Hamilton takes home win at Silverstone

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Great Britain, Silverstone Circuitgb

Lewis Hamilton has won the British Grand Prix, his home race held at Silverstone, inheriting the lead of Nico Rosberg following his gearbox failure. Valtteri Bottas is on the podium again in second place while Daniel Ricciardo completes the podium in third.

As the lights went out, Rosberg easily kept his first place, followed by Jenson Button who profited from a very difficult start by Sebastian Vettel who also found himself behind Magnussen by the time they got to the Wellington straight.

The more dangerous action though happened in the back of the field. Raikkonen got pushed wide on the exit of turn 5. In itself nothing to worry about, but when the Finn rejoined the track, he hit a small bump and oversteered when back on the track. As a consequence he lost control of his car, veering off the track to the right again and after hitting the barriers and bouncing back onto the track. Clearly the event surprised many followers, including Kobayashi who caught minor damage and then bumped through the grass to rejoin the track.

Felipe Massa just behind baked hard in a very late reaction and avoided a head on collision with the spinning Ferrari. Massa, in his 200th Grand Prix, still hit the car with his left rear wheel but managed to get going again despite a completely ruined tyre and rim.

Following a short announcement of a safety car, the race was red flagged entirely, realising that repairs to the crash barriers were necessary. The cars subsequently re-aligned on the grid, where a few minutes later Massa abandoned the race as the team found too much damage on his car to be able to competitively continue the race. It's the culmination of a very unfortunate weekend for the Brazilian following a mistake by the team during qualifying, then a problem at the start that dropped him back to last before ending up onto the side of Raikkonen's Ferrari.

The only one not to queue up on the grid during the red flag situation was Max Chilton. He opted to go into the pits, an infringement that the stewards investigate, along with a collision between Vergne and Perez in turn 1 of lap 1.

So, for the second start, the positions are Rosberg, Button, Magnussen, Hamilton, Vettel, Hulkenberg, Ricciardo, Kvyat, Bottas, Bianchi, Sutil, Gutierrez, Alonso, Maldonado, Ericsson, Grosjean, Vergne, Perez and Kobayashi.

More than an hour after the red flag, the race is restarted behind the safety car. Vettel, Ricciardo, Grosjean, Vegne and Perez are the only ones on the hard tyre, all others are using the medium Pirellis.

With the safety car away, Rosberg immediately stepped on the throttle to have a 1.5s advantage by the time he crossed the starting line. 2 laps later, Hamilton is already up to second place as Magnussen went wide through Copse and Button was easily passed into turn 6. Bottas is also impressing and moved up three positions, slotting in between Vettel and Hulkenberg on lap 5.

Alonso, starting from 13th similarly moved up some places, ending up in 10th by lap 5.

On lap 6 DRS gets enabled and Alonso immediately takes on Kvyat and passes him thanks to better acceleration out of turn 7. Half a lap later the Spaniard takes Ricciardo through the outside of turn 17, an opportunity created thanks to Vettel being unable to make his passing move on Hulkenberg stick. In lap 8, Alonso moved up into 7th after passing Hulkenberg at the end of the Wellington straight.

On lap 11 Gutierrez makes a mess of it as he bumps into the left front wheel of Maldonado in a passing attempt. While breaking his front wing, it also sent Grosjean up in the air briefly as his left rear ran over the Sauber's right front. Still, seemingly not realising an issue, he goes too fast into turn 2, ending up in the gravel trap and abandoning the race in a fairly amateurish way.

Moments later, Vettel dove into the pitlane., giving 5th to Bottas who 2 laps later went on to move into 4th thanks to passing Magnussen. Alonso meanwhile is closing the gap and is under the rear wing of the McLaren by lap 15.

Alonso is subsequently handed a 5 second stop-and-go penalty for being out of his starting position in the first start. Replays show he was indeed about a meter too far ahead on the grid, seemingly surprised by the Williams cars were very close ahead when positioning on the grid.

On lap 16, Alonso takes Magnussen and moved up into 5th. One lap later Bottas passes Button through the outside of Stowe corner, putting himself up into third place.

At the very front, Rosberg pits on lap 19 after seeing his advantage of Hamilton be reduced to little more than 2 seconds, down from 6 when Hamilton emerged into second place. Hamilton waited until lap 25 to make his first stop, changing to the hard tyres in 4.1 seconds. Rosberg on the other hand is doing is still on the medium.

Alonso pits on lap 28, waiting for 5 seconds to serve the penalty before the Ferrari mechanics change tyres and let the Spaniard go again.

On lap 29, following repeated gearbox issue reports from Rosberg, Hamilton takes the lead in turn 4 just at a moment where Rosberg appeared unable to upshift. Half a lap later the German is left with a box full of neutrals and parks the car, trying for 30 more seconds to get a gear before stopping the engine.

Rosberg's DNF allows Hamilton to start manage his 24 second advantage over second placed Bottas. The latter pits on lap 32 for his final stop, changing to the hard tyres for 20 laps to the finish flag.

Vettel then stopped on lap 35, rejoining just ahead of Alonso. The Spaniard didn't leave that opportunity untouched and made sure he passed Vettel while his tyres were not in optimal working range yet. Another lap later, Vettel clearly upped his pace and repeatedly started looking for overtaking opportunities on the Ferrari.

Eleven laps from the end Hamilton pits for another set of prime tyres, still retaining a 22 seconds advantage over Bottas.

With 7 laps left, Ricciardo holds third, 14 seconds down while Button is 4th, 7 seconds behind Ricciardo. Alonso is 5th, still just ahead of Vettel. Magnussen is 2 seconds down on the fighting duo, both of whom continue to complain about each other supposedly not respecting the track limits.

5 laps from the end VEttel finally makes a move stick, first going side by side through turn 6 and 7. Vettel crucially went wide immediately after on the exit of Copse with Alonso later reporting Vettel's DRS opened on the exit of turn 5 where it should not.

One lap from the end Maldonado is out with a smoking engine. Team mate Grosjean is also out of the points, making it another fruitless Grand Prix weekend for Lotus F1 Team.

Lewis Hamilton meanwhile comfortably wins the British Grand Prix and cuts Rosberg's championship lead by 25 points. Bottas is a brilliant second while Daniel Ricciardo finishes third, 0.8 seconds ahead of Button. Vettel is 5th, 6 seconds ahead of Alonso.


Results

Pos.NoDriverTeamLapsTimeGridPts
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG52Winner625
277Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes52+30.1 secs1418
33Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing-Renault52+46.4 secs815
422Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes52+47.3 secs312
51Sebastian VettelRed Bull Racing-Renault52+53.8 secs210
614Fernando AlonsoFerrari52+59.9 secs168
720Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes52+62.5 secs56
827Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes52+88.6 secs44
926Daniil KvyatSTR-Renault52+89.3 secs92
1025Jean-Eric VergneSTR-Renault51+1 Lap101
1111Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes51+1 Lap7
128Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault51+1 Lap11
1399Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari51+1 Lap13
1417Jules BianchiMarussia-Ferrari51+1 Lap12
1510Kamui KobayashiCaterham-Renault50+2 Lap22
164Max ChiltonMarussia-Ferrari50+2 Lap17
1713Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault49+3 Lap20
Ret6Nico RosbergMercedes AMG28+24 Laps1
Ret9Marcus EricssonCaterham-Renault11+41 Laps21
Ret21Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari9+43 Laps19
Ret19Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes0+ secs15
Ret7Kimi RäikkönenFerrari0+ secs18

GUT qualified 14th, dropped 15 due to unsafe release (10), gearbox change (5) penalties
CHI qualified 13th, dropped 5 places for a gearbox change
MAL excluded from qualifying, fuel infringement.
ERI and KOB failed to meet Q1 107% requirement, race at stewards' discretion


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