Since 2008 the British Grand Prix has not seen a British manufacturer —McLaren Mercedes— win the race. This year, Williams Mercedes had the chance to amend the situation but, somehow, they messed it up. The race start was superb, with Massa overtaking both Mercedes and Bottas following close behind taking P2 from Hamilton after the Safety Car went out in lap 3. But what could’ve been a 1-2 for the Grove team ended up being a 4-5 finish.
Mercedes pace has no match; but I keep thinking that Williams could have done better to protect at least one of the drivers from Hamilton’s undercut. At least while the track was dry, because Williams’s wet pace was significantly inferior. They at least had the chance to make it to the podium, but decided to stop for intermediate rain tyres a little bit too late. Vettel opted to change tyres a lap earlier on lap 43, the same as Hamilton, which turned out to be the sweet spot, allowing the German to undercut Massa.
Kimi opted to pit in too early, during the first light shower. This decision cost him the 5th place as he was the only driver in the top 5 to do so. Kvyat and Hulkenberg both delayed the move into intermediates to lap 44. The cost of pitting on lap 44 was, in the best case, about 7 seconds. A huge difference, and the key for Vettel climbing to the podium. Perez could have also posed a thread to Kimi’s position, but stopping late for intermediates and a poor performance in the wet gave him 2 points.
And 1 point for Alonso in the Driver’s Championship. The first one this season for the Spaniard. This was unexpected as McLaren Honda seemed to have taken a step back in terms of performance. Not to forget the huge impact against Button’s car during the first lap mêlée, which sent the Briton to watch the race from the Paddock.
Following, I provide some plots so you may draw your own conclusions. You can also compare with last year’s British Grand Prix.
This plot shows the difference to the average pace of the race winner. That is, the difference to the average lap time, including pit stops.
The steeper the curve, the faster the lap; and as the curves are generated from cumulative sums of lap times, a negative slope implies a lap time which is quicker that the average.