It started in chaos and ended in chaos – and was largely uneventful in the middle – but what the fans would have done to have been able to go to this dramatic British Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton won yet again – just – and the midfield took another big shake-up on a sweltering day at Silverstone.
Here’s five things we learned from the British Grand Prix…
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RICCIARDO’S STRUGGLES HIDDEN
Daniel Ricciardo equalled his best finish and points haul of his Renault career at Silverstone, even if it looked as though he would make it a hat-trick of consecutive eighth-place finishes this season for much of the race.
He spent far too long being unable to overtake the Haas of Romain Grosjean as he struggled with his tyres – an issue that cost him a place to Lando Norris during the restart after Daniil Kvyat’s huge crash.
He acted as a shadow to the two McLarens until the drama exploded with three laps to go as Valtteri Bottas suffered a puncture and Ricciardo finally got past Norris.
His tyres kicked in and he ended as one of the fastest cars on track and went past a punctured Carlos Sainz to finish just 1.1secs off the podium.
If Renault can work out what happened during the early to middle part of the race, there is no reason why, in this season where the midfield is almost impossible to predict, we can’t see Ricciardo swigging champagne from his shoe once again.
RED BULL REPEATS MISTAKE
Red Bull made a drastic but necessary decision last season in replacing Pierre Gasly with Alexander Albon after the Frenchman struggled as Ricciardo’s replacement.
Albon came in and did a lot better, while Gasly actually improved when he was back in his more familiar Toro Rosso seat. He had clearly been promoted too early.
But have they repeated that mistake with Albon, who is only 18 months into his F1 career?
Perhaps they have. Albon’s best finish in a Red Bull is P4, but he has been so far off his teammate Max Verstappen this season, who has been in on the podium in every race he has completed since Mexico last year.
It will be a concern for Red Bull, especially as the two drivers at their junior team have already been promoted and subsequently demoted for not performing in the senior team.
That probably buys Albon, who took advantage of the punctures to steal a P8 finish, more time to get it right than Gasly had but Helmut Marko will certainly be keeping his eyes peeled for the chance to nab a more experienced driver.
There is of course the other vision, where Verstappen is just so good that he is outperforming the car, which in the hands of most other drivers would be around with Albon is.
HULK’S DREAM TURNS TO NIGHTMARE
What a weekend it was for Nico Hulkenberg.
He received a phone call on Thursday afternoon to replace the coronavirus-stricken Sergio Perez and was on a flight to London within the hour, only being given access to the paddock 15 minutes before Practice 1 began.
But the drama didn’t end there as Hulkenberg, who was cruelly left without a seat in F1 after being replaced at Renault, could only watch on as the engineers tried and failed to start his car for the beginning of the race.
That meant he was unable to start or compete at all for Racing Point in what would have been a crucial moment for his career to show all the other teams what he can still do in an F1 car.
It could be the only chance he has, with it yet to be confirmed whether Perez will be available for next week or not, given he is currently still isolating.
HAMILTON ON COURSE FOR VICTORY
Lewis Hamilton picked up his third win in four races at Silverstone and in doing so claimed his seventh British Grand Prix victory – a record in itself.
He also closed in to just four wins behind Michael Schumacher’s overall win record in a season where he looks set to equal the German’s greatest record of seven world championships.
Bottas’ late puncture saw him fall out of the points entirely, meaning Hamilton’s lead at the top of the standings is now 30 points, ahead of the Finn.
With a second race next week at Silverstone, it looks as though only a crash would stop the Brit from winning again, assuming someone is able to get within a car-length of him to do so.
With Ferrari struggling and the midfielders taking it in turns to beat each other, it seems like only Bottas and Verstappen are capable of stopping him now, but they may not even be able to do so for much longer at this rate.
VERSTAPPEN’S UNLUCKY GAMBLE
Hindsight is a wonderful, if sometimes tormenting thing, as Verstappen found out when he cursed his luck at the end of the British Grand Prix.
Hamilton’s puncture on the final lap saw Verstappen eat away two seconds of his lead per corner as he hunted for the most unlikely of victories, given he started his last rotation 30 seconds off the lead.
But should Red Bull have been anticipating this? Bottas had already seen his tyre rip apart and the on-screen data showed Hamilton’s front left tyre was only working at 10 per cent of its capacity when Verstappen was called into the pits to have a go at getting the bonus point for the fastest lap.
He did get the extra point, but he could have had an extra six points instead, had Red Bull gambled and stayed out, given the Dutchman was only five second behind Hamilton after the chequered flag was raised.
Hamilton certainly got away with that victory and Verstappen and Red Bull will be left cursing what could have been, however unlikely it was at the time.
With softer tyre compounds being used for next weekend’s 70th anniversary race back at Silverstone, there is a good chance we will see more punctures – and this decision could well still be sitting at the back of Christian Horner’s mind when we do.