Lewis Hamilton’s race started poorly. After the race start and a small tussle with Carlos Sainz, he soon touched wheels with Kevin Magnussen’s Haas on turn 4, which left him to battle with a tire puncture, and meant Magnussen went off into the gravel, which completely derailed the both of their races.
This meant that Hamilton went down to 19th place and Magnussen to P20. Then, it was recovery mode for both of them. This was going on while George Russell soon made his way up to the second place, after Verstappen went off (also at turn 4) similar to Carlos Sainz earlier, which the people at Red Bull attributed to a ‘gust of wind’. While Russell was tussling with Verstappen for P2, and Charles Leclerc was chilling at first, Hamilton was fighting his way through the field.
Hamilton, like most of the frontrunners, made 3 pit stops. He eventually climbed his way up to 5th, and soon overtook Carlos Sainz after they had both breezed past Valtteri Bottas, both of them could not quite keep up with the current pace of the Mercedes. Of course, Lewis had earlier wanted to retire on lap 1, not wanting to slog through the race and conserve power, but Mercedes made him keep on going as they felt that there was still the possibility of points in the race.
However, this marked the end of Hamilton’s good fortune as soon, as issues with the car came up during the final stages of the race, which once again hindered his race and it was so severe that he even had to lift and coast, which meant that Carlos Sainz promptly overtook him again, and regained his earlier position in front of Lewis Hamilton. George Russell also experienced the issue.
Mercedes’ good weekend earned them a double points finish
The Mercedes W13 has looked good on race pace all weekend and was impressive on the medium tire runs in the practice sessions. George Russell qualified 4th, after a breezing first sector, and Hamilton slotted in at 6th. Toto Wolff had remarked earlier that he felt that their car was more of a ‘race car than a qualifying car’ and it seems his words ring true.
Another person whose words ring true is Red Bull advisor Dr. Helmut Marko, who had predicted that the Mercedes cars would be ahead of the Ferraris in the race (but behind the Red Bull), and while most other people would not have predicted that, it came true in the most awe-inspiring fashion.
Charles Leclerc had to retire from the race on lap 28, after leading for all the race and having a comfortable margin over George Russell, with him being the lead by at least 10 seconds. However, it all came crashing down, and it turned into a bit of a torrid race for the Ferraris, where Carlos Sainz’s race was also compromised by a gust of wind at turn 4, but he was able to finish 4th after a good recovery drive. It later came out that Carlos Sainz had damaged his floor after his spin, and the start procedure was also wrong, which is why he lost positions to Sergio Perez and George Russell.
This meant Red Bull and Max Verstappen overtook Ferrari and Charles Leclerc at the front of the respective championships. As for Mercedes, with this very strong weekend, and the absence of porpoising, for the most part, this means they can focus on development for the rest of the season, which is a very interesting prospect for the rest of the season.
As a result of his heroics during the race, Hamilton was also voted as the ‘Driver of the Day’.
Hamilton and Mercedes will be hoping for good fortune and perhaps an even better race next weekend at Monaco. Mercedes are currently 3rd in the Constructors Championships, only behind Red Bull and Ferrari. George Russell is 4th with 65 points (ahead of Carlos Sainz) and has finished inside of the top 5 at every race this season, while Max Verstappen leads the championship with 110 points, ahead of Charles Leclerc by 6 points. Lewis Hamilton is in 6th place, with 46 points.