F1: Historic victory for Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone, more disappointment for Charles Leclerc

While his future teammate raced to a historic ninth victory on a single track over the weekend, a strategic miscalculation left Monegasque Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc in the dust at Silverstone. 

Race Day on Sunday 7th July was a mixed bag from the start, with a combination of wet and dry conditions that saw the teams try out all manner of strategies on track.  

Though he had qualified poorly in a lacklustre P11, Ferrari’s Leclerc began his race relatively well, moving up to seventh place in the early stages.  

Then the rain started to fall and it all fell apart. Clearly struggling on his Medium tyres, Leclerc headed to the pits on Lap 20 to change to Intermediates, but the downpour changed to mere drizzle before stopping all together.  

By Lap 27, he was back in the pits for another set of Intermediates and returned at the back of the pack. It was the beginning of the end of all hopes of securing any points for his team, a sentiment enhanced when he switched to Soft tyres on Lap 37.  

With too many drivers ahead and in a better position than him, his race was over. P14 was all the 26-year-old could hope for.  

“We had a good start today, but unfortunately, the race didn’t play out as we hoped on my side,” said Leclerc post-race. “The rain was increasing from Lap 15 and we thought it would get stronger so we pitted for Inters. It may have been an aggressive choice, but it seemed that it could be worth it at the time, considering the feeling that I had in the car and our weather prediction. Unfortunately, the rain was only really strong enough for those tyres a few laps later and my tyres were worn down by then, so that we had to make another stop. It went wrong and we have to review our race and make sure we can maximise every opportunity going forward.” 

His teammate, Carlos Sainz, came out better, securing P5. He ultimately added 11 points to Ferrari’s Constructors’ tally, including the extra point for the fastest lap of the day.  

But it was Leclerc’s future teammate, Lewis Hamilton, who took the win at his home Grand Prix on the Silverstone Circuit. Having not won a race since December 2021, Hamilton claimed not only P1, but also a place in the history books as the only driver in F1 to have ever won nine times on the same track.  

“This means so much to me,” said the audibly touched British driver over the team’s radio as he completed his victory lap.  

There will now be a two-week hiatus before the season resumes at the Hungarian Grand Prix between 19th and 21st July.  

Read related:

F1: Unlucky Charles Leclerc limps to P11 finish at Austrian Grand Prix


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Photo via Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team