Lewis Hamilton has ‘delivered everything he could possibly do for Great Britain’, lauds Formula 1 legend Damon Hill after record Silverstone win

15 Jul

Formula 1 legend Damon Hill has hit back at claims Lewis Hamilton is ‘not patriotic’ following his record British Grand Prix win at Silverstone.

The Brit overtook Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas to storm to his sixth victory at his home race – taking him over closer to a sixth world championship title.

But, while the 141,000-strong crowd at Silverstone were delighted by his win, Hamilton faced criticism in some quarters following his landmark triumph.

Hamilton looks unstoppable in his pursuit of a sixth world title
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His incredible achievements in the sport have not stopped the online haters, with the Stevenage-born ace often criticised for taking up residence in tax-haven Monaco and accused by some fans of ‘not being British’

But Hill insists Hamilton has flown the flag for Great Britain with pride and has ‘delivered everything he could possibly do’ for his country.

Speaking to talkSPORT host Jim White, the 1996 F1 world champion said: “It’s difficult to come up with more superlatives; the guy is dominant in his era and he’s had everything thrown at him and he’s delivered on every level.

“It’s very difficult to think what else he can do, apart from of course beat Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world titles.

“He has become a world recognised sports star and that of course means he’s more international, but he’s an English lad… he’s from Stevenage and he grew up in this country!

“He does try to convince us he is very patriotic and I think sometimes the more he does that the less we are inclined to buy that sort of ‘selling tactic’.

F1 driver standings

After 10 races, Hamilton is way out in front in the championship standings. But who comes behind Hamilton in the top 10?

  1. Lewis Hamilton – 223 points
  2. Valtteri Bottas – 184 points
  3. Max Verstappen – 136 points
  4. Sebastien Vettel – 123 points
  5. Charles Leclerc – 120 points
  6. Pierre Gasly – 55 points
  7. Carlos Sainz – 38 points
  8. Kimi Raikkonen – 25 points
  9. Lando Norris – 22 points
  10. Daniel Ricciardo – 22 points

“But he doesn’t have to worry about it.

“He’s delivered everything he could possibly do for this country – he is the highest-winning British driver and second highest in the history of Formula One.

Asked how he would have fared against Hamilton had they raced in the same era, Hill added: “It would have been very difficult to beat him!

Lewis Hamilton celebrates with fans after his victory at Silverstone, but he isn’t loved by all
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“To beat him, what I found from racing against people like Michael Schumacher is that I could do it, but I couldn’t do it all the time, and Lewis can do it all the time.

“He might have the occasional blip, but it doesn’t happen very often.”

Listen back to talkSPORT’s interview with Damon Hill IN FULL above!

Lewis Hamilton seals record sixth British Grand Prix title at Silverstone

14 Jul

Lewis Hamilton won the British Grand Prix at Silverstone for a record-beating sixth time.
The Formula One world champion took advantage of a safety car to overtake Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, delighting the bumper 141,000-strong crowd.

Hamilton looks unstoppable in his pursuit of a sixth world title
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The win, Hamilton’s seventh from 10 rounds, takes the Briton ever closer to a sixth world title. He is now 39 points clear of Bottas in the championship standings.

On a sensational day for Hamilton, the Englishman also secured a bonus point by posting a stunning track record on his final lap.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc finished third after Sebastian Vettel crashed into the back of Max Verstappen.

Red Bull driver Verstappen managed to finish fifth, but Vettel dropped to 16th with the damage sustained in the incident.

The Ferrari driver was also hit with a 10-second penalty for causing the collision.

Lando Norris crossed the line a disappointing 11th on his maiden home event, the British teenager’s race scuppered by strategy.

For Hamilton, his stroke of luck arrived on lap 20 of the 52-lap race when Antonio Giovinazzi beached his Alfa Romeo at Brooklands.

Out came the safety car, and in came Hamilton for his one and only stop.

Hamilton delighted the home crowd
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Bottas had already pitted, and with the field driving slowly, Hamilton was able to nip in for fresh tyres to retain his lead.

The Englishman crossed the line 25 seconds clear of Bottas, surpassing Britain’s double world champion Jim Clark and the Frenchman Alain Prost as the standalone master of his home race.

“What a day, I love you Silverstone,” said Hamilton on his warm-down lap.

Who is on pole for the British Grand Prix? Free live stream as Lewis Hamilton eyes F1 glory at Silverstone again

13 Jul

The British Grand Prix is back this weekend but Lewis Hamilton will not start on pole as he looks to claim a historic sixth win at Silverstone.

The five-time world champion will become the most successful driver ever in his home race should he claim victory.

Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton will be looking for his sixth win at the British Grand Prix
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Hamilton and Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas have dominated this season but Red Bull’s Max Verstappen ended their winning run by taking the Austrian Grand Prix crown last time out.

While Hamilton will be eager for another win, he’ll start behind Bottas on the grid for the race.

British Grand Prix: Qualifying results

Bottas beat Hamilton to pole position for the British Grand Prix by just 0.006 seconds in a dramatic end to qualifying on Saturday.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc will start from third while Verstappen will be fourth on the grid.

Pierre Gasly, Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris make up the rest of the top eight.

British Grand Prix: Date and start time

The 74th edition of the famous race will take place on Sunday, July 14 and will start at 2.10pm.

The race will be held at the Silverstone circuit in Towcester, Northamptonshire.

Mercedes star Valtteri Bottas will start from pole for the British Grand Prix
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British Grand Prix: TV channel and live stream

As per usual, Sky Sports F1 will have all the coverage from the race weekend.

Sky Sports customers can live stream this via the app on their computer, tablet or mobile device. You can also purchase a Sky Sports Day Pass with NowTV for £8.99.

But, due to it being the British Grand Prix, Channel 4 will show the full race weekend.

That means it will be on a free-to-air channel, providing you have a valid TV licence. You will also be able to live stream online on All 4.

Lewis Hamilton has won four of the last five F1 championships
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British Grand Prix: What has been said?

Hamilton said: “Firstly congratulations to Valtteri he did a great job in qualifying, and I wasn’t good enough.

“It got a bit away from us, I sacrificed a lap in Q2 which would’ve helped us, and the second lap in Q3 just wasn’t that good. It’s a long race tomorrow and we’ve got a great crowd here so we’ll see what we can do.

“It’s the best grand prix of the whole year and that is because of the energy the people bring, and the tracks are brilliantly designed, but it’s the people that make this the best.”

Finland’s Bottas said: “It was very good again, it reminds you why you do this. It’s been pretty close all weekend and today with Lewis – it’s good to get a good lap and get pole.

“I knew the first lap was good but it wasn’t perfect and honestly I should’ve improved in the second run and I’m glad it was enough – it’s not easy to get a lap together.”

British Grand Prix: Silverstone contract extension confirmed to secure future of Formula One’s oldest race

10 Jul

A contract has been agreed to keep Formula One at Silverstone which secures the future of the British Grand Prix.

In an announcement made at the Northamptonshire circuit days before this season’s race, the sport’s oldest race was confirmed to remain at Silverstone for another five years.

The original contract, agreed with ex-F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, had a break clause which meant Sunday’s race was set to be the last unless a new arrangement could be found.

More follows.

British Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton loses more ground in F1 driver’s championship as Sebastian Vettel wins at Silverstone

8 Jul

Lewis Hamilton battled back from last to second as his championship rival Sebastian Vettel won a dramatic British Grand Prix.

Hamilton was spun round at the first corner by Vettel’s Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, but turned in a masterful display, and took advantage of two safety car periods to finish behind Vettel.

It was a disastrous opening lap for the Mercedes driver who was spun off the track

Raikkonen crossed the line ahead of Valtteri Bottas, who had led with only five laps of the race remaining.

Vettel strengthens his stranglehold on the championship, and will now head to his home race in Germany in a fortnight’s time with an eight-point advantage.

Hamilton secured pole 24 hours earlier, but his getaway here was slow and it was not long before Vettel had passed the Brit for the lead with Bottas following suit.

Raikkonen was then all over the back of Hamilton’s Mercedes gearbox, and the Finn locked up at the right-handed turn three and slammed into his opponent.

Hamilton did well to finish second after his early setback

Hamilton was sent spinning round, and suddenly he found himself down in 18th and with it all to do.

Raikkonen was at fault for the coming together and the stewards concurred as they slapped the Ferrari driver with a 10-second penalty.

While Vettel led from Bottas at the front all eyes were on Hamilton and his comeback drive through the field.

Cheered on by the vast majority of 140,000 partisan fans, Hamilton was driving like a man possessed, and was picking off his opponents with ease.

By the end of lap three, Hamilton was 14th. Three laps later he was into the points after passing Kevin Magnussen’s Haas, and on lap 11 he was up to sixth having dispatched of Nico Hulkenberg’s
Renault.

Remarkably the defending champion had made up 11 places in just 10 laps.

The front-runners all stopped for fresh rubber, promoting Hamilton to third. Hamilton stopped for new tyres after 25 laps and dropped back to sixth.

Hamilton was 29 seconds behind leader Vettel and 11 behind Raikkonen, but he was turning in the quickest laps of the race, and when Daniel Ricciardo stopped for a second time, he was up to fifth.

Then the race took another unexpected twist when Swede Marcus Ericsson crashed out at 200mph.

The Sauber driver emerged unscathed, but the safety car was sent out. Both Ferrari and Red Bull drivers took advantage of the safety car to stop for fresh tyres, but Mercedes left both of their cars out.

Vettel celebrates just his second win at a British Grand Prix

Bottas would assume the lead from Vettel, with Hamilton now third. The Brit, however, was straight on the radio. “There is no way I am going to be able to compete with these guys on old tyres,” he said.

The response from his race engineer Pete Bonnington was simple. “You’re the fastest out there by miles,” he said. “It is all there. Don’t give up.”

After the Sauber wreckage was cleared, the race resumed only for Romain Grosjean to collide with Carlos Sainz at the high-speed Copse corner.

Out came the safety car again. With 11 laps remaining, the race started once more. A blanket could be thrown over the leading four cars as they scrapped for position.

Bottas, on old tyres, was starting to wane, and with five laps to go Vettel perfectly executed his move at Brooklands to take the lead.

Hamilton made his way past Bottas on the following lap, with Raikkonen then taking his countryman for third, and that is how the leading four cars would cross the line in a frenetic ending.

British Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton turns on the style to claim fourth consecutive Silverstone pole

7 Jul

Lewis Hamilton put his Mercedes on pole position for the British Grand Prix with a scintillating final lap in qualifying.

Hamilton turned on the style to claim his fourth consecutive pole at Silverstone and edge out his championship rival Sebastian Vettel by just 0.044 seconds.

Hamilton is second in the overall standings – one point behind Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen qualified third with Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas fourth. The Red Bull duo of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo will line up fifth and sixth.

Hamilton, bidding to move ahead of Jim Clark and Alain Prost with his sixth victory in Britain, and his fifth in succession in front of the partisan Silverstone crowd, trailed Vettel prior to the final runs.

But the 33-year-old Englishman delivered a breathless time with his final throw of the dice to see off the competition from both Ferrari cars and start Sunday’s race as the favourite to claim an historic win.

“I gave it everything I could,” said a breathless Hamilton moments after getting out of his car and sealing his 50th pole for Mercedes.

Hamilton finished above both Ferrari’s drivers Vettel and Raikkonen

Standing in front of the main stand, he added: “It was so close between the Ferraris. I was just praying I could do it for you guys. I am so grateful for the support and without you I wouldn’t have been able to do it.”

Vettel, who revealed he almost pulled out with a neck injury, added: “To be honest this morning I was not sure I could do qualifying. I am happy but I lost some time on the straight.”

Sir Frank Williams is in attendance at a race for the first time this season, but his presence here did little to change the failing British team’s miserable fortunes.

Canadian Lance Stroll lost control of his car on his very first flying lap, spinning at Brooklands, and ending up beached in the gravel. His session was over instantly.

Only moments later, Sergey Sirotkin in the sister Williams, was in the sand trap, too. Claire Williams, the deputy team principal, looked on aghast with both hands over her mouth.

Sirotkin managed to limp out of the gravel, and back to the pits, but could manage only the slowest time with both Williams cars at the back of the field on Sunday.

Starting last will be Brendon Hartley after his horror 200mph crash in final practice.

Hartley’s Toro Rosso suspension collapsed under braking which sent the New Zealander spiralling out of control and into the tyre barrier.

The Silverstone crowd congratulate Hamilton on his pole position

Hartley, 28, emerged unscathed but his car was destroyed, and he was unable to play any part in qualifying.

Stoffel Vandoorne is under growing pressure at McLaren, and here qualified only 17th of the 20 runners, the best part of one second down on his team-mate Fernando Alonso, who finished 13th.

Alonso has out-qualified Vandoorne at all of the 10 rounds this season. Charles Leclerc, perhaps destined for Ferrari next year, continued his fine form by hauling his Sauber into Q3 and finishing ninth.