Lewis Hamilton was victorious at Silverstone after a dominant drive and with a late drama for his championship rival, the Mercedes star has slashed the points gap to Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to a single digit.
Hamilton led from lights to flag, crossing the line 14 seconds ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen completing the British Grand Prix podium.
There was late drama as Raikkonen and Vettel suffered front left tyre problems with three and two laps to go respectively, when running second and fourth.
Raikkonen pitted and rejoined to take third with Vettel – who had reported blistering after a big lock-up – falling right back to seventh position as he had to drive further on his wrecked tyre.
It was Hamilton’s fourth victory of the season, his fourth consecutive British Grand Prix win and fifth Formula 1 triumph at Silverstone.
At the start, Raikkonen challenged Hamilton into the first corner, but the leader held firm and set about building an advantage.
Vettel made a slow start, slipping behind Verstappen before retaking the position only for the Red Bull driver to go back past around him on the outside at the Loop.
The race was neutralised when the safety car was deployed to clear debris after Daniil Kvyat ran wide onto the grass, lost control and hit Toro Rosso team-mate Carlos Sainz.
At the restart, Hamilton pushed clear, first holding a steady gap to Raikkonen before putting the hammer down ahead of the pitstops.
Further back, Vettel put pressure on Verstappen, attacking down the inside of Stowe, only for the Red Bull to hold on around the outside.
Verstappen managed to stay ahead under braking for Vale, squeezing Vettel wide into the chicane and prompting the Ferrari driver to raise his hand in frustration.
Vettel was the first of the frontrunners to pit, with Red Bull reacting by bringing Verstappen in next time around.
But a problem with a wheelnut delayed Verstappen, meaning he rejoined behind Vettel and did not have the pace to respond.
Raikkonen pitted soon after, with Hamilton following suit on the next lap and rejoining comfortably in the lead, ahead of Bottas, who had yet to pit having run deep on softs after starting ninth following a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change.
It wasn’t until lap 33 of 51 that Mercedes called in Bottas, the only driver in the top ten to start on the softs, in for the super-softs, and he rejoined fourth.
He used the fresher, softer rubber to gradually reduce the gap to Vettel and then launched an attack on the run to Club, but the Ferrari driver locked up and kept the position.
On the next lap, Bottas was much closer to Vettel on Hangar Straight and swept around the outside of Vettel with ease before they reached Stowe.
Bottas then inherited second when Raikkonen suffered the tyre issue, with Verstappen pitting late as a precaution and rejoining in fourth, ending a run of three successive retirements.
His team-mate Daniel Ricciardo produced an impressive recovery drive to take fifth, having started P19 after a series of grid penalties for engine component and gearbox changes and dropping to last early on having run into the gravel when trying to pass Kevin Magnussen.
Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg equalled his best finish of the season with sixth, losing out to Ricciardo late on, but his team-mate Jolyon Palmer failed to take the start after reporting brake-by-wire and hydraulic problems on the formation lap.
Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez gave Force India an eighth double points finish in ten races with eighth and ninth ahead of Felipe Massa. They had ended up in a three-way battle that developed as they queued behind the long-running Magnussen before the Haas finally pitted.
McLaren again failed to score – although Stoffel Vandoorne was not far behind Massa in P11. Fernando Alonso retired midway through the race having got up to P14 from his back of the grid start.
So a brilliant result for the home crowd favourite. That was an important victory for Lewis Hamilton in terms of the championship.
The late race drama from Ferrari was unfortunate. Both for the drivers and team. Kimi Raikkonen was heading for second position but a puncture cost The Iceman a runner-up spot. Third was the end result.
As for Sebastian Vettel. This was a difficult race, fighting against Max Verstappen. The championship leader also suffered a puncture, much to the delight of the Silverstone crowd. Sebastian dragged his Ferrari around to take seventh.
Only a single point between the Mercedes driver and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel as the title race hots up. It’s game on for the championship.
British Grand Prix race results, 51 laps:
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1h21m27.430s
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 14.063s
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 36.570s
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Renault 52.125s
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m05.955s
6 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m08.109s
7 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m33.989s
8 Esteban Ocon Force India-Mercedes 1 Lap
9 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1 Lap
10 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1 Lap
11 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren-Honda 1 Lap
12 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1 Lap
13 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1 Lap
14 Marcus Ericsson Sauber-Ferrari 1 Lap
15 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1 Lap
16 Lance Stroll Williams-Mercedes 1 Lap
17 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber-Ferrari 1 Lap
– Fernando Alonso McLaren-Honda Retirement
– Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso-Renault Collision
– Jolyon Palmer Renault Not started
1 Sebastian Vettel 177
2 Lewis Hamilton 176
3 Valtteri Bottas 154
4 Daniel Ricciardo 117
5 Kimi Raikkonen 98
6 Max Verstappen 57
7 Sergio Perez 52
8 Esteban Ocon 43
9 Carlos Sainz 29
10 Nico Hulkenberg 26
11 Felipe Massa 23
12 Lance Stroll 18
13 Romain Grosjean 18
14 Kevin Magnussen 11
15 Pascal Wehrlein 5
16 Daniil Kvyat 4
17 Fernando Alonso 2
18 Jolyon Palmer 0
19 Marcus Ericsson 0
20 Stoffel Vandoorne 0
21 Antonio Giovinazzi 0
1 Mercedes 330
2 Ferrari 275
3 Red Bull-Renault 174
4 Force India-Mercedes 95
5 Williams-Mercedes 41
6 Toro Rosso-Renault 33
7 Haas-Ferrari 29
8 Renault 26
9 Sauber-Ferrari 5
10 McLaren-Honda 2