Lewis Hamilton won the British Grand Prix in style on Sunday as not only did he claim the flag, but he did it by recording the fastest lap of the day to earn an extra point - on hard tyres which had been on the track for 32 laps. Toto Wolff has praised the feat as “absurd”.
Although the Brit may have benefited from the introduction of the safety car at Silverstone, which hampered Valtteri Bottas position in P1 after taking pole, he ended the race emphatically by winning the fastest lap award which has been introduced this season.
So far this campaign, drivers have usually went for the fastest lap knowing the race win was out of reach, in an attempt to collect a bonus point.
Not Hamilton, though.
“There’s a funny context to that because since we have these new regulations with points for fastest lap, the engineers are showing on the Sunday morning briefing that it makes no point to go for fastest lap, there’s too much risk,” said Mercedes team principal Wolff.
“And you can see the drivers and they’re like ‘yeah whatever’… This led to a totally absurd situation because on paper, a 32 [lap] old hard should never be good enough for fastest lap but they’re just able to pull it out.”
The lap itself was 1m 27.369s, and Mercedes Technical Director James Allison could barely contain his astonishment as he also praised Hamilton’s efforts.
“Well it’s quite breathtaking isn’t it? The old used hard tyre and fastest lap at the end there? It’s pretty impressive,” he said.
The victory for Hamilton was his seventh of the season, and put him on 223 championship points - 39 points ahead of Bottas in second.
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