Vettel wins British GP as Hamilton recovers to finish second

Vettel wins British GP, Hamilton makes superb recovery

The win helped Vettel increase his championship lead over Lewis Hamilton, who recovered from an opening-lap collision with Kimi Raikkonen to finish second.

That dropped the Mercedes man to the back of the pack and Raikkonen was handed a ten second time penalty, served at the first round of pit stops.

It's more than likely a "heat of the moment" statement that perhaps Ferrari had any kind of plan to disrupt his race and that there was any link between what Raikkonen did and Vettel's contact with Bottas in France two weeks ago.

"You're a lion", the elated team told him over the radio at the checkered flag as they celebrated Ferrari's first win in Britain since 2011. Pierre Gasly was 10th for Toro Rosso.

Vettel pitted for new tires while the safety auto was out following Marcus Ericsson's crash. Both Ferrari and Red Bull drivers took advantage of the safety auto to stop for fresh tyres, but Mercedes left both of their cars out.

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Vettel, who achieved his first Silverstone triumph for nine years, was only passed fit after intensive physiotherapy on his neck problems, which had forced him to sit out some practice laps. "It was my mistake", he said. "So that's fine. I deserve it, I took the 10 seconds and kept fighting". As the lights went out, Vettel made a near-perfect start to pull clear into the lead followed by Bottas. Mercedes' errors cost both Hamilton and Bottas in the Austrian GP the week before when neither finished.

While Vettel led from Bottas at the front all eyes were on Hamilton and his comeback drive through the field. I'm really really happy, ' the German said. Hamilton ended up 17th while Raikkonen received a penalty, but high-speed crashes and Safety Car appearances ensured both still had a chance of victory.

The front-runners all stopped for fresh rubber, promoting Hamilton to third. "You are the fastest by miles, so don't give up". The safety auto is out.

That early crossover creates the potential for undercut strategies, whereby the driver behind pits earlier than the auto in front in the hope of setting quicker lap times than his rival when in clear air and on fresh rubber.

As they headed into the final five laps, the top four cars were separated by only 1.6 seconds with the two Red Bulls in pursuit until, on lap 47, Verstappen spun at Club and Vettel squeezed past Bottas, at Brooklands, to seize the initiative.

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