Hamilton wins, Ferrari hits late trouble

Hamilton wins, Ferrari hits late trouble

16 July 2017 – Lewis Hamilton took a dominant home win at the British Grand Prix, as Valtteri Bottas snatched the second part of a Mercedes 1-2, after Ferrari pair Kimi Räikkönen and Sebastian Vettel suffered late tyre issues.

Amid overcast skies, Hamilton controlled Sunday's race from start to finish, surviving an early Safety Car period, before building up a comfortable advantage.

Räikkönen and Vettel had held second and third, until a charging Bottas – who started ninth, due a gearbox penalty – put them under pressure on an alternative strategy.

Shortly after Bottas moved into third position, both Ferrari drivers endured apparent tyre failures, with Räikkönen dropping to third, and Vettel to seventh.

Hamilton, who moves level with Jim Clark and Alain Prost on five British Grand Prix victories, thus slashes Vettel's championship lead to just one point.

As the lights went out at Silverstone, pole-sitter Hamilton pulled away cleanly to keep the lead into Turn 1, as Red Bull's Max Verstappen split the Ferraris.

Hamilton was already over a second clear of Räikkönen when the Safety Car came out for a midfield clash between Toro Rosso team-mates Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz Jr.

At the restart, Hamilton bolted clear, lapping significantly faster than the cars behind to give himself a comfortable buffer when the pit-stop phase arrived.

Vettel and Verstappen had spent the opening stint squabbling, at one point going wheel-to-wheel through Stowe, Vale and Club, with minor contact made.

A slow rear-left tyre change for Verstappen ensured that Vettel would move ahead at the stops, though, as Bottas ran longer than his rivals, having started on Softs.

Bottas' eventual stop left him fourth, but he pumped in a sequence of rapid times on the Super Soft compound and soon arrived at the rear of Vettel's car.

After a failed attempt around the outside of Stowe, Bottas got the job done with a DRS-assisted move along the Hangar Straight, and then hunted down Räikkönen.

But within the space of just a couple of minutes, Räikkönen and Vettel's front-left tyres gave up, forcing them back to the pits to take on fresh tyres.

Pirelli suggested pre-race that a two-stop strategy was the ideal approach, regardless of degradation levels, with several drivers complaining of blisters on their second stints.

While Räikkönen returned to the track in third, Vettel dropped back to seventh, having encountered his issue earlier in the lap, and damaged his front wing after sliding off.

Up front, Hamilton rounded the final few corners at a leisurely pace, crossing the line to huge cheers from the grandstands and viewing areas around the circuit.

Bottas took second, completing Mercedes' second 1-2 finish of the season, as Räikkönen came home third, at least salvaging a podium for Ferrari.

Verstappen wound up fourth, having made a second stop amid intense blistering, with his engineer saying: "What happened to Sebastian is exactly why we pitted you".

Daniel Ricciardo recovered from the back row to fifth, backing up team-mate Verstappen, as Nico Hülkenberg claimed sixth for Renault, despite late de-rating.

Vettel was the final driver on the lead lap, after his late drama, with Force India pair Sergio Pérez and Esteban Ocon and Williams' Felipe Massa completing the points.

McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne ran inside the points-paying positions early on, but narrowly missed out on scoring in 11th, followed by Haas' Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean.

Grosjean was tagged by Marcus Ericsson at Brooklands in the closing stages, running off track as a result, but recovered to beat the Sauber driver to the finish.

Kvyat struggled to 15th, having been hit with a drive-through penalty for rejoining the track unsafely at Becketts, which led to him sliding into Sainz Jr., who sustained terminal damage.

Williams rookie Lance Stroll lost pace over his second stint en route to 16th, with Pascal Wehrlein, who pitted during the Safety Car period, the final finisher.

Fernando Alonso was forced to retire his McLaren-Honda amid power loss, while Renault's Jolyon Palmer failed to even start his home race after a hydraulic issue on the formation lap.

F1's Driver of the Day: Daniel Ricciardo

Drivers' standings:

1. Sebastian Vettel – 177 points
2. Lewis Hamilton – 176 points
3. Valtteri Bottas – 154 points

Constructors' standings:

1. Mercedes – 330 points
2. Ferrari – 275 points
3. Red Bull – 174 points

The 11th round of the season will take place in Hungary from July 28-30


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