Jhb, Gau United Kingdom (PressExposure) July 11, 2007 -- Silverstone, 8th July 2007: Lewis Hamilton started as the outright favourite for his home grand prix on pole position. All the controversy surrounding his team, Mclaren Mercedes, and their closest rivals in the championship, Ferrari, didn't seem to phase the youngster at all during the Saturday qualifying sessions. Starting in second was the Fin Kimi Raikkonen, with Hamilton's team mate and current champion Fernando Alonso in 3rd. Ending off the 2nd row of the grid in 4th place was Felipe Massa.
The first driver of the day to experience any kind of problems was Felipe Massa - his car stalled on the grid immediately after the formation lap. His team were quick to make it clear that the stalling was as a result of a technical failure and not due to a driver error. Whatever the reasons, the net result was Massa having to start from the pit lane and thus in last place. Any hope of him winning the race from there without a minor miracle taking place were high hopes indeed, he did try though.
Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso both opted for the harder race tyre to start with while the Ferraris had opted for the softer tyre. The Red Bull Racing team were doing a charity drive over this race weekend and their cars looked a bit strange with their cars being covered in about 30 000 pictures.
And the lights go out! Action immediately off the line with Raikkonen starting better than Hamilton and Lewis needing to block him down to the first sweeping corner of the Silverstone track, regarded as the home of Grand Prix. By lap 3 Raikkonen partner in crime, Massa, had already made his way from 21st up into 15th place. By lap 8 the Brazilian driving ace was up to 11th place.The first retirement of the race came on lap 10 with Mark Webber stopping due to hydraulic problems. On lap 13 Kimi Raikkonen had closed right up to Hamilton's gearbox and looked menacing trying to pass the young Brit at every possible corner. This attacking by Kimi with the defensive lines taken by Lewis carried on for about 2 laps and then the driver from FInland seemed to back off, and for good measure because Hamilton came into the pits on lap 16. In this pit stop we saw the young British driver make his first mistake since he's debut in Formula One racing at the Australian grand prix this year. He tried to leave the pits a couple seconds too early and lucky for him stopped again in time to avoid another Christian Albers situation but it surely still cost him a second or two. In the meantime Kimi was putting in a couple good laps before his pit on lap 18, his work having paid off with him being able to take the lead of the race.
Hardly noticed by anyone watching Alonso had been putting in some flying laps himself while all this was going and when he came out of his pit stop on lap 20 he in turn took the lead fromk Raikkonen, Alonso did seem to have a slightly shorter stop than both Raikkonen and Hamilton though, and this strategy would only be known to have been the correct or incorrect choice after the 2nd round of pits. For now it was Alonso in the lead, where he definitely prefers to be. On lap 24 Ralf Schumacher reitred from the race with his Toyota having some or other problem with the suspension. Scott Speed was the next driver out on lap 31 after he and Alex Wurz made contact - as Fernando Alonso lapped Speed Wurz took advantage and tried to cut past the only American in the F1 paddock. The two touched, with Wurz getting away unharmed but Scott Speed's left front suspension was broken.Another driver retired due to problems with their car, this time one of teh other British drivers Anthony Davidson in his Super Aguri.
The first of the front-runners to pit was Fernando Alonso, bringing in his Mclaren-Mercedes with 23 laps left in the race, his time standing still in the pits recorded as 8.2 seconds. Next in came his team mate Lewis Hamilton with 21 laps to go, his time in the pits not being much different with 8.1 seconds. The next few laps saw the Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen pushing hard to try and take the lead back from Fernando Alonso, he pitted with only 17 laps to go and his stop only took 6.6 seconds. When he came out of the pits he was in the lead for the second time in the race and never looked back from then on.
With 14 laps left Jarno Trulli retired out of 5th place, with just 3 laps left in the race Tonio Liuzzi also retired. By this stage of the race Felipe Massa had managed to work his way up to 5th place and was harassing Robert Kubica's gearbox trying to wrestle away 4th place. In the end it was not to be and Massa finished the race in 5th place.
Ferrari and their Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen are clearly back in form with Kimi winning the last 2 races in succession. Alonso will be at least happy that he finished ahead of his rookie team mate Hamilton. 4th place went to Robert Kubica and 5th to Felipe Massa.