Grand prix

Five winners and five losers from F1’s British Grand Prix 

A historic, experimental British Grand Prix weekend ended up providing the most dramatic race of the 2021 Formula 1 season to date. 

It began with a first-lap collision between F1’s title protagonists Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen and concluded with a late charge to a remarkable fightback victory for the home favourite.

Here are our winners and losers from the 10th round of the 2021 season…


Lewis Hamilton 

Hamilton came off much better than Verstappen as the F1 title rivals came to blows at Copse when Hamilton lunged up the inside in an ambitious bid to snatch the lead of his home race. 

With Verstappen wiped out of the race due to his enormous crash, Hamilton was slapped with a 10-second time penalty for causing the collision. But the seven-time world champion turned in a stunning fightback drive to win against the odds. 

McLaren’s Lando Norris and Mercedes Valtteri Bottas offered little resistance to a charging Hamilton, who hunted down and passed long-time leader Charles Leclerc at the same corner he collided with Verstappen. 

Hamilton’s eighth victory at the British GP proved a significant moment in the title race as he enjoyed a massive points swing over Verstappen to reduce the Dutchman’s championship lead down to eight points. 


It was a great day at the office for Mercedes as the reigning world champions took a huge chunk out of Red Bull’s championship advantage with a 1-3 finish at Silverstone

While Valtteri Bottas will be left rueing a pair of poor starts on Sunday, the Finn played the perfect team game to aid Hamilton’s victory bid, having also provided his teammate with an important tow in qualifying on Friday. 

A much-needed result and confidence boost for Mercedes as it ended a run of five consecutive defeats to Red Bull. 

Charles Leclerc 

The drama and fallout from the Hamilton-Verstappen clash ultimately overshadowed what had been an inspired and outstanding drive from Charles Leclerc. 

Having capitalised on the trouble between Hamilton and Verstappen on the opening lap, Leclerc found himself in the lead, which he maintained with a strong standing restart. 

The Monegasque did a fantastic job at keeping Hamilton at bay in the first stint and appeared on course to be heading for a surprise victory until Hamilton’s late charge. 

Leclerc was also undeterred by intermittent engine issues throughout the race as he ultimately was forced to settle with a brilliant, yet frustrating, second place finish. 

Daniel Ricciardo 

It has been a tough start to 2021 for Daniel Ricciardo but the Australian showed flashes of the Ricciardo we know with a much stronger showing at Silverstone. 

Ricciardo was closer to Lando Norris’ pace all-weekend and ended up just 0.002s adrift of his McLaren teammate in qualifying to take a respectable P7. He converted that into P6 in sprint qualifying and went another one better in the race, coming home fifth. 

While he ended up well adrift of Norris – who was hampered by a slow pit stop – the Australian took a clear step forward at the British GP that he will be hoping to build on next time out in Hungary. 

Fernando Alonso 

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso is well and truly back. 

The Spaniard starred in the first-ever sprint race by charging through the field and backed that up with another strong performance in the British GP to claim seventh place. 

Alonso continues to lead Alpine’s charge as he scored points for the fifth race on the bounce with an expertly-managed drive that highlighted his cunning race craft and bags of experience.  


Max Verstappen 

The most important outcome from yesterday’s race was that Verstappen walked away unscathed from his massive 51G crash. 

It is an incredible testament to the strength of modern-day F1 cars and the high-level of safety standards in the sport that the Dutchman was released from hospital just a few hours after the accident having escaped injury. In this sense, he was arguably the day’s biggest winner. 

But from a sporting perspective, the British GP marked a hammer blow to Verstappen. While the Red Bull driver was in hospital, his 33-point strong championship advantage was dramatically cut down to just eight after Hamilton went on to win. 

Red Bull

It was a terrible day all round for Red Bull. The team was already on the back foot even before Verstappen was knocked off at Copse, with Sergio Perez forced into a recovery drive after his spin and retirement in the sprint left him starting from the pit lane. 

At best, he only ever appeared on course for a few small points before he made a second pit stop. Perez collided with Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen in the closing stages as he finished a lowly 16th. 

The only positive was that Perez’s last-gasp fastest lap prevented Hamilton from taking an additional point.

Having held a 44-point lead over Mercedes in the championship heading into the weekend, the Milton Keynes squad’s advantage has been trimmed to just four points. 

Carlos Sainz 

While Charles Leclerc came agonisingly close to a shock victory, Carlos Sainz had a much more difficult weekend. 

Having recovered strongly from being knocked off at Brooklands by George Russell on the first lap of the sprint race to take sixth, the Spaniard turned in another solid drive on Sunday. 

Sainz had been running in third place by the time he came in to make his pit stop, but an issue cost him time and meant he dropped additional places when he re-emerged. He almost certainly would have finished fifth and ahead of Ricciardo without the problem. 

Sebastian Vettel

Seeing Sebastian Vettel spinning out all by himself evoked memories of 2018-19 when the German suffered a number of similar pirouettes in wheel-to-wheel combat. 

At the restart, the four-time world champion threw away the chance of scoring solid points while battling old nemesis Fernando Alonso coming out of Woodcote onto the old pit straight.  

Vettel’s miserable race eventually came to an end on Lap 40 when Aston Martin retired his car due to a cooling issue. 


It was a weekend to forget for AlphaTauri, with the Faenza squad picking up just one point at Silverstone. 

Pierre Gasly struggled in qualifying and failed to make up ground on his way to a lowly 12th in the sprint race, labelling the display as AlphaTauri’s “worst performance” of 2021 so far. 

Things didn’t get any better on Sunday, either. Gasly had been running in ninth but was forced to make an unscheduled pit stop five laps from home after suffering a left-rear puncture. 

The only consolation for AlphaTauri was a strong fightback charge from Yuki Tsunoda. After his frustrating Q1 elimination, the Japanese rookie battled his way from 16th on the grid to snatch the final point on offer in 10th.

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