Lewis Hamilton has cut Sebastian Vettel’s title lead to just one point at the halfway stage of the F1 season with a dominant, record-equalling fifth British GP victory.
Vettel finished only seventh after an incredible end at Silverstone saw both Ferraris pick up punctures and make emergency pit stops.
Kimi Raikkonen had been on course for second and Vettel fourth, but their unexpected late stops promoted Valtteri Bottas from third to second and gifted Mercedes an unexpected one-two.
Having started the race 20 points back on Vettel, Hamilton’s now-one point deficit is the closest the rivals have been in the standings since the second round of the season. Bottas’s second place means he closes to within 23 points of the summit with 10 races to go.
Raikkonen salvaged third, just his third podium of the year, but Vettel lost three places and as a result his season-long championship lead over Hamilton has been all-but wiped out.
Despite also pitting with two laps to go with a puncture, Max Verstappen took fourth for his first finish since May, while Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo thrilled the Silverstone crowd with a drive from the back row to fifth.
Hamilton’s British GP week had begun with heavy criticism from the media about his absence from F1’s London street demonstration, but the triple world champion appeared the quickest driver around his home circuit all weekend.
After recording the most dominant pole of the season so far on Saturday, Hamilton was never headed at the front on Sunday to equal the great Jim Clark’s 40-year-old record of five British GP victories. Alain Prost also equalled the record in 1993.
Hamilton also ties Clark as the only drivers to win the British GP four years in succession.
More to follow…