“Interesting tactics from that side… believe me guys, I won’t give up, I won’t ever give up.”
The site of Lewis Hamilton, celebrating a win on the podium is perhaps as common as seeing a Grosjean crash out or a DNF from any of the backmarkers. We are used to it. Every now and again, does Lewis Hamilton come around a track and produce his quintessential magic.
After all, there was a considerable reason to believe that the customary would happen after a strong qualifying on Saturday.Except it didn’t transpire that magically.
Prior to entering the race, here’s what Hamilton’s stats read at Silverstone
5 wins, including 4 back-to-back wins, starting 2014. He was tied with Jim Clark for most wins at the British Grand Prix and having grabbed a sensational 77th career pole, Hamilton was slated to win another Silverstone stunner.
Then the opening lap happened.
By Lap 52, as the top three blasted past the checkered flag, Hamilton’s car would be the second. He’d see a German driver take the top step on his home race.
At the conclusion of 2018 British Grand Prix, Hamilton certainly wasn’t pleased.
This isn’t to say Hamilton was venomous.
But you could say, he wasn’t the happiest man on earth.This was strange fundamentally from the perspective of what he’d garnered: a fighting second, having dropped behind to the back of the grid.
Any fan who might have missed live action and only seen the final score-sheet would’ve wondered.
What on earth is so awfully wrong with a P2?
Where’s the smile gone Lewis, uninformed fans might have wondered.
It could be argued, in that fleeting moment as the golden boy of Silver Arrows waved out to his enthralling fans, there was a parity between Silverstone’s king and the man who spoiled his race.
What Hamilton was going through- the feeling on having missed collecting his 6th win at the British Grand Prix sinking slowly- like the slow hurt of the knife could well have been what Raikkonen would’ve experienced last year.
Let’s rewind the clocks a bit. Back at the Principality, Kimi was denied claiming the top step of the podium at Monaco in 2017. It seemed someone backstabbed him; someone his own. The only difference was- then, Kimi’s team seemed at fault.
On this occasion, Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari was at fault for spoiling Hamilton’s race.
And here lies a possible debate that might be deliberated upon enormously despite the 2018 British Grand Prix completed hours back.
Were FIA really fair in slapping Kimi Raikkonen with a 10 Seconds penalty?
On Turn two, as Vettel swapped places with a Hamilton already struggling, his Ferrari teammate clipped the Mercedes driver right around the stiff right-hander.
Strangely, as Kimi Raikkonen would continue to battle ahead with the Red Bulls, he’d inflicted damage to the Mercedes of Hamilton, who spun around and eventually fell to the back. Declared clearly a racing incident, when Raikkonen pitted, for a compound change, he paused for 10 seconds before proceeding to battle ahead.
While there’s no evidence readily available to suggest the accident was ‘manufactured’, Raikkonen later, even admitted his guilt and was apologetic for it.
But the same way the penalty compromised Lewis’ chances, did it not hamper Raikkonen’s own?
Pundits, fans, meme-creators, trollers and bloggers and anyone interested remotely in Formula 1 is debating whether a 5-second penalty was have sufficed.
Yes and no. Who’s to know?
Truth certainly is, despite two unfortunate and unprecedented Safety car deployments, Raikkonen wasn’t absolutely left devoid of time to counter a charge for a possible podium spot. And he managed in the end.
The same way, Hamilton, who battled magnificently through the back of the grid and the mid-field in his surge ahead had over 10 laps to aim for the podium.
What’s slightly disturbing, perhaps from the perspective of Ferrari fans is that the social media stratosphere at this time is bombarded with furious suggestions.
“Kimi’s 10-second penalty was hardly a tight slap his performance warranted”
Are we really sure about that one?
Or is that as vapid a suggestion as to bring back Bernie Ecclestone or Pastor Maldonado to F1?
The penalty awarded to Kimi seems rather scathing when you compare to another event involving Hamilton.
Back in 2008, Hamilton and Raikkonen were involved in another fiasco
At the Canadian Grand Prix, Hamilton led Kimi Raikkonen and Robert Kubica into the pits at Montreal. But as the trio left the garages, Raikkonen would be in the lead.
Something dramatic and unprecedented was to transpire shortly.
Upon seeing that the end of the pit was closed, Raikkonen came to a sudden halt. The red indicator light was on. At this juncture, Kubica was alongside Kimi as Hamilton shunted from behind- perceptibly having not seen the duo.
What was to happen next?
What else but Hamilton sliding into the back of Kimi?
To make matters worse, Rosberg who was also in the pits and following the duo rammed into Hamilton. Both the Briton and Finn retired.
But did Hamilton get a penalty for compromising Kimi’s race then?
There’s no profound wisdom in gathering heads around a basic racing truth. F1 is about as predictable as the certainty of peace in the tumultuous Middle East.
Incidents are part of racing. Of course, you’d rather not have them in the first place itself. That Hamilton suffered an accident, had to dive into the pits, had to fight his way through it all shouldn’t have happened.
But in the first place, Vettel was already ahead. Bottas followed. Surely, he could’ve been passed both inside the opening lap had the fiasco not ‘orchestrated’ by Kimi. Permutations and combinations run amock.
But a begrudged Hamilton didn’t rest there with his observations on the podium. He maintained in the press conference that Ferrari were ‘deliberate’ about the event and sounded circumspect about the whole issue when it had already been discussed. Haven’t we seen a grander Lewis before?
So, should we continue to berate Raikkonen- who’s accepted his fault and duly served the penalty- or take sides with an iconic figure in motor-racing, who seems daggers drawn with the Prancing Horse at this time?