Thursday 22

Formula 1

Safety car help played down by Hamilton

15th July 2019, 12:45 by Craig Smithson

Lewis Hamilton claims the safety car's presence during the British Grand Prix "made no difference" because he would have won the race.

The 34-year-old claimed a record home race win at Silverstone and picked up an extra point for posting the fastest lap, moving him 39 points clear of Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas in the World Championship standings.

However, as Bottas started the race on pole position, it was suggested the deployment of the safety car on lap 20 following Antonio Giovinazzi's crash effectively handed Hamilton a free pit-stop to remain ahead of his Finnish rival, who had earlier stopped on lap 16.

But the five-time world champion revealed Mercedes' pre-race strategy was for the driver in second place to use hard compound tyres for the second stint of the race.

And while Bottas took a second pit-stop on lap 45, Hamilton managed to progress through 31 laps to the finish on the hard tyres, so he claims the safety car scenario had no bearing on the outcome.

He said: "I was going to do a one-stop and he was on a two, so it wouldn't have made any difference, the safety car wouldn't have made a difference.

"When he pitted on lap 16 my plan was to offset as much as I could, so I think I went four laps or something and probably could have done another lap or two.

"At the time he was not catching me, which he should have been, but I was keeping the gap the same. I think he came out of the pits seven-tenths inside my window, so I would have pitted and he would be seven-tenths ahead, then it came to one second, one-and-a-half, and stayed around one-and-a-half to two.

"If I did another lap maybe it would have been two-and-a-half and I would have come out on my fresh hards, and I could have just sat behind him if I wanted to and he would have had to pit, so would still have had that 21-second gap. So it didn't really make a difference."

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Craig Smithson is a journalist with over two decades of experience at the keyboard. A life-long Middlesbrough fan, Craig has an in-depth knowledge of all football and is also a keen fan of boxing amongst other sports.

More Williams

Formula 1

Renault poised to pounce for Ocon

22nd August 2019, 10:31

Renault are being linked with a swoop to take Mercedes' current reserve driver Esteban Ocon ahead of the 2020 Formula season.

Formula 1

Kvyat and Albon pleased with first half of season

21st August 2019, 15:53

Toro Rosso drivers Daniil Kvyat and Alexander Albon say that are very pleased with their efforts during the first half of 2019.

Formula 1

Verstappen has more maturity – Horner

21st August 2019, 15:30

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says Max Verstappen has proven himself this season and is driving with much more awareness.

Formula 1

Ricciardo urges Renault improvement

20th August 2019, 15:32

Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo says improvements are needed if they are to maintain their podium targets for 2020.

Formula 1

Leclerc happy to come through tough spell

20th August 2019, 13:19

Driver Charles Leclerc says he no longer feels intimidated at Ferrari and he claims he is growing in confidence as the season goes on.

Formula 1

Bottas has 'options' amid Mercedes uncertainty

19th August 2019, 15:05

Valtteri Bottas has responded to questions about his future at Mercedes beyond this season by claiming he has "other options".

Recent Sport Headlines


Roddick back Djokovic for US Open glory

22nd August 2019, 14:18

Andy Roddick has tipped up Novak Djokovic ahead of the 2019 US Open, which kicks off on Monday.

Aston Villa

Elmohamady pens Villa extension

22nd August 2019, 14:10

Ahmed Elmohamady has expressed his delight after signing a one-year contract extension with Aston Villa.


Wilson delighted to be making up for lost time

22nd August 2019, 14:10

Bournemouth's Callum Wilson says his injury woes have helped shape him as a player and he is delighted to be back firing on all cylinders.

Manchester City

Kompany’s Anderlecht role redefined

22nd August 2019, 14:10

Vincent Kompany will no longer act as player-manager of Anderlecht on matchdays so he can focus on leading the team on the pitch.

West Ham United

Improvement the key for Pellegrini

22nd August 2019, 14:10

Manuel Pellegrini has played down expectations for the season as West Ham go in search of their first win of the campaign against Watford.

Tottenham Hotspur

Wanyama in line for Spurs exit

22nd August 2019, 14:10

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Victor Wanyama is reportedly in talks with Club Brugge over a summer switch.

Aston Villa

Aston Villa v Everton Betting Preview

22nd August 2019, 13:10

Aston Villa, still searching for their first points, host Marco Silva's Everton in the Premier League's Friday night game.

Rugby Union

Byrne earns first Ireland call

22nd August 2019, 12:47

Fly-half Ross Byrne will make his first start for Ireland when they face England at Twickenham in Saturday's World Cup warm-up match.