Race winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates on the podium as unimpressed second place finisher Lewis Hamilton looks on. Picture: Getty
Race winner Sebastian Vettel celebrates on the podium as unimpressed second place finisher Lewis Hamilton looks on. Picture: Getty

Dirty tactics claims sour Vettel’s British GP win

FERRARI'S Sebastian Vettel landed a blow in the Formula One world championship by winning rival Lewis Hamilton's home British Grand Prix in a dramatic Silverstone race on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo finished the race in fifth on Sunday to hold onto his fourth overall position in the championship.

Hamilton started his Mercedes badly from pole position and was hit by the other Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen as he tried to cling on to third.

He fell to 16th but recovered to second, ahead of Raikkonen who completed the podium.

Hamilton and Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff were visibly frustrated after the race and went as far questioning whether the crash was a deliberate Ferrari tactic or simply incpompetence.

"Interesting tactics, I would say, from their side but we will do what we can to fight them and improve in the next race," a glum and terse Hamilton said immediately after the race.

"All I'd say is that it's now two races that the Ferraris have taken out one of the Mercedes

"It's a lot of points that ultimately Valtteri (Bottas) and I have lost in those two scenarios."

Vettel in contrast was rewarded for a brilliant start in which he overtook Hamilton within metres on the opening straight.

A late move on Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas, after two safety cars, then confirmed his 51st career victory.

It was championship leader Vettel's fourth win of the season and extends his advantage over Hamilton from one point in the standings to eight after 10 season races.

 

Lewis Hamilton lead Sebastian Vettel eaely in the race before things started falling apart. Picture: Getty
Lewis Hamilton lead Sebastian Vettel eaely in the race before things started falling apart. Picture: Getty

 

"Thanks to the team for supporting me and also the people in the background because yesterday I was a bit damaged but much better today," Vettel said in first interviews.

"I was a bit concerned [about my neck injury] going into the race but I was fine ... The neck held up and that was a race I enjoyed a lot and I think the people enjoyed a lot."

Hamilton started the race on a high after a dazzling final lap on Saturday brought pole position.

But like in Austria week ago he soon ran into trouble and his hopes of a record-breaking race were immediately over.

A fifth consecutive home victory would have beaten Jim Clark's streak of four and his sixth win overall would have moved him beyond Clark and Alain Prost's record of five.

 

Daniel Ricciardo had a solid - but uneventful - British Grand Prix. Picture: Getty
Daniel Ricciardo had a solid - but uneventful - British Grand Prix. Picture: Getty

 

A slow start cost him places to Vettel and Bottas before Raikkonen ran into his rear and was given a 10-second time penalty.

"It was my mistake, so that's fine," Raikkonen said. "I deserved it but kept fighting."

Lapping well around the 5.891-kilometre course, Hamilton soon moved into the points and was 25 seconds off Vettel by lap 9, with the German 5 seconds ahead of Bottas at the front.

Vettel has emerged the clear victor from F1's first-ever triple header of races having led Hamilton by a point going into the French GP on June 24.

He lost ground by finishing fifth there, while Hamilton won, but has outscored the Brit 40-18 in the last two outings.

The pair hold four world titles each and going into his home German GP on July 22, Vettel is suddenly clear in the race for number five.


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