Lewis Hamilton scored an extraordinary victory at the dramatic end of the British Grand Prix despite being punctured on the last lap.
The front tire of the Mercedes driver failed halfway around the last lap but stuck in front of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
Verstappen would have won had it not stopped late for new tires in a successful bid for a fastest lap point.
Teammate Hamilton Valtry Potas also had a hole, two laps earlier, which dropped him from the points.
The Finn finished 11th and dropped to Hamilton by 30 points in the title race, a potentially devastating blow to his hopes very early in the season truncated by the coronavirus.
McLaren’s Carlos Sainz was a third driver with a hole in the left front, just like Hamilton on the last lap, falling from fourth to thirteenth.
Charles Locklear from Ferrari was upgraded from fourth to final on the stage due to the late drama.
Late drama leads to a seismic moment
It was a brilliant end to a race that was optimistic up to that point, and Hamilton realized that then, on radio, his voice was comfortably flooded: “It was close.”
Mercedes drivers would get sick of their tires after they stopped earlier than expected because of the second of the two safety cars.
They stopped changing from medium to solid tires on lap 13, too early to reach the end of the race on one set of solid tires.
It was clear that they had been running at their pace since then, but dark episodes appeared on their tires as the race moved to the closing stages.
But there was no real indication that the drama would come until Potas’ left front tire was emptied shortly after the start of Lap 50, with two remaining.
Finn stumbled around a full course and was too far to reach points.
Hamilton then seemed to be wandering to the flag, until he also suffered a hole, this time heading down the back toward Brooklands. Then the question was whether he could get around the rest of the lap – more than half of it – before being caught by Verstapen.
Hamilton said: “Until the last lap, everything was sailing relatively smoothly.
“The tires felt great. Valtteri was really pushing with incredible strength and I was doing some management for that tire and it seemed like it wasn’t doing anything.
“When his frame was gone, everything looked fine, so I thought maybe he was fine.
“I noticed that the shape of the tire was shifting, and it was in his heart and I didn’t know if even the brakes had gone down.
“Just then drive it – sometimes it will explode and break the wing. I almost didn’t go around the last corners. Maybe we should have stopped at the end when we saw the lamination (on the other cars).”
Hamilton said his engineer, Peter Bonnington, was calculating the gap to Verstappen on radio as he approached science.
Hamilton said: “The car looked like it was going well through Maggotts and Becketts, then it was a real struggle in the last corners. I could hear the gap drop from 19 to 10. I could hear from the last corner he said to him:” Nine, eight, seven ” , And I was like, “Get ready for gas.”
It was a dramatic end to a race that could have an equally significant impact on the championship battle.
A frantic midfield battle
After Sanz’s late hole, Daniel Ricardo from Reno came to the fore in a close midfield battle, passing another McLaren from Lando Norris late in the race, while Australian teammate Esteban O’Conn finished sixth.
Pierre Gasley Alpha Tauri led a powerful race to seventh, including a brave pass on Sebastian Vettel from Ferrari around the exterior of Stowe and then took the inside back to the narrow left back in the next valley.
Red Bull player Alexander Albon recovered to eighth after being punished – cruelly in some eyes – for colliding with a Haas Kevin Magnussen driver at Club on the first lap, an accident that showed the first two safe cars.
Albon seemed to be marching legitly for a chance created by Dane’s fault cutting the sidewalk at the Vale exit and was almost to the side of Haas, before retreating to try to avoid a collision when he realized Magnussen was coming across the front wheel cars back.
Albon was at the back when Red Bull pitted him on new tires after the safety car period had ended. But he stuck to it, and a second tire station stopped later in the race to outlast, but it enabled him to attack on the last lap.
The second safety car was launched on lap 12 due to a heavy crash of fellow teammate Jacelle Daniel Kviat at the corner of Maggots.
The team blamed the accident on the driver’s fault, saying it cut a platform while making a change in the steering wheel. But enough He later said on social media The team reviewed the video and “saw that something happened out of my control, so we will need to verify all data to understand the exact cause of the failure”.
George Russell Williams ranked 12th, ahead of Sainz, Alfa Romeo Antonio Giovinazi and Russell colleague Nicholas Latifi.
Haas Romain Grosjean driver, who got a black and white warning signal during the race as well as a formal post-race warning on dangerous defensive driving, finished 16th while struggling Alpha II got to Kimi Raikkonen, who also suffered a left-hole front, finished in 17.
what happened after that?
Another race in Britain, this time in the Grand Prix of the 70th anniversary of F1 next weekend. Can Hamilton Have Two Wins In A Row – And Four In A Trot Of The Season?
What did they say
Lewis Hamilton: “Until that last lap everything was relatively relatively smooth. Valtteri was pressing incredibly hard, I was running some tires. When I heard it was gone, I looked at my body and looked fine. I definitely didn’t feel anything like that on the lap. The last and my heart almost stopped. “
Max Firstaben: “She was lucky and unlucky. Mercedes was very fast. The tires weren’t perfect with 10 turns, and they didn’t look beautiful. I told the engineer to drink and stay wet! He ran my speed and looked after the tires.”
Charles Locklear: “It was a very difficult race. Once I heard Valtteri had a tire problem, it slowed down a lot. Looking at us, we did the best we could do today. I’m very happy with the way I ran the tires from start to finish and I’m happy with the balance of the car.” .