Sebastian Vettel took the spoils at Silverstone, as the packed-out Northants venue baked in the British summer sun. The Ferrari driver left it late, however, passing Mercedes’ Valterri Bottas with only a handful of laps to go, the German going back to the top of the World Championship standings as Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes] was forced to work for his second place finish after a first lap clash with Kimi Raikkonen left him last on track.
It was Hamilton that drew first blood at the UK track, claiming pole position ahead of the Ferrari’s of Vettel and Raikkonen, Bottas followed in fourth as the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo locked out the third row of the grid.
Hamilton started poorly, and Vettel and Bottas looked to take advantage, while Raikkonen looked up the inside of Lewis going in to turn three the Finn collided with Hamilton as the two went wheel-to-wheel. Hamilton, forced in to a spin, continued last on track, while Raikkonen was later deemed responsible by the stewards and given a ten-second penalty.
With Hamilton left with everything to do, it was Vettel that took the early march on the Mercedes of Valterri Bottas. But with twenty laps to go Bottas led after Vettel pitted for tyres ahead of a safety car period caused by Marcus Ericsson [Sauber] crashing heavily. While Hamilton found himself up in third place.
With fourteen laps to go a second safety car period caused by Carlos Sainz [Renault] and Romain Grosjean [Haas] came together.
Vettel dived for the lead with five laps to go, passing Bottas as the pair headed in to Brooklands, and a lap later saw second turn to third, as Hamilton gained yet another place on his mission to get back to the front. Raikkonen claiming third with three laps to go.
Sebastian Vettel eventually took the win, with Hamilton a magnificent second, and Raikkonen third. Bottas came home fourth, with Daniel Ricciardo fifth and Nico Hulkenberg sixth.
“Really, really pleased with the result” remarked race winner Vettel, “especially here, a track that we’ve struggled at in the past, it was nice to see that we were strong all weekend and able to fight for the win, obviously we got the lead back in the end, it felt very satisfying”.
Lewis commented, “It was a tough situation to be in, I just kept my head down, I knew that I had to fight with everything I had. I could see the fans every single corner, every lap, cheering. I can’t thank them enough for that because that’s what spurred me on to get the result we got today.
“Not the greatest start” admitted Raikkonnen. “I locked the inside wheel a bit, couldn’t slow down as much as I wanted, then we obviously touched and he spun. Not an easy day, but I got something out of it”.
1. Sebastian Vettel GER Scuderia Ferrari
2. Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport
3. Kimi Raikkonen FIN Scuderia Ferrari
4. Valtteri Bottas FIN Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport
5. Daniel Ricciardo AUS Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
6. Nico Hulkenberg GER Renault Sport Formula One Team
7. Esteban Ocon FRA Sahara Force India F1 Team
8. Fernando Alonso ESP McLaren F1 Team
9. Kevin Magnussen DEN Haas F1 Team
10. Pierre Gasly FRA Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda