If there ever was a case for letting one get away, it was Williams that did everything they could in order to not win the 2015 British Grand Prix. What a shame.
Yes, what happened at Silverstone was terrible for all Williams fans. They could have given themselves a chance to win the race with either Felipe Massa or Valtteri Bottas, but they screwed up when they failed to take initiative over Mercedes.
But let’s start from the beginning. First of all, both Williams drivers had an excellent start, passing Hamilton and Rosberg, with Lewis and Bottas shuffling positions a few times before the reigning champ settled into 3rd place.
The Williams cars were running away with it just as the Virtual Safety Car came on thanks to a crash that caused both Lotus cars to run into each other, as did both McLaren cars – Alonso though would continue the race.
After about 10 laps, we were definitely racing, with Massa 1st, Bottas 2nd, followed by Hamilton and Rosberg in that order. What was great about it was that neither of the Mercedes cars could catch Williams! About half the race was just these four guys within 2-3 seconds of each other, trying to overtake unsuccessfully.
It was by far the most exciting race of the year, especially since we had rain towards the end. Though before the rain started, Williams managed to botch their race strategy first by not allowing Bottas to overtake Massa (Valtteri was clearly quicker) and then changing their minds, though it was too late.
It’s understandable in a way. They wanted to keep one fast car (Bottas) between Massa and Hamilton so that Lewis wouldn’t jump into 2nd if Bottas had gotten past his slower teammate who might not have been successful at holding back the Mercedes driver.
The problem with that strategy was that it was based on fear, based on playing it “safe”. What they should have done was to have either Bottas or Massa pit first, before Mercedes, so that they wouldn’t fall victim to an undercut – which is exactly what happened when Mercedes called Lewis into the pits.
The rain made things even more interesting, because it not only won Hamilton the race without any more doubt, but also bumped Sebastian Vettel up into 3rd place and got Fernando Alonso into the points at P10.
All in all, a very exciting affair, where hopefully Williams can show us this type of pace again very soon. They were genuinely just as fast as the Mercedes cars.
10 Random Things We’ve Noticed
– What a monumental disaster of a race for Williams …from a strategy perspective. They screwed up everything they could have. Seriously. The team did nothing to help out the drivers, even though both of them could have easily ended up winning this race had either Bottas or Massa pitted before any of the Mercedes drivers.
– Speaking of Williams, boy were they quick during the race! In fact, they were actually quicker than Mercedes in a straight line and held their own during the corners and under braking. Neither Hamilton nor Rosberg could get into striking position – they had to win the race in the pits, since they couldn’t do it on the track.
– Even though I still don’t trust Daniil Kvyat’s consistency, he did run a good race at Silverstone, finishing P6. He proved to be generally pretty quick, which means that the Red Bull upgrades are actually working decently. Staying ahead of every other team except for Mercedes/Williams/Ferrari is a clear indication that they’re on the right track.
– As for Ferrari, they were pretty much a non-factor throughout the race. They couldn’t get anywhere near the front pack, yet they were consistent enough and Sebastian Vettel took advantage of that late shower and jumped ahead of Massa, finishing P3.
– We also had another great result from Force India. Nico Hulkenberg finished P7, while Perez was P9 ahead of Alonso (we’ll get to him soon). The nostrils on the VJM08 not only look interesting, but are clearly working well for the team, as they showed strong pace not just during the race but also during qualifying.
– Fernando Alonso scored his first points of the 2015 season. Or should we say point, singular. Even though he finished P10, it’s a lot better than not finishing in the points or retiring your car. Both McLaren drivers should actually look forward to their next race near Budapest at the Hungaroring – since that’s not a particularly fast track.
– I personally had high hopes for Toro Rosso after how quick they looked during Friday’s practice sessions. Unfortunately neither car finished the race.
– Talk about high hopes, remember Lotus? They were primed to catch Williams and Ferrari not that many weeks ago thanks to their talented drivers and potent Mercedes engine. But just like in the past, they’re not just proving to be very unreliable, but also extremely unlucky. Hey, maybe there’s a pattern there somewhere.
– Again the two Manor/Marussia cars finished a Grand Prix, showing us that even though they’re slow, they’re pretty much free of technical issues. They’ve also gained a new sponsor, helping the car look a bit better.
– If there’s one guy who should be absolutely furious with his team right now, it should be Valtteri Bottas. They not only denied him permission to overtake Massa when they should have, but also failed to pit him ahead of Mercedes, which wouldn’t have given Hamilton all that clear air. On top of that, they were slow to recognize the need for intermediate tires at the end, which cost him even more.
Silverstone Race Results
1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
2. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes
3. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
4. Felipe Massa, Williams
5. Valtteri Bottas, Williams
6. Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull
7. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India
8. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari
9. Sergio Perez, Force India
10. Fernando Alonso, McLaren
11. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber
12. Roberto Merhi, Marussia
13. Will Stevens, Marussia