The final few laps of today’s Formula 1 British Grand Prix at Silverstone produced drama that shuffled the final finishing order. With the top runners pushing the hard white side-wall tires to their absolute limit, Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas led the field with less than three laps to go in the race.

Disaster then struck the Mercedes team, as the left front tire of Valterri Bottas goes flat. This handed second place to Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, who immediately pitted for new soft compound tires in hopes of grabbing the fastest lap of the Grand Prix in the closing stages. The pit stop also negates any risk to a punctured tire. With the pit stop, Bottas dropped well out of the points, but would come close to a points position as he pressured Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel for 10th in the final corners.

Mercedes decided with one lap to go to not pit Lewis Hamilton for fresh tires, which almost cost him the race. With less than a half of a lap to go, the left front tire goes flat on Lewis Hamilton’s car! With a flat tire, and at a reduced pace, Hamilton limped his Mercedes to the checkered flag, claiming his 7th British Grand Prix victory. Max Verstappen, with fresh soft tires, finished in second with the fastest lap of the Grand Prix. Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc finished on the podium in third position.

If Max Verstappen had not pitted, and his tires stayed underneath him until the end of the race, the time difference would have given him the victory.

Carlos Sainz, who had stayed within fighting distance of the top five all race long, also suffered a puncture in the closing stages. This promoted Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo to fourth place at the checkered flag ahead of McLaren driver Lando Norris. Ricciardo’s teammate Esteban Ocon finished in sixth, while Pierre Gasly put in a stellar race to bring his AlphaTauri Honda home in seventh.

Featured Image Credit: Andrew Boyers/Reuters

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