Hamilton wins record sixth British GP, extends F1 lead

Formula One F1 - British Grand Prix - Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain - July 14, 2019 Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton celebrates in front of the crowd after winning the race REUTERS/Matthew Childs
Updated 14 July 2019

Hamilton wins record sixth British GP, extends F1 lead

  • It was Hamilton’s seventh win in 10 races this year and the 80th win of his career

SILVERSTONE: Lewis Hamilton made the most of a favorable safety car intervention on Sunday to claim a record sixth British Grand Prix victory at a packed Silverstone.
The defending five-time world champion clocking fastest lap on his final lap to finish 25 seconds clear of Mercedes team-mate and nearest title rival Valtteri Bottas after an action-packed contest.
The Briton moved 39 points clear of the Finn behind in the title race, but Bottas was unlucky with the timing of the safety car which effectively gave Hamilton a free pit stop.
Charles Leclerc of Ferrari was third.
Pierre Gasly finished fourth ahead of his Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen, whose race was compromised by a late collision when Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari drove into him, and Carlos Sainz of McLaren.
It was Hamilton’s seventh win in 10 races this year and the 80th win of his career. He had shared the British Grand Prix record of wins, on five, with fellow-Briton Jim Clark and Frenchman Alain Prost.
Daniel Ricciardo was seventh for Renault ahead of Kimi Raikkonen of Alfa Romeo, Daniil Kvyat in a Toro Rosso and Nico Hulkenberg in a Renault.
“What a day,” said Hamilton. “To all the crowd, thank-you so much for coming out.”
Hamilton, who stopped on his slow-down lap to collect a British ‘Union Jack’ flag, added: “I love you Silverstone. I appreciate everything and the opportunity to be a part of this.
“I couldn’t have done this without these guys or without my team.”
A glum Bottas said: “Congrats to Lewis...It wasn’t my day.”
A much happier Leclerc said: “It’s probably the race I’ve enjoyed the most in my career.”
The safety car was deployed when Antonio Giovinazzi spun into a gravel trap in his Alfa Romeo — gifting Hamilton a ‘free’ first, and only, pit stop. The luckless Bottas, on a two stop strategy, had already pitted before the incident.
On an overcast and cool afternoon, Justin Whiting, the 12-year-old son of the late Charlie Whiting, the official Race Director who died suddenly in Melbourne in March, started the race. before a crowd of 141,000 at Silverstone.
As the lights went out, the Mercedes pair pulled clear, Hamilton chasing Bottas throughout the first lap ahead of Leclerc and Verstappen with Vettel fifth.
By lap 10, the lead was three-tenths, Hamilton oozing confidence could not pass Bottas slithering to protect his lead. Behind them, Leclerc blocked attacks from Verstappen.
But on lap 17, Bottas came in for a new set of mediums and Hamilton inherited the lead ahead of Vettel, the pair delaying their stops as long as possible. Then Giovinazzi beached his Alfa Romeo at Club.
Hamilton took advantage and pitted for hards, followed by Vettel and Verstappen, making a second stop. Ferrari, reacting slowly, called in Leclerc, who emerged sixth behind Gasly and Verstappen. All this left Hamilton leading Bottas with Vettel third.
Racing resumed on lap 23, the field, backed up by Hamilton, swarming like bees at the re-start.
Bottas, on mediums, traded fastest laps with Hamilton, knowing he had to make a second stop. Verstappen, helped by quick thinking from Red Bull, rose to fourth when Gasly moved over on Hangar Straight and began his pursuit of Vettel.
The Dutchman caught and passed him at Stowe only for the German to ram into the rear end of the 007-branded Red Bull, who had Bond actor Daniel Craig in their garage, both spinning into the gravel but surviving to re-join the fray.
A stewards’ investigation followed, but both races were compromised.
Leclerc rose to third and Gasly to fourth. Verstappen regained fifth while Vettel pitted for a new nose, fell to 17th and was then given a 10-seconds time penalty.
With eight laps remaining, Hamilton was told to pit, but ignored the call, persuading Mercedes to bring in Bottas for softs, a tilt at fastest lap and a secure run to the flag.


Dakar Rally stars gear up for ‘thrilling’ Saudi race challenge

The first stage of Rally Qassim began in Umm Sidra covering a distance of 170km. Several drivers are keen to test before the Dakar Rally crosses the country for the first time in January 2020. (SPA)
Updated 19 October 2019

Dakar Rally stars gear up for ‘thrilling’ Saudi race challenge

  • French driver Stéphane Peterhansel, a 13-time winner of the Dakar Rally, revealed that he was initially surprised to hear that the competition had been moved from Africa to Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: Dakar Rally drivers are gearing up for a “thrilling and exciting” challenge when the world-famous desert race is staged in Saudi Arabia for the first time next year.
The Kingdom will host the event from Jan. 5 to 17, 2020 with top racers from around the globe traveling thousands of kilometers through inhospitable terrain in cars, trucks and on quad bikes and motorcycles.
The rally will begin in Jeddah and follow a tough route through desert, sand dunes and mountainous areas taking in NEOM, the Red Sea Project, Riyadh and Qiddiya.
French driver Stéphane Peterhansel, a 13-time winner of the Dakar Rally, revealed that he was initially surprised to hear that the competition had been moved from Africa to Saudi Arabia.
“However, after doing some research, I realized that Saudi Arabia was a very wonderful and suitable country for the rally. It has different terrain types, and I expect us to have a perfect track. The vast desert gives me hope that the 2020 Saudi Dakar Rally will be more thrilling and exciting than Africa,” he said.
Five-time Dakar Rally winner and fellow French driver, Cyril Despres, said that racing in Saudi Arabia would be a new adventure that could only be experienced by those who lived up to its challenges.
“When I heard that the Dakar Rally was moving for the first time to the Middle East, I remembered the words of its founder, Thierry Sabine, who said that if you liked exploring the African continent, you would also love exploring other parts of the world,” he added.

Positive move
British rally raid motorcycle rider, Sam Sunderland, who won his category in the 2017 Dakar Rally, said he was delighted to be participating in the Saudi race. “I believe that this change is good, as I have lived in Dubai for 10 years, having adapted well to the Middle East’s atmosphere.

When I heard that the Dakar Rally was moving for the first time to the Middle East, I remembered the words of its founder, Thierry Sabine, who said that if you liked exploring the African Continent, you would also love exploring other parts of the world.

Cyril Despres, French driver

“Exploring a new area is a positive move for the Dakar Rally, and I am certain that everyone who practices this sport is excited to explore a new ground for racing,” Sunderland added.
ED Racing Team driver, Issa Al-Dossari, said the main reason he had taken part in Rally Qassim was to prepare for the Dakar challenge.
“We will be using two cars in the rally. We look forward to raising the level of preparedness for many coming global events. But this does not mean that we will not compete for the top places.”
Al-Dossari invited sports fans to visit the team’s headquarters at Date City to see equipment and meet its members.
The team must participate in two different cars, the first driven by Al-Dossari with his French navigator Sébastien Delaunay, and the second with Emirati Abdallah Al-Huraiz behind the wheel and Ali Hassan navigating.
The first stage of Rally Qassim began on Friday in Umm Sidra covering a distance of 170 km, with stage two raced over 200 km.
Meanwhile, entry registrations for the Dakar Rally are still open in all categories at https://www.dakar.com/en/the-competitors/register.