The 50th running of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit proved treacherous when heavy rain fell just before the start of the 52-lap race around the 5.891-kilometer (3.660-mile), 18-turn track. Whatever strategies teams had in place for their drivers were washed away. In their place were seat-of-the-pants decisions as the track quickly changed from wet to dry.
This evolution saw all 22 drivers begin the race on Pirelli’s Cinturato Blue full wet tire as the race’s first five laps were run behind the safety car. But when the safety car pulled in, so did the drivers who saw firsthand how quickly the track was drying. Off went the full wets and on went Cinturato Green intermediate tires.
For Haas F1 Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutiérrez, this meant a double stop, with Grosjean the first into the pits and Gutiérrez following just 20 seconds behind.
Grosjean made 12 laps on the intermediates before the track dried enough to bolt on slicks. He pitted at the end of lap 16 for Pirelli P Zero White medium tires. Gutiérrez came in a lap later and did the same.
Unfortunately for Grosjean, he never got a chance to push his car on the ever-drying racetrack. He experienced a loss of forward drive after 17 laps and retired from the race. Gutiérrez, meanwhile, soldiered on in 17th. With the field strung out and the leaders running an impressive pace in light of the conditions, he was lapped on lap 28. When the checkered flag dropped, Gutiérrez had picked up one spot to finish 16th while Grosjean was listed 20th.
A week after scoring its best collective finish at the Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg when Grosjean finished seventh and Gutiérrez was 11th, Haas F1 Team experienced its worst collective result in the British Grand Prix. The damage, however, was negligible, as the two outfits bookending Haas F1 Team in the constructor standings – seventh-place McLaren and ninth-place Renault – also finished outside the points. Haas F1 Team remains eighth in the constructor standings with 28 points, keeping its four-point margin to McLaren and its 22-point buffer over Renault.
Lewis Hamilton won the British Grand Prix to cap a clean sweep of every competitive aspect of the race weekend. Fastest in each practice session, fastest in qualifying and fastest in the race, Hamilton captured his 47th career Formula One victory, his fourth this season and second in a row. It was also his third straight British Grand Prix victory and fourth overall. Hamilton triumphed by 6.911 seconds over his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, again cutting into Rosberg’s lead in the championship standings. Prior to Austria, the margin between the Mercedes duo was 24 points, but Hamilton’s win there cut the deficit to 11 points entering Silverstone. After the British Grand Prix, Rosberg’s advantage over Hamilton is a scant four points. Eleven races remain, with the next event coming in two weeks with the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest.
Well, the weekend didn’t end positively as we had a technical issue in the race, forcing our retirement. We were very slow on intermediate tires. That’s something we need to work on and understand. On a positive note, the car felt good on the high-speed corners, and qualifying was very tight. We almost made it to Q3, so that was great. We’ve had a lot of learning opportunities again this weekend. We have to take that as a positive. I’m very much looking forward to going to Hungary now. Our biggest challenge will be to get our tires to work, but when they do, the car feels very good.
“It was a very difficult race for us today. I lost quite a bit of time at the beginning with the first pit stop, and then there was a late call on the second stop. The pace we had just wasn’t enough to get further up the grid, but we’ll keep pushing as we look ahead to the next event. We’ve got a lot of data to analyze and I’m confident the team will do their best to get prepared as we all focus on the next race.
“For sure, it’s been our toughest day since we started this adventure. There were a few issues today. When we double stopped, we had a problem with the tire change on Esteban’s car. Then we had the power go down on all our systems. We didn’t have any GPS maps, so we didn’t know when to call them in and when not. Then Romain had a transmission failure ending his race. You always learn from your mistakes. We’ll work on getting ready for Hungary now, but we have to do better again.”
Round 11 of the 2016 FIA Formula One World Championship is the Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring in Budapest. Practice begins July 22, qualifying takes place July 23 and the race runs July 24.