Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2018

2018 British Grand Prix Star Performers

2018 British Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen were RaceFans’ Stars of the British Grand Prix weekend. Here’s why.


Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton looked hard to touch after qualifying where he out-qualified both Ferraris and was three tenths clear of his team mate. But a poor start allowed Vettel and Bottas by before he even reached turn one, and left him vulnerable to a clumsy lunge by Raikkonen at turn three. That sent him spinning and dropped him all the way down to 19th.

Hamilton was immediately on the radio complaining about damage, but the team failed to find anything in the telemetry, and as he began making his way through the field he was the fastest car on track. Within 10 laps he was back to sixth, following which he ran a long first stint on soft tyres.

This meant he was in a better position than his team mate to take advantage of the Safety Car period by staying out on worn rubber. He jumped ahead of both Red Bulls, then held off Raikkonen who had fresh softs, and kept Vettel within range. He ended up finishing second after Bottas’ tyres fell off significantly in the final laps – a remarkable recovery.

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2018
a great pass on Bottas secured Vettel’s fourth win of 2018
Ferrari looked competitive throughout the weekend, but Vettel fell just short of pole by 0.044 tenths in qualifying, following an inspired lap by Hamilton. Vettel made the jump on his title rival as the lights went out before Hamilton tangled with Raikkonen. Vettel quickly opened up a six second lead over Bottas, but towards the end of his stint he began to struggle with blistering on the front left of his soft tyres.

After stopping for mediums Vettel was forced to manage his tyres and Bottas slowly closed the gap to two seconds. He was saved by the Safety Car and fit fresh softs while Bottas stayed out and inherited the lead. After the Safety car interruptions, Vettel struggled to get by Bottas as he defended the lead. However a late dive down the inside into turn six sealed the win for the Ferrari driver with five laps to go.

Max Verstappen

Verstappen out-qualified team mate Daniel Ricciardo for the fourth race in a row, but blamed a 70-80 horsepower deficit to Ferrari and Mercedes for his inability to challenge the front runners.

In the race he won a first-lap scrap with his team mate and took advantage of Raikkonen and Hamilton’s collision to move into third, Verstappen was able to keep Raikkonen at bay during the first stint and maintained third after the first round of stops. The Safety Car offered him a free opportunity to switch to the softs for the end of the race, but he came out behind Hamilton.

After the restart he had a good battle with Raikkonen, but eventually the Ferrari’s power proved to be too much. On lap 45 Verstappen a brake by wire fault caused a spin while defending against Ricciardo. He was able to make it out of the gravel, but couldn’t continue.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free


Romain Grosjean

Romain Grosjean, Haas, Silverstone, 2018
Another rough weekend leaves Grosjean feeling the pressure
Grosjean had a rough start to the weekend when he became the first driver to crash in the Abbey DRS zone after failing to close his rear wing in time. This forced him to sit out of practice two as the team prepared the spare chassis for Saturday.

Despite qualifying behind his team mate, Grosjean was satisfied with his performance considering he lost so much track time on Friday. Haas were clearly best of the rest heading into the race with no midfield teams challenging them in qualifying.

However Grosjean weakened thier position by blundering into Magnussen at the start, taking a chunk of his team mate’s floor with him, so both drivers were already outside the points after lap one. Having made his way back through the field, Grosjean then clipped Sainz while being passed by the Renault during the first Safety Car restart, triggering another heavy crash. This, like his earlier incident, was deemed a racing incident by the stewards, but his team took a dimmer view of his latest error-strewn performance.

Stoffel Vandoorne

Vandoorne lost out to Alonso for the 10th time in 10 races this season when he made an early exit in Q1. He described his car as undriveable during final practice and the problems couldn’t be resolved in time for qualifying.

In the race, he failed to make any kind of impression as he moved from 17th to 12th mostly thanks to retirements ahead. His gap to Alonso in the standings grew even more since Alonso was able to make his way into the top ten.

Marcus Ericsson

Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, Silverstone, 2018
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, Silverstone, 2018
Once again, Ericsson went out in Q2 and was watching as his team mate took part in Q3. Charles Leclerc was six tenths quicker than Ericsson in Q2.

In the race, Ericsson pitted relatively late on lap 24 and shortly afterwards had a huge crash at turn one. He failed to get his DRS closed in time and lost the rear end as soon as he turned in with no chance of saving it. He was taken to the medical center as a precaution, and fortunately he was fine. Afterwards he took the blame for his mistake, but also mentioned how the rough track contributed to his error.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

And the rest

Bottas did little wrong as he stayed within sight of Vettel for the first half of the race. Mercedes gambled and chose to leave him out on old medium tyres which backfired in the final five laps as Bottas went from first to fourth. Up until his tyres gave up he he displayed aggressive, but clean defensive moves to keep Vettel behind.

Raikkonen’s race was ruined from the beginning with a mistake as he tried to dive down the inside of Hamilton, but locked up and made contact. He made an early stop to serve his 10 second time penalty and cover off the charging Hamilton. Raikkonen caught back up to Verstappen thanks to the Safety Car and was finally able to make a move on the Wellington straight. A couple of laps later he was able to ease by Bottas for the final spot on the podium. After the race, Raikkonen accepted responsibility for his error that ruined Hamilton’s race.

Ricciardo had another frustrating weekend behind his team mate and unable to fight the other top teams. Qualifying proved frustrating due to a software glitch with his DRS which compromised his later all of his runs. He spent much of the race shadowing his team mate: Red Bull gambled on a second pit stop for him, but that became moot when the Safety Car came out.

Nico Hulkenberg’s alternate strategy – starting on mediums and switching to hards – paid off as he finished top of the midfield after starting 13th. Sainz did the same but the Grosjean collision ended what looked like being a points-scoring run.

Leclerc was vying with Hulkenberg for ‘best of the rest’ honours when his first pit stop went awry. A rear tyre wasn’t fitted properly and he had to pull over immediately.

Esteban Ocon brought home solid points again in seventh as he took advantage of the Haas collision at the start. Team mate Sergio Perez fought back into the points after an early spin left him dead last.

Perez survived late contact from Pierre Gasly which allowed the Toro Rosso driver into the points – until the stewards handed him a five second time penalty. The other Toro Rosso of Brendon Hartley had a massive crash in practice three after the front left suspension dramatically failed under braking. His car wasn’t ready to take part in qualifying so he was already starting last and then there was an engine problem before the car even left the garage.

Alonso brought home much needed points in eighth after running a clean race and taking advantage of the Safety Car. The stewards took no action over the robust wheel-to-wheel action between him and Magnussen where Alonso complained about his rival’s driving after being edged wide at several high-speed sections of the track.

Both Williams drivers started from the pit lane after they chose to revert back to the old rear wing and floor after qualifying. Neither driver had the pace to fight any of the midfield teams at any point during the race.

Over to you

Vote for the driver who impressed you most last weekend and find out whether other RaceFans share your view here:

2018 British Grand Prix

    Browse all 2018 British Grand Prix articles

    Author information

    Josh Holland
    USA-based Josh joined the RaceFans team in 2018. Josh helps produce our Formula 1 race weekend coverage, assists with our social media activities and...

    Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

    38 comments on “2018 British Grand Prix Star Performers”

    1. I am a Verstappen fan, but star performer?

      1. I can see it; bigger gap to teammate than rest of the top, and some great battles with Kimi. @dennis65

        The problem is that we focus to much on final race outcome (car performance) rather than just the driver’s performance. And on top of that we were hardly presented any video evidence on Sunday.
        There must be some star performance moments as well in what Levied and Alonso achieved.

        1. *too *Leclerc
          And I probably should have mentioned the Hulk, but I don’t recall having seen him due to poor TV coverage.

          1. Crash in FP2? I think in this case Leclerc and Hulkenberg deserve it more, but who am I…

            1. Certainly not ideal,
              but if you don’t miss a turn or spin in FP then you’re not trying hard enough.

      2. I agree. I don’t see how Verstappen can considered to be star performer. I don’t get the hype; this is his 4th season in F1 and still hasn’t shown anything that suggests that he has any business being in F1.

        1. So how many wins qualifies a driver for having business in F1?

          1. Podiums don’t impress me, even Stroll got on the podium in his first season (unlike Verstappen in his first season).

        2. Lol, come on, I can see it being debatable whether Max was a star performer this race but to say he hasnt shown he has any business in F1 is just plain trolling.

          1. Only dutch people believe Verstappen is something special. Considering their motorsport history (or lack thereof) I can understand that. But if you compare Verstappens first season with Hamiltions first season it is obvious to an unbiased observer that they are not even in the same league.

            1. Their cars also weren’t in the same league. Verstappen was driving a midfield car and tripled his teammate’s points while challenging some faster cars than his own. Hamilton was driving a frontrunning car and challenged guys like Alonso and Raikkonen like he had been doing it for years. Both very impressive to me.

            2. I’m italian but I consider verstappen the next schumacher and since here I don’t think schumacher is as highly regarded as he should be, let me say I consider him the best driver of all times and verstappen reminds me of him very much (also reminds of senna), in fact I was surprised with the mistakes he made early this season.

              And indeed, hamilton is the only driver who always had a car that could fight for wins, even in his worst seasons, that isn’t to say his 2007 wasn’t exceptional, but so was verstappen’s 2015, they just had different cars.

              Verstappen in 2016 and 2017 was excellent, showing wet weather flair, speed, aggressiveness, both in defending and attacking and apart from his subpar start of the 2018 season seems in line with the true greats so far.

    2. Stars: Vettel, Hamilton, Hulkenberg, Ocon, and Alonso.
      Strugglers: Bottas, Red Bull, Toro Rosso, Sauber, and Williams (unsurprisingly).

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        12th July 2018, 13:56

        Bottas a struggler? I know he was a bit down in qualifying but made one of the best starts. He caught up with Vettel in the 2nd stint.Mercedes too the gamble to not pit Bottas. On old tyres, he then did 2 brillient restarts and seemed to catch Vettel out both times. I don’t know what more Bottas could have done. If he defended for longer, weaving about will have effected his tyres even more, possibly resulting in Ricciardo getting past too. His qualifying was a bit off, his race day was very strong.

    3. Max had no chance to be a star performer in his RBR. But his come back overtake on Kimi was world class.
      Who else does that?

      1. On the outside on a faster car?

    4. For some reason the text below Vettel looks like a justification for him not to be a star performer, or is it just me?

      Another detail, Max didn’t really managed to stay ahead of Kimi after the first round of pitstops, Kimi had the 10s penalty, he might have done that, but we don’t know

      Grosjean should be put in a category of his own. I think with Sainz it was a racing incident, but still, one of the poorest races I’ve seen from a driver (fortunately they don’t show us the battle between the Williams)

      Finally Hulk should be a star performer, out-qualified his team-mate and finished best of the rest with an odd-strategy, capitalizing in the other’s errors and even though he was at a disadvantage with those tyres after the SC he managed to keep position.

      1. Grosjean should be put in a category of his own

        @johnmilk – LOL, I was thinking that Williams as a car/team (and not their drivers) needed to be in the strugglers, given their setup woes this weekend.

        I propose a new section combining your suggestion & one of mine: “Grosjean’s antics & Hartley’s luck”.

      2. Max was 14s ahead of Kimi after the first round of stops, so without the penalty he would still be ahead

        1. orange pms alert

    5. Hulkenberg started 11th, not 13th and he finished 6th not because of his strategy but because of his start. If anything, his strategy put him on tyres slower than his competitors in both the stints.

    6. I don’t see how Hulkrnberg is not a star performer. destroyed his teammate in qualifying and exploited to the max the Renault car to qualify 11th(not 13th as it’s erroneously stated in the article) and ran the whole race as the leader of F1’s B division. Absolutely perfect performance with respect to his car’s qualities.

    7. Lewis a star performer? I don’t agree. Say what you want about Kimi’s move but the reason he got there in the first place was because of a horrible start from Hamilton, something the press didn’t even point out. The crash wasn’t his fault but he was in a compromised position because of his start. That ruined his race.

      After that he just used his enormous performance advantage to get back into play aided by the safety car.

      1. Champagne Papi
        12th July 2018, 14:48

        Why do I somehow possibly maybe have some kind of inkling that if Vettel did that you’d be gushing mate.

        1. I’m not a fan of either if you mean that.

        2. Papà,
          What an enthusiasm towards lewis and merz and what a hostility to everybody who is not thinking the same like you.
          Lewis deserves penalty and
          He hit Kimi
          Safety car was deployed with only ONE purpse: help Lewis, otherwise Ferrari would have been 1 and 2.

          1. I think the first SC was due to leclerc stopping with a wheel fit wrong, I’m one who really believes in conspiracies, but as a ferrari junior driver, the SC was supposed to damage hamilton, not help him, can’t be!

    8. Forgot MAG again…think he actually did a great job in a damaged car..wish his teammate to a place where the sun never shines – what an idiot!!

    9. Forgot MAG again…think he actually did a great job in a damaged car..wish his teammate to a place where the sun never shines – what an i0iot!!

    10. Stars: Vettel, Hamilton, Hulkenberg, Ocon, Leclerc.
      Strugglers: Grosjean, Ericcson, Williams.
      And please, it’s pathetic how you and other journalists try to transform Crash Max into a star.

      1. Max is a star…he doesn’t need transforming into one.

        1. And guess which notorious FBoy’s back, hahahaha.

      2. “Crash Max”. That right there is why you don’t see it

      3. Jorge Lardone, the anti-Max hero, Voted Vettel 1st, Lewis 2nd and Raikkonen 3rd on GP Brasil 2016.
        Hilarious how you always defend the Vettel-Crashes.

    11. I think Vettel was the only star.
      Hamilton came back but had a horrible start. He would not have won against Ferrari had Kimi NOT touched him. So no star.

      1. Agree, I don’t get it, I like hamilton and he did a great qualifying and come back, but 1) failed the start, 2) helped by cars letting him past, even if slower, some passes were too easy, like they gave up, 3) SC; he was decent, but not a star.

        Vettel was indeed the best here, verstappen is also debatable, I don’t think he did anything special except that re-overtake on raikkonen but also the car didn’t give him much chance.

        However hulkenberg of the midfielders did a great job, so did leclerc.

    12. @jorge-lardone
      I think Vercrashen had a good weekend. He beat his teammate, raced clean, and left nothing on the table. No bias needed to call him a star performer.

      I will be annoyed if RaceFan rates him any higher than 11th in the mid-season rankings. He couldn’t stay out of trouble for the first 6 races. Even if he is a star every race until the break he’ll only have cancelled out the damage.

      And for PRM – Crash Max, Mad Max, Vercrashen, Weaving Wonderkind, whatever. The first 6 races were scary.

    13. Maxdonado gets star performer? Must be for crashing or spinning as usual.

    Comments are closed.