Hamilton takes home win as Rosberg retires
6 July 2014 – Lewis Hamilton took full advantage of a terminal gearbox problem for Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg to claim victory in Sunday's British Grand Prix, slashing the title advantage to four points. Williams driver Valtteri Bottas claimed his second successive podium, while Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo completed the top three.
As the lights went out at Silverstone, Rosberg maintained his lead into the first corner, while the McLaren drivers and Hamilton took advantage of Sebastian Vettel's sluggish start to move up the order.
But drama ensued on the exit of Aintree, with Kimi Räikkönen, who had taken to the vast run-off area, snapping to the right when re-joining the circuit and slamming into the barriers.
Williams driver Felipe Massa, just a few corners into his 200th Formula 1 race, did his best to avoid contact with Räikkönen, but the Brazilian's car was collected, with both of their machines sustaining significant damage.
Räikkönen hobbled away from his stricken Ferrari and embarked on a precautionary trip to the Medical Centre, while Massa crawled back to the grid with a heavily damaged left-rear where his retirement was confirmed.
With the race red flagged, what was already set to be a sizeable delay grew longer for guardrail repairs.
The restart, which followed a lap behind the Safety Car, came just over an hour after the initial getaway.
As the Safety Car peeled in to the pits, McLaren driver Jenson Button, up to second after the first start, was caught napping and Rosberg pulled out almost two seconds by the time he reached the start/finish line.
Hamilton quickly set about deposing the McLaren pair, passing Kevin Magnussen on the first green lap before finding a way past Button one tour later. He then turned his attentions to team-mate Rosberg, but the latter was able to keep a comfortable margin throughout the opening stint, despite complaining of downshift problems.
Rosberg was the first of the Silver Arrows drivers to enter the pits for fresh rubber, taking on another set of Medium tyres, with Hamilton going five laps longer and making the call to switch to the Hard compound.
Despite the irritation another slow pit-stop, Hamilton delivered a series of rapid lap times to slash the gap to Rosberg. But before he could think about a pass the latter ground to a halt amid worsening gearbox issues.
Hamilton inherited a massive lead over Bottas, and enjoyed a smooth run to his fifth win of the season.
Bottas went one better than he managed at the Austrian Grand Prix by crossing the line second, while Ricciardo fended off a late charge from Button, spurred on by the home crowd, to claim another podium finish.
Sebastian Vettel finished fifth after a fierce 13-lap battle with Fernando Alonso, but the Ferrari driver – who lost five crucial seconds due to a stop/go penalty for lining up in front of his grid slot at the opening race start – claimed over the radio that his Red Bull rival illegally used DRS directly after making a move stick at Copse.
McLaren rookie Kevin Magnussen added to his team's points haul in seventh, while Force India's Nico Hülkenberg stayed out of trouble to continue his 100 per cent scoring record for the 2014 campaign.
The top 10 places were rounded out by Toro Rosso team-mates Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Éric Vergne, the latter doing well to recover from a clash with Force India rival Sergio Pérez at the opening corner of the initial start.
After an impressive qualifying display, Marussia drivers Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton were unable to make an impact in the drier weather conditions, with the Briton's cause being hampered when he pitted under red flags – after his car was hit by a flying wheel amid the first lap carnage – and picked up a drive through penalty.
In addition to Rosberg, Massa and Räikkönen, Esteban Gutiérrez, who sustained severe car damage after tipping Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado into the air, and Marcus Ericsson (car damage) retired from the race.
Maldonado ground to a halt with three laps left due to an exhaust problem but he was a classified finisher.
The 10th round of the 2014 Formula 1 season takes place at Hockenheim from July 18-20