Lewis Hamilton has stormed home to take his fourth consecutive British Grand Prix victory for Mercedes at Silverstone while both Ferrari’s suffer from punctures in the dying stages.
After an aborted start with Jolyon Palmer stopped on the formation lap Hamilton took charge and began to clear off but not for long, the safety car was deployed after major contact between Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat.
The Toro Rosso teammates came together through the sweeping Maggots and Becketts complex as they attempted to go side by side, Sainz with damage to his car had to retire on the scene while Kvyat carried on but had to serve a drive through penalty receiving the blame for the incident.
On the restart Daniel Ricciardo, who had made up seven places from his starting position way down in nineteenth, ran wide on the exit of Luffield venturing through the grass and the gravel. The Australian appeared to have an issue dropping back through the field but was just recovering from his off track excursion.
Meanwhile, Hamilton was on it again pulling a gap to second placed Kimi Räikkönen, behind the Iceman was the Dutchman, Max Verstappen who had a brilliant first lap sat in third place fending off Sebastian Vettel in the fourth place Ferrari.
Speaking of Verstappen and Vettel, an extraordinary duel broke out between them as Vettel made a late lunge up the inside at Stowe, the Ferrari driver forced Verstappen off the road on the exit of the corner but came back at Vettel at the next turn leaving him with absolutely no room. Verstappen resisted the pressure for a few more laps until Vettel peeled off into the pitlane with Ferrari trying the undercut.
Red Bull reacted immediately bringing Verstappen in the very next lap but that wasn’t enough with Verstappen re-joining behind the Ferrari.
On the other side of the garage Daniel Ricciardo was making great progress up to eighth place while Valtteri Bottas set the timing screens alight with the absolute fastest lap of the race on his quest to catch Räikkönen.
As the game of cat and mouse continued at the front, Ricciardo kept on keeping on with some brilliant overtakes on both Force India’s and Kevin Magnussen in the Haas. Fernando Alonso was forced into retirement again when his McLaren Honda experienced a drop in fuel pressure and then loss of power.
As the race passed through lap 39 of 51, Hamilton lead from the two Ferraris although Bottas was catching third placed Vettel and catching fast, after three attempts Bottas got past around the outside at the ever popular overtaking spot at Stowe corner. Vettel defended multiple times but had to succumb to the Finn as he swooped into third.
Everything changed on the penultimate lap when both Ferrari’s struck drama, Räikkönen and Vettel suffering from front left punctures, both within sixty seconds of each other.
As the chequered flag flew, Hamilton cruised through to take victory in front of his home crowd while Bottas clinched second place and Räikkönen only just held onto third after he had to make a last minute pitstop for his puncture.
“It’s a feeling I can’t really describe; it’s just amazing to be up here.” Hamilton said.
“I’m so proud to see all these British Flags up here, the support this weekend has been immense and I am really proud that I could win this for you all. The team have been faultless this weekend, Valtteri (Bottas) did an exceptional job today as well and it’s a perfect weekend for us.”
Max Verstappen finished up in fourth for Red Bull while Daniel Ricciardo recovered to fifth with a brilliant drive from nineteenth on the grid. Sebastian Vettel crawled home in seventh behind Renaults Nico Hulkenberg while Esteban Ocon, Sergio Perez and Felipe Massa rounded out the top ten.
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