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British GP: Race still a struggle for Williams Martini


By Andrew Hooper
July 8 2018

The results of the 2018 British GP would see both Williams Martini cars finish the race having started from the pit lane. Lance Stroll would finish ahead of team-mate Sergey Sirotkin with the pair coming home in 13th and 14th. Even they were not lapped this only came about due to Safety Car periods. For both Williams drivers their most exciting moment in the race was as they came out of the pit exit at the start only to be presented by a spinning Perez. Despite their finishing positions it was still a very difficult race for the Williams team, that much has not chnaged. 

 
 British Grand Prix Race Review
 
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After a frustrating qualifying the Williams Martini would see their drivers finish in 18th and 19th but events after the race would see the team have to swap over parts, in particular the new rear wing, on their cars. This would see both Williams cars forced to start from the pit lane for the fifty two lap 2018 British Grand Prix. On pole was Hamilton from Vettel and Raikkonen. In fourth was Bottas followed by Verstappen, Ricciardo, Magnussen, Grosjean, Leclerc, and Ocon in tenth. The top ten would all start on used soft tyres while of those behind we would see both Renault's on the medium joined by Lance Stroll for Williams and Harley. The rest of the field including Sergey Sirotkin were on new soft tyres for the race start.

On what was a very hot day the cars would move off on their parade lap and they would return form up and the race would start with Vettel leading with Bottas second and Hamilton would make contact with Raikkonen sending the Mercedes around. Verstappen was now third followed by Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, Leclerc, Ocon Sainz, and Magnussen tenth. For Williams Sergey was now 17th and Lance 18th. At the front Vettel was now leading by 4.1s over Bottas. Grosjean had dropped to 13th but Hamilton would pass him as he tried to recover. Perez would get past Lance seeing the Williams drop to 19th. Hamilton had now moved up to be tenth. It was announced that Raikkonen would receive a ten second penalty for the contact he made with Hamilton at the start.

 
Sirotkin
 

Vettel was now leading by 5.6s on lap twelve with Bottas second and Verstappen third. Raikkonen was fourth followed by Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, Leclerc, Hamilton, Ocon, and Sainz tenth. The Williams pair were 18th and 19th and dropping off the back of the field. Raikkonen would pit on lap twenty two. He would return in tenth now on the medium tyre. Alonso and Perez would also pit changing to the medium tyre. Raikkonen was now in eighth having passed Sainz and Ocon. Verstappen would pit on lpa twenty eight taking on new medium tyres. This would see Hamilton now fourth behind Ricciardo. Raikkonen was now in sixth behind Verstappen. Ricciardo would also pit on lap thirty and take on medium tyres. Leclerc had pitted but would leave the pit lane travelling slowly and would pull off the track to retire.

Vettel would pit on lap thirty two taking on medium tyres returning in second. Hamilton was now third ahead of Verstappen and Ricciardo. Bottas would pit on lap thirty four and would come back out in third while Vettel would return to the lead. Hamilton was now second but had yet to pit. Bottas would pass his team-mate to again be second. Hamilton was third followed by Verstappen, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Magnussen, Grosjean, Ericsson and Hulkenberg tenth. The Williams drivers were still running 17th and 18th in what was a very lonely race for Sergey and Lance. Sergey would pit on lap thirty nine and would take on medium tyres. He would return in 18th a considerable margin behind Lance. Hamilton would pit on lap forty and would take on medium tyres returning in sixth.

 
Stroll
 

Verstappen and Ricciardo were now third and fourth and Raikkonen fifth. Hamilton was now eleven seconds behind Raikkonen as for Williams Sergey would go a lap down. The top ten was Vettel, Bottas, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Hamilton, Hulkenberg, Ocon, Alonso, and Magnussen tenth. Ricciardo would surprisingly pit on lap forty eight taking on new soft tyres, returning in sixth. This would see Hamilton now fifth while for Williams Lance would pit taking on new soft tyres. But we would see a Safety Car make an appearance as Ericsson would crash heavily at Stowe. Vettel would pit under the Safety car seeing Bottas now leading from Vettel and Hamilton. Verstappen was now fourth followed by Raikkonen, Ricciardo and Hulkenberg seventh.

It was a strategy call by Ferrari to come in and take new soft tyres while both Mercedes cars were on used medium tyres with 17 laps remaining. For Mercedes they did not have a set of new soft tyres available. Both Williams cars were able to pass the Safety Car as they were lapped. Sergey was 16th and Lance 17th. The Safety Car would come in on lap thirty nine and we were racing again with Bottas leading from Vettel. Raikkonen would pass Verstappen but the Red Bull driver was able to get back past. But Sainz and Grosjean would crash together seeing the Safety Car return. Sainz had come alongside the Hass but the pair ran out of room and would make contact and would both go off the track. This would see the Williams pair 14th and 15th with forty laps completed.

 
Sirotkin
 
The Safety Car would come back in on lap forty three with Bottas leading from Vettel and Hamilton. Raikkonen would be able to pass Verstappen on lap forty five releasing the Ferrari to attack Hamilton. Bottas was not making it easy for Vettel while Raikkonen was right with Hamilton and quickest car on the track. Lap forty six and Bottas was still ahead of Vettel followed by Hamilton and Raikkonen. Verstappen would spin and would get going but would drop to 14th. At the front Vettel was able to finally get past Bottas at Brooklands using the DRS to good effect, with Hamilton still third. Vettel would pull away from Bottas as Verstappen retired pulling off with gearbox troubles. Hamilton would be able to pass Bottas for second with Raikkonen still fourth. Lance and Sergey were now 13th and 14th as Raikkonen passed Bottas for third. Vettel was able to open out his lead over Hamilton and was able to complete the fifty two laps and take victory in the 2018 British GP. Hamilton was second followed by Raikkonen, Bottas, Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, Ocon, Alonso, Magnussen, and Gasly tenth. For the Williams team they would finish in 13th and 14th with lance Leading Sergey. Still a disappointing result but at least both cars were able to finish the race.
 
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