchhunt” and has said he is seeking to sell assets worth about 139 billion rupees ($2.04 billion) to repay creditors.

“I think the overriding consideration that everybody seems to be missing is that I have put $2 billion worth of assets in front of the Karnataka high court which is more than sufficient to repay the banks and indeed everybody else. So the question of attaching assets either in the UK or whatever should not arise.”

Mallya repeated recent complaints on Twitter that Indian criminal enforcement agencies had frozen assets in India so he could not sell them, while banks continued to tot up interest.

He said the enforcement directorate had also attached assets inherited from his father, including properties acquired in the 1920s, under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, “How can those be proceeds of crime? This is the injustice that is happening.”

The former billionaire, at one time dubbed the ‘King of Good Times’ and a former member of the upper house of the Indian parliament.

“I was always a resident of England and a non-resident of India. So where else do I come back to? So where’s the running away concept? It’s just become too political.”

“And now in an (Indian) election year, I guess what they want to do is bring me back and hang me on the holy cross and hope to get more votes,” lamented the tycoon.


F2 Silverstone: Ferrucci banned for ramming teammate

CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD, FRANCE - JUNE 21: Santino Ferrucci (USA, Trident) during the Paul Ricard at Circuit Paul Ricard on June 21, 2018 in Circuit Paul Ricard, France. (Photo by Joe Portlock / LAT Images)

Formula 2 driver Santino Ferrucci was fined and banned for four races on Sunday for crashing into his Trident teammate Arjun Maini, driving the car with a mobile phone in his hand and refusing to attend stewards’ hearings.

Stewards fined the 20-year-old American, who is a development driver for the U.S.-owned Haas Formula 1 team, 66,000 euros (£58,216.05) and disqualified him from Sunday’s race at Silverstone.

He was banned from the next two rounds in Hungary and Belgium, four races in all.

Formula 2 is an acknowledged feeder series for Formula 1, with races run after Saturday qualifying and before Sunday’s grand prix.

Race organisers said Ferrucci had deliberately driven into the rear of Maini’s car on the cooldown lap. He also forced Maini off the road during the race.

Maini said over the radio “there is something wrong with my team-mates brain.”

Ferrucci then replied to Maini on tweet: “The one crying on the radio. I just did my drugs test so I’m all clear ;)”.

The stewards at Silverstone heard testimony from the Trident team that Ferrucci driving into Maini was premeditated.

Trident responded on Twitter stating: “Trident intends to show their solidarity and support to @ArjunMaini_ and his family, for the unsportsmanlike and above all uncivilized behaviour that he was forced to endure not only during this last weekend by Santino Ferrucci and father, who accompanied him.

“The contractual implications of what has happened will be dealt with by our lawyers. Never in these 12 years of sporting activity has anything even close to this ever occurred. We apologize for the show that we have regretfully offered.”


Vettel: Silly to think that anything was deliberate

British Grand Prix winner Sebastian Vettel scoffed at suggestions by Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes questioned if Ferrari used ‘dirty tactics’ when Kimi Raikkonen collided with Lewis Hamilton on the opening lap of the race at Silverstone.

The incident put paid to Hamilton’s ambition of winning a record-breaking home race as he was forced to recover from the back of the field, storming through to claim second place.

Limiting the damage while his arch-rival Vettel bagged max points to take his lead in the drivers’ standings to eight and the Reds extending their gap at the top of constructors’ points standings after ten rounds

Hamilton was incensed and skipped the post-race trackside interviews with Martin Brundle, before saying on the podium, “Interesting tactics I would say from this side.”

After the race, Mercedes chief Toto Wolff quoted his tech boss James Allison, who has worked at Maranello and with Raikkonen, asking: “Do you think it is deliberate or incompetence?”

But Vettel rubbished the theory, “It’s silly to think that anything happened was deliberate. I don’t think there was an intention and I think it’s unnecessary to even go there.”

Raikkonen accepted responsibility and the 10-second penalty for his actions, “He spun, it was my bad but that is how it goes sometimes. It was not a straightforward race. It was my mistake so that was fine. That is how it goes.”

2009 F1 World Champion, Jenson Button, making a welcome return to the grand prix paddock as an enthusiastic pundit, said of the incident, “It’s definitely not intentional. This is not the way anyone goes racing anymore. But it’s tough and there is high tension.”

“It’s not easy to overtake in a Formula 1 car and they’re trying to make those moves stick on lap one. They made mistakes but that’s what racing is all about. You try not to but sometimes you slip up, it doesn’t always go your way,” added Button.

Vettel departs Silverstone leading the championship from Hamilton by eight points and Mercedes trailing the Reds by 20 in the constructors’ title race.


Vettel breaks British hearts to win incident packed race

Sebastian Vettel broke the collective hearts of Britsh fans when he spoiled the party at the British Grand Prix, taking a well-deserved victory while Lewis Hamilton recovered from an early spin and proceeded to storm through the field from the back to claim second place in an incident-packed race at Silverstone.

It was a race of two halves which began with a poor start by pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton, which turned into a shambolic first lap which not only tripped him up but also accounted for others.

The ‘race’ really began after the second of two safety car periods that concertina-ed the field and led to an enthralling four-way shootout between the two Ferrari drivers and the Mercedes duo in the final ten laps of the race.

Bottas led when Bernd Maylander peeled the safety car into the pits with, with Vettel on fresh tyres tucked in behind the leading Mercedes as he waited until DRS was available to pounce and take the lead with a fine move to claim the lead and maximum points.

This threw Bottas, who had driven impeccably all afternoon, thereafter he tripped up and slipped back further as Hamilton got past to claim second place and Raikkonen muscling past his fellow Finn to snatch third place.

Ferrari were quick and shrewd to bring Vettel and Raikkonen in when the first safety car appeared, swapping the Pirelli mediums for fresh softs. Mercedes kept both their cars out.

When unleashed, after the safety car, the difference in rubber told. Vettel was unstoppable once DRS was enabled and then swooped on the brakes at the end of the Wellington Straight to take the lead from Bottas and bag maximum points not long after.

Vettel said afterwards, “Obviously the Safety Car spiced it up. I think I surprised Valtteri and I wasn’t sure I’d make the corner but I did and it worked really well. I’m very, very happy.”

“Big thanks to the team for supporting me and also people in the background because yesterday I was a bit damaged. Today it was no problem.”

“With all the adrenaline going it was fine. Probably I will feel it tonight but it doesn’t matter, the tape held up. I enjoyed the race a lot and I think the people enjoyed a lot.”

“A great day,” concluded Vettel who now leads the championship by eight points after ten rounds and adds a second British Grand Prix winner’s trophy to the one he won in 2009 with Red Bull.

From pole, Hamilton was tardy off the line and slipped down to fourth but was tagged by the front of Raikkonen’s Ferrari, which spun him around and turned his afternoon to one of damage control which he managed admirably to finish second.

However his scything through the field highlight the enormous deficit between the Mercedes, indeed the same with Ferrari drivers, as powered past Merc customers and the Renaults with consummate ease. Formula 1 has two distinct divisions with a widening gap between the haves and the nots.

Hamilton questioned strategy used by the Reds, “Interesting tactics I would say from this side [looking at Ferrari drivers] but we’ll do what we can to fight them and improve in next races. This is the greatest race of the year and this is the greatest crowd.”

“I’m sorry I wasn’t able to bring it home for you today but thanks for the support. It’s you guys that helped me get through today We’ll take it on the chin, keep pushing hard, but believe me I will not give up.”

Bottas did not put a foot wrong all day until he allowed Hamilton through late in the race, thereafter his tyres simply had no answer to Raikkonen’s Ferrari on fresh softs.

Raikkonen summed up, “I tried. Obviously, my view is I did the best I could but there seems to be an awfully opposite look at what I’m doing, unfortunately.”

Of the lap one incident with Hamilton the veteran said, “My bad, but that’s how it goes sometimes. It was my mistake, so that’s fine. I deserve it, I took the 10 seconds and got fighting.”

Max Verstappen looked good for a podium at one point, but in the wake of three impressive race weekends (winning in Austria last Sunday) he spun out of contention late in the race when the Red Bull suffered brake failure in Turn 16 on lap 48.

Teammate Daniel Ricciardo, who was edged by his younger teammate all weekend was rewarded with fifth place.

Nico Hulkenberg benefitted from the Haas pair tripping up at the start, kept it clean to claim sixth place and Best of the Rest in a car that clearly was no match for the big three.

In seventh place, Esteban Ocon had a strong race on the doorstep of the Force India factory at Silverstone, his teammate Sergio Perez was 11th.

McLaren’s Fernando Alonso turned 17th on the grid to eighth in the race after another gutsy race peppered with choice radio chatter. Teammate Stoffel Vandoorne was 12th.

Magnussen recovered from his first lap incident to take ninth on a day in which Haas rightfully expected much more from their drivers.

Romain Grosjean virtually signed his F1 departure papers with another woeful weekend, involved in the first lap scuffle with his teammate he then tangled with Carlos Sainz late in the race when heading for sure points.

Williams were slowest of all, finishing their home race with Lance Stroll in 13th and Sergey Sirtokin 14th. A miserable day for the once mighty British team.

FIA Blow-By-Blow Report

At the start, Vettel got away superbly to take the lead ahead of pole position man Hamilton. The Briton’s team-mate Bottas also swept past and Hamilton found himself third as the field went through Abbey.

The situation was then made worse for Hamilton as Raikkonen braked too late and collided with the right rear of the Mercedes. Hamilton spun off track and dropped to 17th place. Raikkonen later received a 10-second time penalty for causing the collision.

At the front, Vettel was free to pull away and by lap eight the German had built a 5.7s lead over Bottas, with Verstappen a further four seconds behind. Raikkonen was now fourth ahead of Ricciardo and the Renault of Hulkenberg.

However, Hamilton was powering through the pack, and on lap eight he had climbed back to eighth place behind Leclerc. He was, however, now 25.7s behind Vettel. He made light work of passing the Monegasque and then breezed past Hulkenberg on lap 10 to sit 13.0 behind fifth-placed Ricciardo.

Raikkonen pitted on lap 13 to serve his penalty and after the hold he took on medium tyres to emerge in 10th place.

Verstappen was the next to pit, on lap 17, with the Dutchman also taking medium tyres. The Red Bull driver emerged in fifth place.

Behind him, Raikkonen was now on a march and in short order he dismissed Sainz, Ocon, Leclerc and Hulkenberg to sit in sixth place ahead of the next pit stop, on lap 18, for Ricciardo.

Leclerc was the next to visit pit lane but immediately after his pit stop he reported a problem and he was told to stop his Sauber. He pulled off track at Turn 3 where his strong run of recent points finishes ended.

Vettel then pitted on lap 20, taking on medium tyres. He rejoined in the lead and after Bottas made his stop the German led ahead of the Finn and Hamilton. Hamilton was now 5.8s behind the championship leader but he required a pit stop.

That stop arrived on lap 25, with the Mercedes driver taking on mediums. He rejoined the action on sixth place, 11s behind Raikkonen and 28.2s behind race leader Vettel.

The German was now 3.5s clear of Bottas, with Verstappen almost 10 seconds further back and with Ricciardo fourth ahead Raikkonen.

Bottas then began to close up to Vettel and on lap 30 the gap was down to 2.8s. Hamilton too was picking up the pace and by lap 30 he was running quickest and closing in on Raikkonen.

Red Bull then pitted Ricciardo for a second time on lap 30, with the Australian taking on a fresh set of soft tyres. He rejoined in sixth place, behind Hamilton, who was now just 4.9s behind Raikkonen.

The complexion of the race changed completely on lap 32. Marcus Ericsson overcooked his entry to Turn 1 and he lost the front end of his car. He spun and careered off track and into the barriers.

The safety car was immediately deployed and during the caution, Vettel, Verstappen and Raikkonen all pitted for fresh soft tyres as the field bunched up.

Bottas now led the race behind the SC, with Vettel second ahead of Hamilton, Verstappen, Raikkonen and Ricciardo.

On the restart Bottas held his advantage ahead of Vettel and Hamilton, bit behind them Raikkonen attacked Verstappen. He passed the Dutchman but the Red Bull driver returned the favour in the next corner and he held onto fourth place.

The Safety Car was almost immediately deployed again as behind the leaders Sainz tried to pass Grosjean in to Copse. It was tight, with Sainz leaving little room, and the result was that the Frenchman clipped the back of the Renault and they both went off track and out of the race.

The Safety Car left the track at the end of lap 41 and Bottas again held the lead ahead of Vettel and Hamilton, with Verstappen fourth ahead of Raikkonen and Ricciardo.

Vettel than began to exert pressure on Bottas and after a long tussle the German managed to sneak past the Finn with a good move under braking into Brooklands.

Behind them Verstappen spun and then retired from the race.

Bottas, whose tyres were fading, was then passed by Hamilton and he quickly slipped into the clutches of Raikkonen who brushed past his compatriot to take P3.

And that was the way it stayed with Vettel crossing the line ahead of Hamilton to take his 51st career win, putting him tied third with Alain Prost on the list of most wins in F1.

Hamilton’s superb recovery from the back of the field was matched to some degree by Räikkönen’s march to the podium from 10th after serving his penalty.

Bottas was fourth ahead of Ricciardo with Hulkenberg sixth for Renault. Ocon took seventh ahead of  Alonso, Magnussen and Gasly.
















Grosjean out of control and in the wars again

Haas driver Romain Grosjean was in the wars again, this time at the British Grand Prix after he clattered into the side of Carlos Sainz’s Renault on lap 38 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, putting an end to both their races.

The pair were racing for position, with Grosjean apparently faster but his impatience got the better of him as he kept it pointed ever-narrowing gap through flat-out Copse, he locked up and was seen (through the onboards) correcting the slide before the collision.

The Stewards “reviewed video evidence, heard from the driver of car 8 (Romain Grosjean), the driver of car 55 (Carlos Sainz) and the team representatives.”

“The drivers gave clear evidence that agreed. Car 55 had a run on the outside of Car 8 going into the very fast Turn 9. While the driver of car 55 did slightly tighten his line towards the apex, the drivers agreed that this was not the entire reason for the incident.”

“The driver of Car 8 explained that he had braked, where he would not normally brake, at the entry of the turn to avoid an incident, but as soon as his front wing was in the turnbulence from Car 55 he had a slight understeer and as the cars were very close they made contact and subsequently both cars crashed.”

“The drivers agreed that it was a racing incident and the Stewards determined that neither was wholy or predominantly at fault and took No Further Action.”

Grosjean, who famously blamed Marcus Ericsson for his silly mistake during the race in Baku, this time reported over the team radio: “He just turned into me, mate.”

But later toned it down, “I haven’t seen much. Obviously, Carlos can say I didn’t leave him enough room, I can say he didn’t leave me enough room. It’s a shame it finished like that. It was still possible to score points.”

Sainz simply called it as the stewards saw it with Grosjean present, “I think it could have been avoided – but this is Formula 1. We gave each other just enough room and I think he lost the car.”

“I was risking to try and overtake Romain, made a move around the outside into Copse and I think he just lost a bit the car on entry and we just tangled,” explained the Spaniard.

On the opening lap of the race, the Frenchman once labelled the first-lap-nutcase by Mark Webber, clattered into his teammate Magnussen who was not pleased with his teammate.

Magnussen recovered to finish ninth on a day when a double points finish was a real possibility for the American outfit.

Team principal Guenther Steiner confirmed, “Romain apologised to Kevin, I guess he waited with his braking a little bit too long. This is obviously not acceptable because we keep on losing points while having a good car.”

Despite the apology, Grosjean said in the post-race Haas team press release: “At the beginning of the race with Kevin, I think it was a mistake from both of us. It shouldn’t happen, so we need to work on that to ensure it doesn’t happy anymore.”

A week ago in Austria, Grosjean scored the first points of his season which has been marred by mistakes and track antics not expected of a driver of his experience and stature.

The cost of ‘bent metal’ at Haas must be adding up and mostly inflicted by the wayward Frenchman who is surely on his way out of Formula 1 if he does not change his ways dramatically and rapidly, with Ferrari reportedly happy to snap up his seat for their protege Antonio Giovinazzi.

Big Question: Is it time for Romain to depart Formula 1?


Gasly loses tenth place after Perez clash

Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly lost a point sfter the British Grand Prix on Sunday after collecting a post-race penalty that promoted Sergio Perez to 10th place and lifted Force India above McLaren in the standings.

Stewards imposed a five-second penalty and two penalty points after ruling that Gasly had caused a collision with Perez and gained a place as a consequence of his actions.

“With two laps to go, Gasly pushed me off track,” said Perez, whose teammate Esteban Ocon finished seventh.

“I gave him enough space but that was not enough: we still made contact and I lost the place. I believe it was an unfair move,” added the Mexican.

The race stewards reasoned after reviewing the incident: “The Stewards reviewed video evidence, heard from the driver of car 10 (Pierre Gasly), the driver of car 11 (Sergio Perez) and the team representatives. The Stewards felt that Gasly’s manoeuvres were generally reasonable and that he was attempting to make a good racing pass. Perez left his sufficient room throughout.”

“However, Gasly touched the sausage kerb at the apex of turn 16 which caused him to collide with Perez. This subsequently forced Perez off the track on driver’s left before turn 17 and severely compromised his ability to race through turns 17 and 18, and Gasly was thus able to pass Perez.”

“The Stewards determined that Gasly was wholly or predominantly to blame, and while the collision was light it led directly to the pass. Therefore the Stewards ordered a 5-second penalty.”

As a result Force India are now a point clear of McLaren in the constructors’ standings after ten rounds. The Woking outfit drop to seventh, while the Pinks are now only two points behind fifth-placed Haas.

The Red Bull-owned team tweeted later: