Lewis Hamilton won the British Grand Prix on three wheels as he crossed the Silverstone finish line with a puncture.
The Brit was cruising to victory when his left-front tyre failed with half a lap to go, giving Max Verstappen – who had recently pitted and was on a fresh set of softs – a glimpse of an unlikely victory.
But Verstappen failed to sufficiently close the 40-second gap as Hamilton drove spectacularly to finish P1 with five seconds to spare.
Hamilton made it to the chequered flag with a destroyed tyre, only seconds ahead of the chasing Verstappen
The Silverstone drama has resulted in Pirelli opening an investigation as Hamilton’s tyre failure followed similar issues suffered by his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas – who went from second to finish outside the points – and also McLaren’s Carlos Sainz on the final lap.
Pirelli boss Mario Isola offered his own opinion on possible causes for all the tyre drama.
“It could be high wear because for sure tyres with 38 laps or more on this circuit are quite worn, but Im not saying wear is the cause of the issue, said Isola.
It can be debris because we had pieces of front wing of Kimi [Raikkonen] which were on track, but also some other debris.
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This is why we want to investigate not only the tyres with the failures but all the tyres used in the last few laps of the race, to understand if we find any other cut or any other possible indication of what happened.”
While the issues are worrying given Silverstone is hosting another Grand Prix this week, the tyre failures certainly made the end of the race far more exciting than it was for the prior 50 laps.
But Hamilton prevailed to win his third consecutive race of the 2020 season, and his stunning final lap drive will most certainly go down in history.
And incredible onboard footage from Hamilton’s Mercedes has shown just how impressive his final lap performance was – especially with constant messages over team radio announcing Verstappen closing in more and more with every passing second.
Despite his incredible drive and numerous world championships, Hamilton remains a divisive figure.
And Ally McCoist, the former Rangers striker, admitted on Monday’s talkSPORT Breakfast that he is one of those who struggles to truly support Hamilton – though he is not entirely sure why!
I think he is under-appreciated,” began Ally, “but Ive got to be brutally honest with you Im not his biggest fan myself.
I appreciate and totally understand his achievements, but I just cant put my finger on it; I just dont know what it is about Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton is 30 points clear in the drivers’ championship and is well on course to match Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world titles this year
His achievements are fantastic, but everybody is different. Is it something to do with the transatlantic thing; his travelling and living over there?
I genuinely dont know! Id love to give you an answer, but Im one of the brigade who can take or leave watching and listening to him.
Watch a clip of Ally McCoist on talkSPORT, above