I deserved penalty for Hamilton clash - Raikkonen

Tanya Simon
July 9, 2018

Mercedes used a safety auto to get Bottas ahead of early race leader Vettel but the Ferrari driver used fresher, softer tyres to steal the victory with a superb move five laps from the end of the race.

His team-mate Valtteri Bottas, on older tyres, led entering the closing laps, but was unable to resist Vettel or his Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen, who finished third.

Vettel was thus able to roll home and extend his World Championship lead even if Hamilton's run to second made for some very impressive damage limitation.

Hamilton, who started in pole position after setting an electrifying track record to beat Vettel in qualifying, was going for a fifth straight victory in his home race and his sixth overall to beat the record of five he shares with Jim Clark and Prost.

"That's how it goes sometimes".

"The safety vehicle spiced it up", said Vettel, wearing supporting tapes on his stiff neck.

Vettel and Raikkonen pitted but Mercedes kept their drivers out, assuring Hamilton that he was "the fastest guy by miles" with everything to play for on tyres that would last the distance. "The neck held up and that was a race I enjoyed a lot". I deserve it, I took the 10 seconds and got fighting.

Ferrari says British Grand Prix was 'good for Formula 1'
After the race, Hamilton walked away from the interviews conducted in parc ferme and went straight to the cool-down room. Raikkonen crossed the line ahead of Valtteri Bottas , who had led with only five laps of the race remaining.

Both spun and rejoined, Hamilton after running off track. "I'm not anxious", he said yesterday. "And in a flawless world, I would have had new tires - but it wasn't that kind of day for me", Hamilton said.

But he surged back into contention and thanks to the safety auto being deployed on two occasions late on in the race surged into second place.

Raikkonen cleared Verstappen before the Dutchman retired with a long-standing brake-by-wire problem then blew past Bottas for third on the outside into Brooklands using DRS.

Once released, the safety vehicle barely had time to wind its windows back up before it was required again, Carlos Sainz and Romain Grosjean squeezing eachother and ending up in the gravel at Turn 1.

Hamilton recovered to second, beating Raikkonen, but referred to "interesting tactics" from Ferrari on the podium and Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said they had questioned whether the incident was "deliberate or incompetence". Vettel finally pounced to take the lead on lap 47.

Force India's Esteban Ocon was a quiet but excellent seventh, as Fernando Alonso bested Magnussen in a fiery late fight to finish eighth.

"It's home base for Mercedes, Red Bull, Williams so you have to be quite strong at Silverstone".

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