Sebastian Vettel wins British Grand Prix in thrilling dash to the finish

Sebastian Vettel passed Valtteri Bottas late on to win a thrilling British Grand Prix in which Lewis Hamilton charged back to second after being spun around on the opening lap

Sebastian Vettel wins British Grand Prix in thrilling dash to the finish

Mercedes used a safety car to get Bottas ahead of early race leader Vettel but the Ferrari driver used fresher, softer tyres to steal the victory with a superb move five laps from the end of the race.

Hamilton then nailed team-mate Bottas at the same spot a lap later to seal second and Kimi Raikkonen made it a hat-trick of late passes at Brooklands to demote his countryman from the podium entirely.

Hamilton dropped to the tail of the field at the start after Raikkonen locked his right-front tyre at the tight Turn 3 right-hander at Village, ran wide and clouted the Mercedes.

Raikkonen continued behind both Red Bulls but was handed a 10-second penalty, which would negate his on-track pass of Daniel Ricciardo into Copse, while Hamilton resumed in 17th.

Vettel had already assumed the lead after jumping Hamilton off the line and built a commanding lead in the first part of the opening stint, opening up a six-second gap over Bottas.

Hamilton charged back into the points by lap six and was into sixth four laps later, by which time he was already more than a pitstop behind the race leaders.

Bottas began to chip away at Vettel as the Ferrari struggled with its tyres and the lead was down to 4.8s when Vettel stopped on lap 20.

Bottas pitted a lap later and Mercedes got Hamilton to release him with a cleanly-orchestrated position-swap at Brooklands the following lap, and the Finn started to nibble further into Vettel's lead.

He had brought it down to 2.4s when Marcus Ericsson lost the rear of his car when he turned into the first corner with DRS still open and flew across the gravel and nose-first into the tyres.

That triggered a safety car on lap 32 of 52 and Ferrari reacted by pitting Vettel but Mercedes told Bottas to stay out and claim track position.

Behind, Hamilton moved up to third as Max Verstappen and Raikkonen pit, with Ricciardo staying in sixth as the safety car was called just after he had made a second stop and handed track position to Raikkonen.

Bottas gunned the throttle at the end of the Hangar Straight on lap 37 and kept Vettel at bay, as Raikkonen and Verstappen engaged in a fierce fight that went the way of the Red Bull.

The race was neutralised again moments later for an accident at Copse between Carlos Sainz Jr and Romain Grosjean, when Sainz attacked on the outside but Grosjean suffered a wobble at the apex.

Both flew off-track and into retirement, with Grosjean ending a miserable race that started with him dropping out of the points on the opening lap thanks to a collision with team-mate Kevin Magnussen.

The safety car's second appearance lasted three laps, setting up an 11-lap sprint at the end.

Bottas resisted Vettel again at the restart before coming under attack into the Brooklands left-hander at the end of the Wellington Straight three laps in row.

He held on until lap 47, when Vettel took advantage of a slight wobble from Bottas exiting The Loop onto the Wellington Straight and drafted him towards Brooklands before diving inside very late as Bottas failed to cover the inside line.

That released Vettel into a lead he would hold to the end, while Hamilton forced his way inside Bottas at Brooklands a lap later.

Raikkonen cleared Verstappen before the Dutchman retired with a long-standing brake-by-wire problem then blew past Bottas for third on the outside into Brooklands using DRS.

Bottas managed to keep Ricciardo at bay to finish fourth, with Nico Hulkenberg finishing sixth for Renault after taking advantage of the messy first lap to jump five places, and he held that best-of-the-rest slot to the end.

Force India's Esteban Ocon was a quiet but excellent seventh, as Fernando Alonso bested Magnussen in a fiery late fight to finish eighth.

Pierre Gasly claimed the final point in 10th for Toro Rosso and Honda.

Race result

Pos Driver Car Laps Gap
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 52 1h27m29.784s
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 52 2.264s
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 52 3.652s
4 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 52 8.883s
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 52 9.500s
6 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 52 28.220s
7 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 52 29.930s
8 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Renault 52 31.115s
9 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 52 33.188s
10 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 52 34.708s
11 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Renault 52 35.774s
12 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 52 38.106s
13 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Honda 52 39.129s
14 Sergey Sirotkin Williams/Mercedes 52 48.113s
15 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 46 Brakes
- Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 37 Collision
- Carlos Sainz Jr. Renault 37 Collision
- Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 31 Spun off
- Charles Leclerc Sauber/Ferrari 18 Wheel
- Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Honda 1 Power Unit

Drivers' standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Sebastian Vettel 171
2 Lewis Hamilton 163
3 Kimi Raikkonen 116
4 Daniel Ricciardo 106
5 Valtteri Bottas 104
6 Max Verstappen 93
7 Nico Hulkenberg 42
8 Fernando Alonso 40
9 Kevin Magnussen 39
10 Carlos Sainz Jr. 28
11 Esteban Ocon 25
12 Sergio Perez 24
13 Pierre Gasly 18
14 Charles Leclerc 13
15 Romain Grosjean 12
16 Stoffel Vandoorne 8
17 Lance Stroll 4
18 Marcus Ericsson 3
19 Brendon Hartley 1
20 Sergey Sirotkin 0

Constructors' standings

Pos Constructor Points
1 Ferrari 287
2 Mercedes 267
3 Red Bull/Renault 199
4 Renault 70
5 Haas/Ferrari 51
6 Force India/Mercedes 49
7 McLaren/Renault 48
8 Toro Rosso/Honda 19
9 Sauber/Ferrari 16
10 Williams/Mercedes 4


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Series Formula 1
Drivers Sebastian Vettel
Author Scott Mitchell
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