Hamilton beats Rosberg to win rain-hit British GP


Lewis Hamilton survived a thrilling rain-interrupted British Grand Prix to beat Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg and claim his third Formula 1 win at Silverstone.

Hamilton dropped to third at the start, losing out to Felipe Massa, but utilised the undercut to jump both Williams team-mates in the pits and take the lead,

A late rain shower provided some drama in the closing stages, but Hamilton timed his switch to the intermediate tyres perfectly to take the win, leading home Rosberg and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.

A fast-starting Felipe Massa jumped both the Mercedes cars off the start, with team-mate Valtteri Bottas attacking Hamilton for second, with Rosberg dropping to fourth.

As Hamilton forced his way back past the Finn into the Loop there was carnage further down the field as the two Lotus cars and both McLarens were involved in separate accidents, eliminating Jenson Button, Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado and prompting an early safety car.

As the safety car pitted on lap three, Hamilton attacked Massa for the lead into Club, only to lock up, run wide, and allow Bottas to sweep into second.

The Finn closed on his team-mate, pulling alongside Massa on the Hanger Straight and forcing the Brazilian to defend into Stowe, prompting a series of frantic radio exchanges.

As the two Williams cars squabbled out front, Mercedes opted to pit Hamilton from third at the end of lap 19, switching the championship leader to the hard tyre.

Felipe Massa and Nico Rosberg were in a lap later, with the Brazilian narrowly beating the Mercedes racer out of the pits, but crucially, losing out to Hamilton.

The reigning champion was promoted into the lead as Bottas pitted from the lead, the Finn emerging between the battling Massa and Rosberg in third.

Hamilton quickly built up an advantage from Massa, pulling six seconds clear before the race was interrupted by first a virtual safety car period to clear Carlos Sainz Jr’s stricken Toro Rosso and then a rain shower.

As light rain hit the Silverstone circuit, Rosberg cleared Bottas into Copse, before diving past the struggling Massa into Village to move into second.

With Rosberg slashing his lead as the weather worsened, Hamilton opted to make an early stop for the intermediates, handing the slick-tyre shod Rosberg the race lead.

The call proved to be a masterstroke, as Rosberg, Massa and Bottas were forced to pit for intermediates a lap later, prompting Hamilton back into the lead.

With the track drying in the closing stages, Hamilton cruised home to finish 11s clear of Rosberg and claim his third British Grand Prix victory.

Sebastian Vettel mimicked Hamilton’s brave tyre call late on to jump both Williams cars and claim the third and final spot on the podium.

After leading the opening phase of the race, Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas were forced to settle for fourth and fifth as Williams lost out in the late rain shower.

Daniil Kvyat made a late charge to take sixth for Red Bull, ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, who brought the upgraded Force India home in seventh.

Kimi Raikkonen gambled with a premature move onto the intermediate tyres and dropped to eighth, ahead of Sergio Perez, who endured a double-points finish for Force India in ninth.

Fernando Alonso crossed the line in tenth to record his first points of the season, and only McLaren-Hondas second points finish of 2015.

Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson ran strongly in the points, but a poor strategy call – moving to intermediates and then back to slicks before heavy rain arrived –  ruined his race, dropping him to 11th.

Roberto Merhi and Will Stevens rounded out the classified finishers, with the latter requiring a late nose change after a spin in the wet.

Max Verstappen was an early retiree after a spin at Turn 2 following the opening safety car period, while Daniel Ricciardo endured a miserable race, stopping three times in the early stages before he was forced to park his Red Bull with an electrical fault before half-distance.

Felipe Nasr failed to take the start after his Sauber stopped on the way to the grid.

This report first appeared on Richland F1 – Image courtesy of Daimler


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