Lewis Hamilton survived the early onslaught from the Williams team and the later distraction of rain to take his third British Grand Prix victory at Silverstone on Sunday.
The British driver started from pole position but was third at the first corner after terrific starts from both Williams Martini Racing drivers, with Felipe Massa leading Valtteri Bottas. Hamilton got back into second heading before they reached the Wellington Straight, only for the safety car to be deployed following carnage amid the midfield runners.
Both Lotus drivers and Jenson Button were eliminated on the opening lap following the incident, with both Daniel Ricciardo and Marcus Ericsson appearing to tap Romain Grosjean into the side of Pastor Maldonado, while Fernando Alonso, whilst attempting to avoid the incident, crashed into his McLaren-Honda team-mate Button.
On the restart, Hamilton attacked Massa, but ran wide at Vale, allowing Bottas back through into second, and along with Nico Rosberg, the top four pulled away from fifth placed Nico Hulkenberg, who had made a great start in his Sahara Force India to get ahead of both Ferrari’s.
Bottas appeared to have the pace to be able to pass Massa for the lead, but the Williams pit wall decided to disallow any in-team racing, which ultimately cost them when Hamilton pitted a lap before race leader Massa, with the Briton racing into the lead when Massa exited the pit lane.
When Bottas told he was clear to race his team-mate, he declared through the radio that it was ‘too late’.
When the rain came, Rosberg was able to pass both Williams drivers to claim second, while Sebastian Vettel pitted on the same lap as race leader Hamilton to switch to the intermediate tyres, which enabled him to jump ahead of Massa and onto the podium.
Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Daniil Kvyat ended the race sixth despite being on Vettel’s tail before the rain shower, but left it a lap too long to pit and lost considerable time, but finished on the tail of Bottas’ Williams.
Hulkenberg had a strong race to finish seventh, while Kimi Raikkonen gambled on an early stop for intermediates that did not pay off, meaning the Finnish driver was forced to stop for an extra set of tyres a few laps from the end with his grip from his first set completely gone.
The second Force India of Sergio Perez was ninth, while Alonso secured his first point of the season in tenth for McLaren-Honda despite his first lap incident with his team-mate and subsequent pit stop for a new front wing.
Ericsson was eleventh, having been on course to finish inside the top ten, only to pit for new slick tyres just before the heavier rain shower struck that saw him require an extra pit stop the following lap for intermediates.
The two Manor F1 Team drivers were twelfth and thirteenth and last of the finishers, with Roberto Merhi ahead of Will Stevens at the flag after the Briton spun at Luffield with a handful of laps to go that required him to stop for a new nose cone.
As well as Button, Grosjean and Maldonado, Max Verstappen was an early retirement when he spun his Scuderia Toro Rosso at Farm corner on the restart following the safety car, while his team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo both retired with mechanical issues.
Felipe Nasr did not even manage to take the start in the second Sauber after stopping on track on the reconnaissance lap to the pits before the race.
Hamilton’s fifth victory of the season sees him extend his championship lead back out to seventeen points to Rosberg, while Mercedes’ latest 1-2 finish sees them leading Ferrari by an increased margin of 160 points.
Silverstone Race Result
|6||26||Daniil Kvyat||RUS||Red Bull-Renault||+1m03.955s|
|7||27||Nico Hulkenberg||GER||Force India-Mercedes||+1m18.744s|
|8||7||Kimi Raikkonen||FIN||Ferrari||+1 Lap|
|9||11||Sergio Perez||MEX||Force India-Mercedes||+1 Lap|
|10||14||Fernando Alonso||ESP||McLaren-Honda||+1 Lap|
|11||9||Marcus Ericsson||SWE||Sauber-Ferrari||+1 Lap|
|12||98||Roberto Merhi||ESP||Manor-Ferrari||+3 Laps|
|13||28||Will Stevens||GBR||Manor-Ferrari||+3 Laps|
|RET||55||Carlos Sainz Jr||ESP||Toro Rosso-Renault||Retired|
|RET||3||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||Red Bull-Renault||Retired|
|RET||33||Max Verstappen||NED||Toro Rosso-Renault||Retired|
|DNS||12||Felipe Nasr||BRZ||Sauber-Ferrari||Did Not Start|