Championship leader and home favourite Lewis Hamilton achieved his sixth victory at the British Grand Prix. The Mercedes driver benefitted from a safety car to jump his teammate Valtteri Bottas to score a popular Silverstone win.
Hamilton overhauled poleman Bottas by running a longer first stint that allowed him to only stop once, and it proved crucial when a safety car emerged after Bottas pit.
That gave Hamilton track advantage and he won comfortably after Bottas made a late second pitstop to use his mandatory second compound, having used mediums in his first two stints.
Charles Leclerc finished third after a dramatic battle for the final podium spot, in which Leclerc had an epic fight with Verstappen – who was later fired into the gravel by Vettel.
Pierre Gasly scored his best result for Red Bull with fourth, while Verstappen managed to get his car out of the gravel and finish fifth, with Vettel down in P16 after needing a new front wing and being hit with a ten-second time penalty.
Bottas led the first part of the race but kicked off the pitstops amongst the leaders while Hamilton extended his stint to lap 20. That was vital for Hamilton, who was already considering switching to the hards and executing a one-stop strategy.
He and Vettel, who struggled in the opening stint down in sixth, but also extended it, then had their persistence rewarded when the safety car emerged.
Antonio Giovinazzi locked the rear wheels on his Alfa Romeo entering the penultimate corner and slid sideways into the gravel.
With the race neutralised Hamilton and Vettel dived into the pitlane, rejoining in first and third respectively and with no further pitstops to make.
In the fight for the win, Bottas was hamstrung by the decision not to pit under the safety car and switch to hard tyres, which locked him into a two-stop strategy.
He was unable to attack Hamilton at the restart and ran a couple of seconds adrift, before eventually pitting seven laps from the end having opened up a big enough gap to the best of the rest.
That meant he still finished second, and looked to claim the fastest lap bonus point as consolation for his lost victory – before Hamilton pumped in an even faster time on the final lap on old hards.
Hamilton’s last-gasp fastest lap meant he extended his points lead to 39.
Behind the Silver Arrows drivers, Leclerc finished third after a thrilling British Grand Prix.
Leclerc held the place early on but had to withstand enormous pressure from Verstappen, who then managed to just jump him in the pitlane as they stopped at the same time.
However, Leclerc quickly retook the place when Verstappen ran wide at The Loop immediately after exiting the pits, before falling back behind after Ferrari opted not to stop him again as soon as the safety car was deployed.
Red Bull reacted quicker and stopped Verstappen swiftly, and he rejoined fifth – behind Vettel and the sister Red Bull of Pierre Gasly, who pit earlier and stuck to a one-stop.
Ferrari’s call to stop Leclerc a lap later dropped him to sixth, and when the race resumed he attacked Verstappen immediately.
Their wheel-to-wheel fight recommenced and peaked when Leclerc attacked on the outside into the final complex of corners just before mid-distance.
They bumped wheels slightly when Leclerc had the inside for the right-hand penultimate turn, and Verstappen took to the run-off on the outside, keeping the position as he rejoined through the final corner.
Leclerc’s challenge faded after that unpenalised incident, while Verstappen passed Gasly for fourth and then caught and attacked Vettel for third.
Max nailed the Ferrari on the outside at Stowe on lap 37, but ran slightly wide and Sebastian tucked into his slipstream on the short run down to Vale – but positioned his Ferrari on the inside, with nowhere to go, and tried to switch back to the outside too late.
Vettel locked and crashed into the back of Verstappen’s car, pitching it airborne over a kerb and into the gravel as the Ferrari ended up facing the wrong way with its rear wheels in the gravel.
They both rejoined, but Verstappen was limited to fifth – fortunately not losing further positions – as Vettel dropped to the back.
Vettel’s elimination from the front allowed Carlos Sainz to take sixth for McLaren, fighting off Daniel Ricciardo’s Renault in a fierce best-of-the-rest fight.
Kimi Raikkonen executed a one-stop strategy to finish eighth, while Daniil Kvyat’s well-timed safety car pitstop allowed him to charge to ninth. Nico Hulkenberg completed the point scorers in tenth position.
The two Haas drivers joined Giovinazzi in retirement – Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen colliding on the first lap and both retiring as a result shortly afterwards.
So congratulations to Lewis Hamilton in achieving a record of six victories to become the most successful British driver winning at Silverstone. Sure, the safety car helped but this is racing. Taking the opportunities in the right moment.
As for the racing, that was pure quality at Silverstone. The battle between Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen was a pure highlight.
British Grand Prix, race results:
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 52 1h21m08.452s
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 52 24.928s
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 52 30.117s
4 Pierre Gasly Red Bull-Honda 52 34.692s
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 52 39.458s
6 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault 52 53.639s
7 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 52 54.401s
8 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 52 1m05.540s
9 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Honda 52 1m06.720s
10 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 52 1m12.733s
11 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 52 1m14.281s
12 Alexander Albon Toro Rosso-Honda 52 1m15.617s
13 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 52 1m21.086s
14 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 51 1 Lap
15 Robert Kubica Williams-Mercedes 51 1 Lap
16 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 51 1 Lap
17 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes 51 1 Lap
– Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 18 Spun off
– Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 9 Accident damage
– Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 6 Accident damage
1 Lewis Hamilton 223
2 Valtteri Bottas 184
3 Max Verstappen 136
4 Sebastian Vettel 123
5 Charles Leclerc 120
6 Pierre Gasly 55
7 Carlos Sainz Jr. 38
8 Kimi Raikkonen 25
9 Lando Norris 22
10 Daniel Ricciardo 22
11 Nico Hulkenberg 17
12 Kevin Magnussen 14
13 Sergio Perez 13
14 Daniil Kvyat 12
15 Alexander Albon 7
16 Lance Stroll 6
17 Romain Grosjean 2
18 Antonio Giovinazzi 1
19 George Russell 0
20 Robert Kubica 0
1 Mercedes 407
2 Ferrari 243
3 Red Bull-Honda 191
4 McLaren-Renault 60
5 Renault 39
6 Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 26
7 Racing Point-Mercedes 19
8 Toro Rosso-Honda 19
9 Haas-Ferrari 16
10 Williams-Mercedes 0