• INSIGHT: Extra Bits from Great Britain

Delving into the storylines you might've missed from Silverstone...

The Most Pressurised Lap...

Lewis claimed a record-breaking sixth pole position at the British Grand Prix, moving clear of the legendary Jim Clark and Alain Prost in the leaderboard. But, he had to properly fight for pole on home soil, claiming it by the smallest of margins from the two Ferraris.

After the first Q3 run, Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari was 0.057s up and Lewis knew he was going to have to dig deep if he was to give his home fans what they wanted.

Lewis really wanted the sixth and to say he was happy to improve on his second run and beat Vettel by 0.044s was an understatement. As Lewis climbed out of the car, post-session interviewer Martin Brundle remarked that he was literally shaking with emotion.

"The whole build-up, the whole intensity, knowing how close we were, it feels like one of the best laps that I've ever been able to produce. It felt like the most pressurised lap that I've ever had," Lewis admitted.

"I was just shaking through the emotion, through an adrenaline rush that was way above the limit I had experienced before - which is kind of crazy considering it was my 76th pole..."

Lewis says he is not a 'records man' but now stands on his own for British GP poles and level with his hero Ayrton Senna for poles at his home grand prix.

Special Weekend for British Sport

The Silverstone weekend was a momentous one for British sport. As well as the Grand Prix, Lewis had one eye on developments in Russia, where England kicked off against Sweden in the World Cup literally the minute qualifying finished.

"I was wondering about how big the fine would be for missing the post-qualifying press conference!" Lewis joked. He didn't, of course...

Elsewhere, Silverstone was once again a magnet for British stars from other sporting disciplines. Golfer Ian Poulter, a confirmed petrolhead, entertained the crowd with a 'nearest the braker board' chipping challenge against Lance Stroll, before sampling Silverstone in the F1 two-seater with Mercedes DTM driver Paul Di Resta.

Full credit to British tennis number one Kyle Edmund, too. On Saturday evening he took the first set from three-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic, before going down in four sets.

Disappointed not to be through to Monday's last 16 at Wimbledon, one consolation was that Sunday practice was no longer a priority, so he shot straight up to Silverstone, chaperoned by Sir Jackie Stewart, to see if Britain's number one driver could win his sixth British GP!

Lights Out

Despite a heroic recovery drive that saw Lewis finish second, his chances of taking that record sixth British GP victory looked to be all but over when Kimi Raikkonen locked up and tapped car No.44 into a spin at Turn 3 on the opening lap.

The seeds had been sown by the Ferrari's better starts at Silverstone, though, having also had the superior getaways from the line in Paul Ricard and Spielberg too.

"I just had a poor getaway. I was too aggressive on the clutch, got wheel-spin, lost ground to the others, then got the tap from behind and that was that," Lewis explained.

Behind the scenes, Mercedes acknowledges that Ferrari has clearly made strides with both its engine performance and starting procedure.

With the margins between the two teams so narrow, it's an area that could prove crucial over the second half of the season.

Decisions, Decisions…

Marcus Ericsson's crashed Sauber on lap 31 prompted a fascinating strategy decision: do you stay out on Medium compound tyres and gain track position, or do you pit for fresh tyres and have a quicker car for the remaining 20 laps?

At the time of Ericsson's accident, Vettel led Valtteri by just over 2s, with Verstappen 12s further behind, then 3s to Raikkonen's Ferrari and the recovering Lewis 5s behind the Finn.

Unlike Austria, where it was a Virtual Safety Car intervention, this was a full Safety Car and would close the field up, bringing Lewis back into play.

Going for the win, the team told Valtteri to do the opposite to Ferrari and so, as Vettel headed for the pits and a new set of Softs, car No.77 stayed out. Lewis, who had pitted four laps later than Valtteri, was on a relatively new set of Mediums, and also stayed out.

When the cars were let off the leash again with 15 laps remaining, Valtteri controlled the restart well but the Safety Car was deployed again almost immediately following a clash between Carlos Sainz Jr. and Romain Grosjean.

This meant we had a final 10-lap dash to the flag, with Valtteri defending valiantly until five laps to go. Vettel dived down the inside on lap 47 and Lewis and Kimi soon followed, as Valtteri's run of poor fortune continued. He drove brilliantly, but he had to settle for fourth by the chequered flag.

"We took the risk to stay out to try and win because passing on this track is always difficult with a similar car," Valtteri explained. "I was really trying everything I could to defend, but I think it was really just a matter of time. There was nothing I could do."

With no new Soft tyres available to Valtteri and a W09 that had proven to be encouragingly fast on the Medium compound, which was holding up well, his best chance at victory was gaining track position. It was worth a go, but unfortunately it didn't work out this time.

Lewis also gained track position when he stayed out, something he believes was the right choice: "If I'd followed them in I would have come out behind them, we'd have had equal tyres and I would have struggled to get by. I think it was 100% the right decision, particularly on my car."

While the result extended Ferrari's lead in the Championship to 20 points, with Lewis eight points behind Vettel in the Drivers' Standings, there's still a long way to go this season and it's all to play for.

Post-Race Reflections

When the dust settled after an emotional, incident-packed Silverstone, Toto took time out for some level-headed reflection on the key incidents and lessons of the weekend.

The first corner incidents between Vettel and Valtteri at Paul Ricard and now, Raikkonen and Lewis at Silverstone, prompted commentators to question the consistency of the penalties handed out.

"I think there is consistency on the penalties," Toto said. "The stewards have a certain arsenal of penalties - a 5s, penalty, 10s penalty, a drive-through - and they look at the precedents. What we need to discuss among all of us, is if certain incidents occur and have a massive outcome on the race win, what the consequences should be. That's a different story."

While there was a general perception that Ferrari has made definite strides, Toto believes both Lewis and Valtteri had the pace to give them realistic victory chances on Sunday.

"Without the incident with Kimi on lap one, we don't know whether we would have won," he admitted, "but I believe Lewis and the car had the pace. Unfortunately, it was made impossible.

"The Safety Car worked against Valtteri. Sebastian was managing the tyres already. Just like on the first set of the Softs, you could see that he was very fast at the beginning and then the tyre fell away. Maybe there would have been a chance to attack.

"What we are seeing this season is a little bit of a different pattern. Everybody brings upgrades to every race and there is never a silver bullet that gives you two or three tenths. It is just the learning of the tyre, which is the single most important performance denominator. You get it right and you get it wrong. I believe that if we'd had 10C less track temperature in qualifying maybe we would have had more of a solid gap. We need to understand how to control the tyres in the best possible way.

"Incidents happen, we can't control that, but performance in the race starts to avoid incidents like we saw today and in Le Castellet, is something we can change."

Double Podium for George!

Mercedes Reserve Driver George Russell continued his great run of form in Formula 2 with a brace of second places in Saturday's feature race and Sunday's reverse-grid sprint race at Silverstone.

The ART Grand Prix driver extended his Championship lead over McLaren junior Lando Norris with a highly impressive weekend on home turf. In the feature race, he took the additional point for starting on pole position but lost the lead with a slow pit stop.

Alexander Albon moved into the lead and a penalty for speeding in the pit lane also halted George's charge, but he crossed the line in a fine P2.

"I think we had a problem trying to tighten the front-left wheel," Russell explained. "The mechanic apologised but I said to him that we've been one of the quickest in the pits all year, and if we have one mistake that costs us one position, I'm not going to be disappointed. Then, I think I misjudged things when I took the pit-lane speed limiter off. I'm disappointed not to win my home race, the pace was definitely there to do it."

On Sunday, Russell carved through from seventh to second, once again showing the same capacity to pull off incisive passes without taking too much out of his Pirelli tyres. "It was a great race," he said. "I wanted to put on a little but of a show after Saturday's loss." He certainly did just that!