5 things we learned from the British Grand Prix

17 July 2017 10:39

Lewis Hamilton took a seismic chunk out of Sebastian Vettel's championship lead after sealing a record-equalling victory at the British Grand Prix.

Hamilton, who joined fellow Briton and two-time champion Jim Clark and Frenchman Alain Prost with five British Grand Prix wins, is now just one point behind Vettel in the title race.

Here, Press Association Sport looks back at five things we learned from Sunday's race at Silverstone.

1. Hamilton does it his way

A jubilant Lewis Hamilton claimed he will continue to do it his way after he courted criticism for missing a promotional event in London on the eve of the Silverstone race. Hamilton defied the negativity to seal pole position, lead from start to finish, and record the fastest lap. It was a stellar performance, and one that puts him right back in the hunt to become the first British driver to win four championships. Hamilton's lifestyle is one that is often called into question, but cannot be used against him if he delivers. That said, it was still a massive own-goal to snub the London demo, which did little to endear himself to the wider British public.

2. Another Silverstone success

The British Grand Prix proved why it is one of the most popular events on the Formula One calendar, and why its failure to be there beyond 2019 would be a catastrophe for the sport. F1 chairman Chase Carey and Sean Bratches, the sport's new commercial boss, were given their first taste of the famous race this year, and it is unlikely that the passionate display by 350,000 spectators in attendance over the weekend will have gone unnoticed. "There is no way we can lose this grand prix," Hamilton said in the moments after he crowd-surfed with fans. F1 chiefs and Silverstone's owners, the British Racing Drivers' Club, now have two years to sort out an agreement.

3. Alonso urges McLaren to make up their mind

Another race, and another DNF for Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard started last after serving a 30-place grid penalty following a series of changes to his Honda engine. He progressed to 13th before a fuel pump issue halted his progress. McLaren's relationship with Honda remains at breaking point, but the alternative options for the British team are uncertain. Indeed it appears that a deal to use Mercedes engines next season is some distance from being finalised. Alonso, out of contract at the end of the year, has called on McLaren to make a decision. The 35-year-old said: "The sooner you make a decision the better preparation you have for the following year."

4. Bottas is doing the business

Valtteri Bottas ensured he remained in the title battle by storming from ninth - after serving a gearbox penalty - to finish second. Indeed, the 27-year-old Finn is now just 23 points behind Vettel in the title race. Bottas has won twice, out-qualified Mercedes team-mate Hamilton on a number of occasions, and it seems highly probable that he will be handed an extension to his one-year deal. But with Vettel out of contract at Ferrari at the end of the season - and the German yet to announce what he will do next year - Bottas may have to play the waiting game.

5. Kvyat under pressure

Daniil Kvyat is on the brink of a one-race ban after he was penalised for punting his Toro Rosso team-mate Carlos Sainz into retirement. Kvyat was handed two points for taking Alonso and Max Verstappen out of the Austrian Grand Prix, too, and the Russian was left red-faced again at Silverstone after stepping on to the turf, momentarily losing control of his car, and slamming into Sainz. The Spaniard was forced to retire while Kvyat, also hit with a drive-through penalty, limped home in 15th. Kvyat will face an automatic ban if his current tally of nine points reaches 12 before October's United States Grand Prix.

Source: PA