Article

Vettel wins thrilling British GP as Hamilton recovers to second

8 July 2018 16:50

Sebastian Vettel won an incident-packed British Grand Prix to pull eight points clear in the Formula One drivers' standings, as championship rival Lewis Hamilton recovered brilliantly from an opening-lap collision with Kimi Raikkonen to claim second.

During a dramatic finale that saw both Ferraris and the two Mercedes in close competition, Vettel pulled off a spectacular move to get past Valtteri Bottas on lap 47 of 52.

Vettel had conceded the lead to Bottas in the second half of the race when Mercedes opted to gamble and leave both their drivers out on older medium tyres during two safety car periods, as the other front-runners pitted for fresh softs.

Bottas ultimately lost pace in the closing laps as he slipped down to fourth, but the bold strategy worked well for Hamilton as the Briton completed a superb fightback.

Seeking a fifth successive win at Silverstone, the reigning world champion made a dismal start from pole and was passed by Vettel and Bottas before being hit by Raikkonen at turn three, resulting him in dropping rapidly to 18th.

A 10-second penalty came Raikkonen's way, yet he still took third and Hamilton fared even better having cut through the field in style following his early struggles.

Hamilton could be proud of his recovery, but Vettel will surely be the happier after extending his lead at the top of the standings with a first win at Silverstone since 2009.

HAMILTON AIMS DIG AT FERRARI OVER 'INTERESTING TACTICS'

Hamilton made his unhappiness clear after last month's French Grand Prix, when Vettel collided with Bottas at the start and went on to finish ahead of the second Mercedes following a minor penalty.

On this occasion, it looked as though a similar outcome could occur, with Raikkonen losing much less time than Hamilton following their collision, even after his 10-second penalty was taken into account.

The safety car periods enabled the home favourite to finish ahead of the Finn, but the former is unlikely to have been impressed by the opening-lap chaos. 

Hamilton passed up the opportunity to speak to Sky Sports F1's Martin Brundle immediately after the race and appeared frustrated as the top three gathered together ahead of the podium ceremony.

When he was eventually collared by Brundle, a disgruntled Hamilton referred to "interesting tactics" from Ferrari, before pledging to "do what we can to fight them".

SO. MUCH. ACTION!

Show this race to anyone who says F1 is boring.

A host of collisions, retirements - including the first of Charles Leclerc's F1 career - and overtaking manoeuvres contributed to an absorbing spectacle, with the outcome of the race in doubt right up until the last few laps. 

A WEEK IS A LONG TIME IN F1

Max Verstappen had plenty to celebrate in Austria last time out as he claimed his first victory of the season.

Yet it was a very different story at Silverstone. Both Red Bulls struggled for pace and Verstappen eventually retired after spinning off on lap 47 while battling with team-mate Daniel Ricciardo for fifth position.


IN THE POINTS

1. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +2.264s
3. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) +3.652s
4. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) +8.883s
5. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) +9.500s
6. Nico Hulkenberg (Renault) +28.220s
7. Esteban Ocon (Force India) +29.930s
8. Fernando Alonso (McLaren) +31.115s
9. Kevin Magnussen (Haas) +33.188s
10. Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso) +34.129s (provisional)


DRIVER STANDINGS

1. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 171 
2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 163 (-8)
3. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 116 (-55)
4. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) 106 (-10)
5. Valtteri Bottas 104 (-67)


CONSTRUCTOR STANDINGS

1. Ferrari 287
2. Mercedes 267 (-20)
3. Red Bull 199 (-88)
4. Renault 70 (-217)
5. Haas 51 (-236)


NEXT UP

Hockenheim will host the season's next race, the German Grand Prix, in a fortnight's time. Germany was left off the calendar in 2017 but Hamilton won the last race there two years ago.

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