F1 British Grand Prix: five things we learned from Silverstone

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton with second placed Nico Rosberg after winning the race

Nico Rosberg is washed up as a title contender if many more grands prix are hit by rain.

1) Rosberg will be praying for sunshine

We saw it at Monaco and we saw it again at Silverstone on Sunday: when there’s rain about Lewis Hamilton is the master. He seems as happy as a hippo wallowing in water.

Hamilton also looked faster than Rosberg in the high-speed parts at Silverstone, especially in sector two and has now cut his team-mate’s championship lead to only one point. There’s a rhythm to his driving at the moment, and that’s bad news for Rosberg because Hamilton loves hooking up the fast corners and many elevation changes in Budapest, where the next race will be run on 24 July.

2) Ferrari will become more competitive when they stop moaning

“In terms of problems, bad luck and everything we have had already, we are at the top in terms of points,” the Ferrari team principal, Maurizio Arrivabene, said after another disappointing outing at Silverstone, where their cars came fifth and ninth as Red Bull closed again on their second place in the constructors’ championship.

Sebastian Vettel, who managed to finish behind a Toro Rosso and both Force India cars, was compromised by a grid penalty. But an indifferent qualifying performance was followed by a poor race. Perhaps Arrivabene should listen to Kimi Raikkonen, the driver he has just re-signed for next year. Raikkonen said in the build-up to Silverstone: “We don’t have enough speed.” Quite. Raikkonen doesn’t say much but when he does open his mouth he is usually spot on. And Vettel added: “We were not quick enough. Simple as that.” We will be halfway through the season midway through the next race so excuses are wearing thin.

3) There is still spirit at struggling Sauber

On Sunday, Felipe Nasr started 21st but finished 15th after giving Valtteri Bottas, in his Merc-powered Williams, and Haas, a tough time. Poor Sauber, a team everyone is fond of, have gone from middling to piddling, and are 11th out of 11 in the Formula One world championship table. They are the only team not to have picked up a point so far. But with drives like this, all is not lost.

4) Hamilton may be ploughing lonely furrow at Silverstone

Lewis Hamilton might be the only British driver at Silverstone next year. Jenson Button looks likely to see the curtain fall on his F1 career without achieving much at his home race – unless rumours linking him with Williams next year come to fruition. This is almost certainly his last year with McLaren. In his 17th race at Silverstone, where he has never managed a podium place, he was 12th. And compatriot Jolyon Palmer had another difficult race day but was not to blame when Renault made a mess of his pit-stop.

5) Massa and Bottas feel the pressure

Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, whose futures at Williams are less than secure, are not making a strong case for their retention. Massa, who reacts to rain like Superman handled kryptonite, struggled with his inters and then did not give his slicks due care and attention. Bottas was slow and mistake-prone, which is hardly a successful combination in this business.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Paul Weaver, for The Guardian on Monday 11th July 2016 22.36 Europe/London

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