Following a very dominant display in the first-ever F1 Sprint yesterday, Max Verstappen lined up on a pole. Following just behind the Dutchman is Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas started the race from third on the grid. Sergio Perez, having to change up some of his parts, started from the pitlane on hards, while the rest of the field opted for mediums.
Written by Hafiz Akbar, Edited by Haneen Abbas
At the start, Hamilton is again out dragged by Verstappen, who was so quick off the line both yesterday and today. He kept Hamilton at bay for most of his race as he was involved in a lap one tangle with Hamilton in Copse, who tapped Verstappen quite hard and sent his car straight towards the tyre barrier. Max walked out of the 30+ G crash alive and well, although some reports suggest he was feeling a bit dizzy after he got out of the car. He was then rushed to the track medical center before being taken to a nearby hospital for a reported CT-Scan. The race was red-flagged and after an investigation from the stewards, Hamilton was awarded a 10-second time penalty which he served during his one and only pit stop.
The race restarted with a standing start. Charles Leclerc didn’t let the chance of overtaking Lewis just after the incident goes to waste. The Monegasque swooped from the inside line in Copse and overtook the reigning champion. He managed his restart very well and sped away from Hamilton in the second, spreading a gap of over one second by the first lap after the restart. Bottas, on the other hand, was overtaken by Lando Norris on the restart.
Pierre Gasly was warned by a black and white flag for exceeding track limits. A slew of slow pit stops followed just shortly after, with Norris, Alonso, and Sainz having slow stops.
Nearing the end of the race, due to Mercedes team orders, Hamilton was let through by Bottas to chase after Leclerc. Hamilton finalized the overtake on Leclerc on lap 50 after Leclerc led the whole race. He ended up winning the race with Leclerc in second and Bottas in third. This closes the gap for both the Constructors’ Championship, for Mercedes, and the Drivers’ Championship for Hamilton.
We’ll meet again on August 1st at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Will we see Hamilton win again or will Verstappen step up his game and take claim to his dominance on the table? We’ll see. For the moment, we can say that the championship has taken a sharp and very eventful turn.