The 2021 British Grand Prix was full of drama, controversy and emotion. From home wins, to big shunts and heartbreak in Maranello, Laura Leslie takes you through the best stats from the weekend.
Home hero Lewis Hamilton won for the 99th time in his career in style, but not without a decent spoonful of controversy first. The 7-time champion had to fight back from a 10 second penalty after causing a collision with title rival Max Verstappen on the opening lap. With just 3 laps left in the race Hamilton blasted by race leader Charles Leclerc and cut Verstappen’s championship lead down to just 8 points. Hamilton scored a total of 27 points across the weekend - 2 in sprint qualifying and 25 in the race. This is the most a driver has scored in one weekend since Hamilton scored 50 points in the 2014 double points finale at Abu Dhabi.
Mercedes also cut the lead Red Bull had over it in the constructors’ championship to just 4 points thank to both Hamilton’s points and Valtteri Bottas getting a ‘double podium’ of 3rd in sprint qualifying and the race. Hamilton became the 1st driver in history to win the same race 8 times in 2 different locations – Hungary and Great Britain. He also became the 1st driver in history to score 8 consecutive podiums in the same race – 2014-2021.
For Red Bull the British Grand Prix turned into a nightmare weekend. While the team still leads both championships, it’s lead has been slashed in both by Mercedes. Neither car scored points in the grand prix itself – the first time the team has gone without points in a grand prix since the 2020 Emilia Romanga Grand Prix. Verstappen did score 3 points for winning the inaugural sprint qualifying session though. This win led to Verstappen scoring his 4th pole position in a row – the first time Honda power has done this since the opening 4 rounds of 1991.
Red Bull’s loss was Ferrari’s gain however. The opening lap crash allowed Leclerc to sneak through into the lead and he came just 3 laps away from a shock victory. Instead Leclerc had to settle for 2nd and his 1st podium since last year’s British Grand Prix. Leclerc has now led 50 laps in total this season, more than twice the amount of Bottas and 9 more than the Finn in the previous 15 races. Prior to Sunday Ferrari had only led 1 lap in the previous 27 races.
Despite the strong haul of points Ferrari still finds itself 15 points adrift of McLaren in the constructors’ championship. The papaya team had one of its strongest weekends of the year so far with both cars finishing in the top 5 for the first time in 2021. Lando Norris became the 1st McLaren driver in the team’s history to score points in 15 consecutive races and remains the only driver to score in all 10 rounds of 2021 so far. The superfast Brit has hauled himself back up to 3rd in the drivers’ standings ahead of the half-way point of the season.
Norris’ team-mate Daniel Ricciardo had by far his best weekend since joining the team. His 1st top 5 finish of the year and a number of fine overtakes bode well for the remainder of the year. McLaren itself has scored points in 17 consecutive races now – its 4th best ever run of this kind.
Alpine continued to close in on Aston Martin in the constructors’ championship after Fernando Alonso put in a fine performance to finish 7th – 4 places up from his initial starting spot in sprint qualifying. This is Alonso’s 5th points finish in a row. It wasn’t all bad for Aston though, the team is now just 1 point behind Alpha Tauri following Lance Stroll’s 8th place.
It was hero-to-zero for George Russell and Williams. Russell had qualified in a superb 8th for sprint qualifying, but unfortunately that was as good as it got. Russell has now gone 47 races at Williams without scoring a point – the worst run for a driver in the team’s history. Kimi Raikkonen became the 1st F1 driver in history to race at the same track 20 times. While at the rear of the field Nikita Mazepin finished ahead of team-mate Mick Schumacher on merit for only the 2nd time in 2021.