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British GP: Hamilton takes home win, Vettel hits Verstappen

British GP: Hamilton takes home win, Vettel hits Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton won the British Grand Prix for a record-breaking sixth time after jumping Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas during a safety car period, as Sebastian Vettel wiped Max Verstappen out of third.

Hamilton overhauled poleman Bottas at Silverstone by running a longer first stint that allowed him to only stop once, and proved crucial when the safety car emerged after Bottas' stop. 

That gave Hamilton track advantage and he won comfortably after Bottas made a late second pitstop to use his mandatory second compound, having used mediums in his first two stints. 

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc finished third after a dramatic fight for the final podium spot, in which Leclerc had an epic scrap with Verstappen – who was later fired into the gravel by Sebastian Vettel.

Pierre Gasly scored the best result of his Red Bull career in fourth, while Verstappen managed to get his Red Bull out of the gravel and finish fifth, with Vettel down in 16th after needing a new nose and being hit with a 10-second time penalty.

Bottas led the first part of the race but kicked off the pitstops amongst the leaders while Hamilton extended his stint to lap 20. That was vital for Hamilton, who was already considering switching to the hards and executing a one-stop strategy.

He and Vettel, who struggled in the opening stint down in sixth, but also extended it, then had their persistence rewarded when the safety car emerged, the result of Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovinazzi locking his rear wheels and sliding sideways into the gravel at Vale.

With the race neutralised Hamilton and Vettel dived into the pitlane, rejoining in first and third respectively and with no further pitstops to make. Bottas was hamstrung by the decision not to pit under the safety car and switch to hard tyres, which locked him into a two-stop strategy. 

The Finnish driver was unable to attack Hamilton at the restart and ran a couple of seconds adrift of the Briton, before eventually pitting seven laps from the end having opened up a big enough gap to the best of the rest. 

That meant he still finished second, and looked to claim the fastest lap bonus point as consolation for his lost victory – before Hamilton pumped in an even faster time on the final lap on old hards. Hamilton’s last-gasp fastest lap meant he extended his points lead to 39. 

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Behind the two Mercedes drivers, Leclerc finished third after a frenzied grand prix. 

Leclerc held the place early on but had to withstand enormous pressure from Verstappen, who then managed to just jump him in the pitlane as they stopped at the same time. 

However, Leclerc quickly retook the place when Verstappen ran wide at The Loop immediately after exiting the pits, before falling back behind after Ferrari opted not to stop him again as soon as the safety car was deployed. 

Red Bull reacted quicker and stopped Verstappen swiftly, and he rejoined fifth – behind Vettel and the sister Red Bull of Gasly, who pit earlier and stuck to a one-stop. 

Ferrari’s call to stop Leclerc a lap later dropped him to sixth, and when the race resumed he attacked Verstappen immediately. Their wheel-to-wheel fight recommenced and peaked when Leclerc attacked on the outside into the final complex of corners just before mid-distance. 

They bumped wheels slightly when Leclerc had the inside for the right-hand penultimate turn, and Verstappen took to the run-off on the outside, keeping the position as he rejoined through the final corner.

Leclerc’s challenge faded after that, while Verstappen passed Gasly for fourth and then caught and attacked Vettel for third. 

He nailed the Ferrari on the outside at Stowe on lap 37, but ran slightly wide and Vettel tucked into his slipstream on the short run down to Vale – but positioned his Ferrari on the inside, with nowhere to go, and tried to switch back to the outside too late. 

Vettel locked and slammed into the back of Verstappen’s car, pitching it airborne over a kerb and into the gravel as the Ferrari ended up facing the wrong way with its rear wheels in the gravel.

They both rejoined, but Verstappen was limited to fifth, as Vettel dropped to the back. 

Vettel’s elimination from the front allowed Carlos Sainz to take sixth for McLaren, fighting off Daniel Ricciardo’s Renault in a fierce best-of-the-rest fight.

Kimi Raikkonen executed a one-stop strategy to finish eighth, while Daniil Kvyat’s well-timed safety car pitstop allowed him to charge to ninth in the Toro Rosso. Nico Hulkenberg completed the point scorers in 10th in the second of the Renaults.

The two Haas drivers joined Giovinazzi in retirement – Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen colliding on the first lap and both retiring as a result shortly afterwards.  

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Race results:

Cla # Driver Chassis Laps Gap
1 44 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes 52
2 77 Finland Valtteri Bottas
Mercedes 52 24.928
3 16 Monaco Charles Leclerc
Ferrari 52 30.117
4 10 France Pierre Gasly
Red Bull 52 34.692
5 33 Netherlands Max Verstappen
Red Bull 52 39.458
6 55 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
McLaren 52 53.639
7 3 Australia Daniel Ricciardo
Renault 52 54.401
8 7 Finland Kimi Raikkonen
Alfa Romeo 52 1'05.540
9 26 Russian Federation Daniil Kvyat
Toro Rosso 52 1'06.720
10 27 Germany Nico Hulkenberg
Renault 52 1'12.733
11 4 United Kingdom Lando Norris
McLaren 52 1'14.281
12 23 Thailand Alex Albon
Toro Rosso 52 1'15.617
13 18 Canada Lance Stroll
Racing Point 52 1'21.086
14 63 United Kingdom George Russell
Williams 51 1 Lap
15 88 Poland Robert Kubica
Williams 51 1 Lap
16 5 Germany Sebastian Vettel
Ferrari 51 1 Lap
17 11 Mexico Sergio Perez
Racing Point 51 1 Lap
99 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi
Alfa Romeo 18 34 Laps
8 France Romain Grosjean
Haas 9 43 Laps
20 Denmark Kevin Magnussen
Haas 6 46 Laps
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About this article

Series Formula 1
Event British GP
Author Scott Mitchell