Train crash

Verstappen ends up in hospital after a touch with Hamilton, who was sanctioned. Still Lewis won ahead of a huge Leclerc. Sainz was sixth and Alonso, seventh.


Pure emotion during eight corners, with the two best drivers of the moment engaging, brushing, going from one side of the line to the other. Hamilton came out better than Verstappen, but the Dutchman defended his pole position and held the lead from the first corner. The uncontrollable screams of the public could be heard, 140,000 fans under a hot sun, but Silverstone fell silent suddenly: Max was defending the outside in turn nine, Copse, one of the fastest on the circuit, when he was touched by Lewis, rear wheel right with front left.

The impact sent the Red Bull straight into the wall at very high speed, over 250 kilometers per hour, and the Red Bull struck with a 51G violence against the protections. Red flag, stunned pilot, taken to hospital although conscious and whole. It was a full-blown train wreck that would overshadow everything that happened next in a new race, with Verstappen on the track no longer. It is difficult to distribute blame, there are no black and white, but gray, but the stewards gave it to the champion with a penalty of ten seconds. A few hours later, Hamilton won the race ahead of Leclerc and Bottas, slashing 25 points from his biggest rival. Dangerous precedent: the maneuver, somewhat beyond the limit, has been profitable in the classification.

Highlights with Leclerc at the helm

After the accident there was a half-hour break, while the protections were repaired. Then a new pole start for Leclerc, who had passed Bottas before (like Norris) and also Lewis, after the incident. The Ferrari genius left in the second outing, he did not squat in front of the Mercedes. Vettel passed the two Spaniards at the start, but Alonso handed it back and lost control of the Aston Martin, alone. Later he would leave. Sainz grabbed onto the Asturian's wheel and passed him without DRS with a grown Ferrari. But by then the McLarens, and their partner, had already left.From about twenty laps came the pit stops, one for almost everyone. Ricciardo first, good. Then Norris, very bad. Bottas took the opportunity to overtake him down the pit lane and take third place. Sainz held on to the track with a podium pace that allowed him to virtually overcome the Australian, but a terrible 'pit-stop' that exceeded 12 seconds sent him again to follow in the wake of his old McLaren. Hamilton changed wheels and served his penalty with ten seconds of silence in the 'pit-lane'. Leclerc did the same, who was then 13 seconds ahead of the Mercedes threat.

Free track for the champion

Then a chase began, quick lap after quick lap, by the Englishman. It wasn't pretty that Norris pulled away, unopposed, in that race to victory. Nor was it edifying that, with 12 laps remaining, Bottas received a slightly affectionate message: "Team order, don't fight Lewis. Swap positions at Turn 15." It is true that any failure in its race against time would have given wings to the Ferrari.

Three laps from the end, in the middle of the bend train and with Leclerc at the limit (his engine had previously threatened blackouts), Sir Lewis ripped the stickers off him in the fast zone. Ferrari was about to win at Silverstone, on the least expected day, a spectacular Sunday by another young man who should be gambling for the titles with those at the top. He was second, ahead of the Mercedes squire who will soon give way to Russell.

Sixth for Sainz and seventh for Alonso

Behind them, the two McLarens and a Sainz, sixth, unable to overtake Ricciardo despite the better pace in his SF21. It is almost impossible to overtake at this circuit when two cars are even (two years ago it was the Australian who finished after Carlos, MCL34 against Renault). Alonso was far away in time, 28 seconds away, but close in points, seventh, resisting in front of the DRS train, which is rather the witch's train. He was chased by Stroll and Ocon, who completed the points alongside Tsunoda, but Raikkonen or Checo passed by at some point (in an inexplicable strategy by Red Bull). It was a beautiful race Sunday that will forever be remembered as the day Hamilton and Verstappen had more than words. And, perhaps, like the day that changed the course of the 2021 World Cup.

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