• British Grand Prix

Hamilton dominates in the wet

ESPNF1 Staff
July 6, 2008
Hamilton was in a class of his own © Sutton Images
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An English summer's day - rain at Silverstone. A vast, wet crowd was left in no doubt as to the ability of Lewis Hamilton as the young Englishman made the former airfield his own to win his home race.

Although Heikki Kovalainen had taken pole position, he was never a match for Hamilton in the wet conditions and lost the lead to the Brit on lap five. From then on, Hamilton was dominant.

Mark Webber had started second for Red Bull but lost control coming onto the fast Hangar Straight in the opening lap allowing Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen by. The Australian rejoined last and had a fruitless afternoon to finish in 10th place.

As Hamilton took the lead, so Raikkonen lined up to pass Kovalainen. The Ferrari took second place on lap 10 but then the rain became heavier just as the first round of pit stops approached. Ferrari gambled that it was just a passing shower and kept Raikkonen on his existing tyres - hoping that the road would dry out and he would ultimately go faster. It was totally the wrong call and left Raikkonen floundering. He had to pit again soon after for a new set of wets but the damage was done and Hamilton was long gone.

Up to second moved Nick Heidfeld while third was an amazing effort, from 16th on the grid, by Rubens Barrichello for Honda. The vastly experienced Brazilian made the right call when the weather worsened to go onto extreme wet tyres to maximise traction. While they were working at their optimum, he flew and carved his way from 12th to second - but the track dried a little causing them to wear faster than ideal. He needed a final pit stop which cost him a place although his superb efforts kept him on the podium.

Hamilton, though, was the star of the day. "This will definitely go down as my finest win so far," he said. "Not just because it is my home ground but I genuinely think it was my best performance."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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