A controversial British Grand Prix yielded just one point for the Honda-powered teams after a tough day at the office for Red Bull Racing.
Max started from pole with Sergio in the pit lane after his retirement from the Sprint on Saturday, and Sergio was the only driver to start on hards as the rest of the field opted for medium tyres. The two Scuderia AlphaTauri drivers lined up 12th (Pierre) and 16th (Yuki), but the focus will forever be on the opening lap clash between Max and Lewis Hamilton.
A strong fight off the line saw Max stay ahead of his main title rival through the first sector, but Hamilton tried to overtake down the inside into Copse and hit the right rear of Max’s car, sending him into the barriers at high speed. The race was red-flagged and although Max was able to climb out of the wreckage and walk to an ambulance, he has since been taken to a local hospital for further precautionary checks. The stewards decided that Lewis was “predominantly at fault” and gave him a 10 second penalty.
The race was delayed for over half an hour while the barrier was repaired and the Red Bull recovered, with all of the teams able to change tyres and make repairs during the delay before a standing restart.
Sergio tried to fight through the field on his hard tyres and made good progress to quickly run in 12th place, but then he got stuck behind Pierre and the slower Esteban Ocon ahead. Despite the advantage of hard tyres, Sergio then made a pit stop on lap 18 to switch to mediums and commit to a two-stop.
Pierre and Yuki stayed out to run long, with Pierre getting a warning for exceeding track limits but adjusting his driving in order to avoid a penalty. With a number of cars stuck in DRS trains - where the impact of the rear wing advantage was limited - Pierre ran until lap 28 before switching to hard tyres, while Yuki was running just one place behind his team mate and was last to pit for the first time on lap 30.
With Sergio up into the top ten, he made his second stop for more medium tyres on lap 38, rejoining in 17th place and setting off on a charge through the field to try and score points. He cleared a number of drivers - aided by a puncture for Pierre that forced a late stop for softs for the Frenchman on lap 46 - but after passing Kimi Raikkonen to get into the points Red Bull then opted for some damage limitation in the drivers’ championship.
Hamilton held the fastest lap and took the lead, so Sergio made another stop for soft tyres and set the fastest lap himself which prevented Hamilton from scoring an extra point. However, as Sergio was classified in 16th, he doesn’t receive the point himself as you have to finish in the top ten to score it.
But there was a point for Yuki after an excellent drive, as he rose from 16th on the grid with good strategy and crossed the line 10th, scoring for the fourth time in his rookie season, while Pierre was classified 11th.