Lewis Hamilton finishes fast at British GP to flummox Mercedes
Old and slow tyres, but the British GP victor still took the fastest lap bonus point on at the last at Silverstone to further add to title lead
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 15/07/19 2:46pm
Lewis Hamilton said he produced "the best last that I've ever had" by capping his record British GP with an extra bonus point for the fastest lap.
The world champion put his stamp on a sixth Silverstone win in some style by taking an extra point for the fastest lap away from team-mate Valtteri Bottas, meaning Hamilton extended his title lead by eight, rather than six, points to 39.
Incredibly, and against Mercedes' expectations, Hamilton did so despite Bottas having a big tyre advantage after the Finn made a second pit stop.
Returning from his lap-45 service on used soft tyres - F1's quickest compound - Bottas took possession of the fastest lap from Hamilton via a 1:27.406 on used soft tyres. Yet Hamilton ultimately beat it by 0.037s on 32-lap old hard tyres, the slowest compound in Pirelli's tyres.
Underlining how much pace was still in his W10, Hamilton's previous lap had been 1:29.711 - 2.3s slower.
"We have this fastest lap thing… I can't say that I love it or anything like that but it's still fun to push," Hamilton said, who has now claimed two fastest lap bonus points since the rule was re-introduced into F1 for 2019.
"As you go through the race, you have to turn down your engine to save fuel and all these kind of things so that last lap, everyone's kind of pushing at one point and I heard of the time that he had one and I thought 'Jeez, I don't know if I will be able to get to that and then I pushed for that lap…'
"It was like the qualifying lap that I should have done yesterday generally poorly. It was awesome.
"There's no better way to finish a race with just like on the edge of your seat, the car moving and it was definitely the best last lap that I've ever had."
How Hamilton left the best until last
Hamilton's 1:27.639 time also represented a new lap record for the Silverstone circuit since it was reprofiled in 2010, three seconds faster than his own previous benchmark from 2017.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admitted "we're still not quite sure how he managed that".
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