Plenty of Thrills at a Wet British GP

Racing | July 6th, 2008 by 0

  Plenty of people claim that Formula 1 is boring, a series where passing is impossible and races are won and lost in the pits. …

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Plenty of people claim that Formula 1 is boring, a series where passing is impossible and races are won and lost in the pits. It’s no NASCAR, they say. Thank god, I say.

Dull or not, every season there are races that inevitably stand out, whether for a brilliant drive, a spectacular crash, an amazing pass, or an unsuspecting hero. Anyone who watched Sunday’s British Grand Prix won’t soon forget it, for all those reasons and more.

In a race plagued by rain that often verged on downright downpour, the drive of the day went to McLaren Mercedes man Lewis Hamilton. The Brit dominated the race, lapping all but the 2nd-placed BMW Sauber of Nick Heidfeld and the surprisingly strong 3rd-placed Honda of Rubens Barrichello. When he took the checkered flag, Hamilton did so 68.5 seconds ahead of Heidfeld.

The win puts Hamilton into a 48-point three-way tie atop the driver’s championship standings with both Ferrari drivers, Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa, each of whom did themselves few favors during the race. In fact, the Ferraris were just awful on the day. I lost count of how many times Massa spun.

Heidfeld has never been a strong wet-weather driver, but he certainly held his own on Sunday. He had a few squirrely moments (as did nearly everyone), but his strong showing earned him eight points he desperately needed. Said the German, “It was a good race. I am happy with second place because today it was the best I could achieve. Qualifying went well and in the race we did everything right.”

Teammate Robert Kubica, meanwhile, didn’t fare as well. The Pole was on a charge all throughout the race, moving up well from his 10th place start to get as high as 3rd. But his race came to an unceremonious end on lap 40. “I was already aquaplaning for many laps,” he said after the race. “And unfortunately in a straight line I just lost the car completely and went off. Here in Silverstone it was a crazy race in difficult conditions. Everything was running pretty well as I was having quite a good race and gaining positions. But when it rained and there was a lot of water on the track I was just struggling. I couldn’t keep the car in a straight line, was losing power, the rear wheels were losing contact with the tarmac and that was it.”

Kubica retains his 46 points in the championship, just two points shy of the top three, while Heidfeld’s 36 put both BMW men in a strong position. BMW trails Ferrari in the constructor’s championship 96 to 82. See the full race results here, as well as the latest driver and team standings.

The 2008 British Grand Prix will go down in the books as a thriller. Not only does it leave the driver’s standings neck and neck, but it should serve to reinforce the strength and skill of Lewis Hamilton. In a race dominated by slips and slides, Hamilton was faultless and is to be commended.

The next race, the German Grand Prix, takes place on Sunday, July 20. It will be the final FOX broadcast this season.

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