Hamilton takes win at thrilling British GP

By on Sunday, July 6, 2014
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Lewis Hamilton claimed victory at a thrilling British Grand Prix, which was red flagged for an hour following a huge first lap shunt by Kimi Räikkönen. Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg was forced to retire due to a gearbox problem.

Rosberg and Hamilton pulled away from their rivals before the German slowed and stopped, allowing Hamilton to take a lead which he never relinquished. Valtteri Bottas was second despite starting the race from 15th on the grid, with Daniel Ricciardo third.

Rosberg retained the lead at the start but Sebastian Vettel slipped to fifth place, having lost out to the McLaren drivers and Hamilton, with whom the reigning champion made minor contact with at Village.

The race was suspended at the end of the opening lap following an enormous accident for Räikkönen.

The Finn, who started from 17th on the grid, was bidding to make up places but ran wide at Aintree and lost control of his Ferrari F14T when he hit a bump as he re-joined the track. His car spun into the barriers supporting the overhead bridge before rebounding across the circuit. Most of his rivals avoided him but Felipe Massa slammed on the brakes and made contact with the F14T. Räikkönen limped away from the accident.

In a separate collision, Jean-Éric Vergne and Sergio Pérez made contact at Abbey and dropped to the back of the field. The stewards investigated the collision but took no further action.

There was a lengthy delay as the guardrail had to be repaired.

After an hour’s wait the racing resumed. Rosberg bolted into a lead of four seconds after the first lap while Hamilton passes Kevin Magnussen at Copse, before getting through on Jenson Button into Brooklands on the next lap.

Bottas was also on the move as he dispatched with Ricciardo and Nico Hülkenberg to move up into sixth. Hülkenberg and Ricciardo swapped places, while Alonso made progress as he passed Daniil Kvyat and Ricciardo on the first lap, the latter with an exquisite move around the outside of Vale. He also got through on Hülkenberg but was subsequently slapped with a five second stop and go penalty for being out of position at the original start.

Further back, Esteban Gutiérrez and Pastor Maldonado made contact into Vale, tipping the Venezuelan into the air while Gutiérrez sustained terminal damage to his C33 and ended in the gravel trap at Farm. Meanwhile, Marcus Ericsson slowed with a left front suspension failure.

Bottas’s progress continued as he passed Magnussen for fourth, while Alonso made a move on the Dane a couple of laps later. Bottas caught up with Button and went around the outside of Stowe to move into third place.

Hamilton carved into Rosberg’s lead to get the gap down to 2.5s before the German racer pitted first at the end of lap 18 for another set of options, emerging significantly clear of third-placed Bottas.

Hamilton stayed out for a few laps longer before pitting for primes, losing around a second due to a slow left rear change. Alonso served his penalty when he stopped a few laps later and emerged in ninth.

Hamilton ate into Rosberg’s advantage as the German complained of gearbox problems on the downshift, with the Brit taking almost two seconds out of his rival as the race reached mid-distance. Rosberg complained of problems on the upshift and the German pulled off the circuit and into retirement.

Bottas finally made is first stop on lap 32, dropping to third place behind Vettel. But the Finn soon passed Vettel, who opted to pit for a fresh set of tyres and came out just ahead of Alonso and Magnussen.

Alonso hounded Vettel and made the move with a brilliant pass around the outside of Copse, before the German soon climbed all over the back of the F14T. Vettel tried to go around the outside at Brooklands but was edged out by Alonso, who then firmly shut the door at Luffield. Both drivers complained about the other; Alonso about Vettel exceeding track limits and Vettel about Alonso not leaving a space.

Hamilton’s lead over Bottas was at 40 seconds and he made a precautionary stop for fresh tyres with 10 laps remaining.

The Alonso-Vettel battle continued until the German made a move exiting Luffield, with the duo running side-by-side down the old straight with Vettel prevailing at Copse.

Hamilton controlled proceedings to claim victory at Silverstone for the second time, while Bottas finished a career high second. Button carved into Ricciardo’s advantage but the Australian hung on to beat the McLaren driver by 0.8s.

Vettel came home fifth, while Alonso, Magnussen, Hülkenberg and the Toro Rosso pair of Kvyat and Vergne rounded out the top 10.

Hamilton's win, allied to Rosberg's retirement, means the Brit now moves to within four points of his team-mate in the fight for the title.

PositionNumberDriverTeamLapsTime/RetiredGridPts
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes52Winner625
277Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes52+30.1 secs1418
33Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing-Renault52+46.4 secs815
422Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes52+47.3 secs312
51Sebastian VettelRed Bull Racing-Renault52+53.8 secs210
614Fernando AlonsoFerrari52+59.9 secs168
720Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes52+62.5 secs56
827Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes52+88.6 secs44
926Daniil KvyatSTR-Renault52+89.3 secs92
1025Jean-Eric VergneSTR-Renault51+1 Lap101
1111Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes51+1 Lap7
128Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault+1 Lap11
1399Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari+1 Lap13
1417Jules BianchiMarussia-Ferrari+1 Lap12
1510Kamui KobayashiCaterham-Renault+2 Lap22
164Max ChiltonMarussia-Ferrari+2 Lap17
1713Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault+3 Lap20
Ret6Nico RosbergMercedes+24 Laps1
Ret9Marcus EricssonCaterham-Renault+41 Laps21
Ret21Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari+43 Laps19
Ret19Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes+52 Laps15
Ret7Kimi RäikkönenFerrari+52 Laps18

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