Motor racing: Vettel wins British GP for Ferrari to extend c'ship lead and foil Hamilton's bid for 5th straight win

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel leads Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton during the British Grand Prix race on July 8, 2018.
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel leads Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton during the British Grand Prix race on July 8, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS

SILVERSTONE, ENGLAND (REUTERS, AFP) - Sebastian Vettel won the British Grand Prix for Ferrari on Sunday (July 8), to deny Lewis Hamilton a fifth successive home victory and move eight points clear at the top of the Formula One standings.

In a thrilling race with two safety car periods, reigning champion Hamilton went from pole position to the rear of the field before finishing second for Mercedes in a superb fightback. Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was third and Valtteri Bottas fourth in the second Mercedes.

The victory extended Vettel's total in the drivers' championship to 171 points, with Hamilton on 163.

The German four-time champion seized the lead at the start and fought back after losing the initiative during two safety car periods to register his second win at Silverstone and the 51st of his career.

Vettel's win wrecked Hamilton's hopes of a record sixth overall at the storied track, but the Englishman - who was last after a collision with Raikkonen on the opening lap - produced a heroic drive to end second. His team-mate Bottas, on older tyres, led the closing laps, but was unable to resist the challengers.

It was Ferrari's first win in Britain since 2011. Daniel Ricciardo came home fifth for Red Bull ahead of Nico Hulkenberg of Renault, Esteban Ocon of Force India, Fernando Alonso of McLaren and Kevin Magnussen of Haas. Pierre Gasly was 10th for Toro Rosso.

"The safety car spiced it up," said Vettel, wearing supporting tapes on his stiff neck. "I had the advantage of the tyres, but it was not easy to find a way through."

 

Raikkonen apologised for his first-lap brush with Hamilton. "It was my mistake," he said. "I deserved the penalty, but I kept fighting."