F1 – 2020 British GP – Race
Hello, MiniFans! The fourth race of the season is finally upon us in a year Mercedes seems to be claiming as its own yet again. With another locked front row, it didn’t look as if the fight for the win would be entertaining, but the value of most of these races, as we’ve all learnt during a season that was dominated by one team only, is in the midfield. These cars tend to have a bit less to lose but a lot more to win, and, adding a Ferrari in 10th place on the grid, a good fight for the last step of the podium and the point finishes was easily foreseen.
Before the race kicked off, there was a small scare regarding Hulkengerb, whose car was being worked on in the garage while all his fellow drivers were on the grid alongside their teams. It couldn’t be fixed on time and he was relegated from 12th to starting from the pit lane at the time. Despite the best efforts of his mechanics, the car couldn’t be fixed on time and he did not take part in the race. The start was clean for the most part, with Verstappen and Leclerc fighting for third place until the Dutch managed to stick in front and Sainz being able to overtake his teammate and Stroll. The cars further back, however, caused a safety car when the battles for positions were still hot and heavy. After their collision, Albon managed to stay on track, something Magnussen, whose front left tyre was left dangling from his car, wasn’t so lucky about. Despite this, he was soon given both a hard set of tyres, presumably to see how they’d perform, and handed a five-second penalty for causing a collision.
The race settled quietly after the safety car left. Hamilton went on his quest of showing just how superior the tandem of him and his car is, while the train formed behind him in a polite queue that wasn’t capable of overtaking one another. However, a second safety car a handful of laps later, caused by Kvyat crashing out in Maggots and Becketts, saw all drivers coming close and pitting for hards, yet one driver didn’t take advantage of this almost free change of tyres. Haas, knowing they didn’t have anything at all to lose, seeing as one driver had crashed out of the race and the one remaining in the race was nowhere near the points, decided to leave Grosjean out on mediums. The ending of this safety car period brought on a savage fight between the McLarens and Ricciardo, the papaya cars coming out on top. Sainz had a hard time overtaking Grosjean yet, slowly but surely, the French driver started going down the timing tower as hard tyres warmed up and he was warned against unsportsmanlike behaviour for weaving in the braking zone when defending from Sainz.
The race had settled down when Hamilton, true to style, started complaining about his tyres, talking about problems with them on the radio, whereas Verstappen was so bored being completely on his own that he reminded his team to stay hydrated. Vettel, overtaken even by Gasly, was forgotten about and out of the points while his teammate managed to stay fourth, yet still almost half a minute behind Verstappen’s Red Bull and having grown a mere five-second gap with Sainz, the first of the midfield in fifth place. Tyre vibrations were talked about by a handful of drivers, as they had been using the same sets for a great chunk of the race. Yellow flags came out briefly thanks to Raikkonen’s front wing breaking and giving him some problems, but they were soon tucked back, only for other problems to kick off.
Bottas’ tyre failed with just a cuople of laps to go, ruining all and every chance at a podium for the Finnish driver. Everyone up to eleventh moved up one place as Hamilton nursed his tyres back to the finish line, his own team almost begging him not to go for the fastest lap, and his tyre gave out during the last lap, but he had enough of a gap to Verstappen to be able to make it to the checkered flag on what was essentially three tyres. Verstappen had pitted to get fresh tyres for the fastest lap, making him lose his chance at winning had they stayed out.
In this first race of the second triple header, we were robbed of some of the things most fans were looking forward before lights off. Hulkenberg couldn’t take part, Vettel barely moved from his 10th place and Racing Point disappointed yet again. However, the tyres giving up in the last two laps for both Mercedes cars and Sainz gave it a rush at the end, not making it clear who would end up where after the race was over. Leclerc scored a so not expected third place, as his teammate could only score one point thanks to the last two laps mayhem, and Ricciardo came out on top of the midfield in fourth.