Vettel beats Hamilton in Silverstone classic


Mercedes continued with their medium tyres and with Hamilton's team-mate Valtteri Bottas, leading ahead of Sebastian Vettel, Hamilton fought closely to chase down the German in a final bid to win on homesoil.

Vettel was thus able to roll home and extend his World Championship lead even if Hamilton's run to second made for some very impressive damage limitation.

The Englishman clearly blamed Raikkonen, who was handed a 10-seconds penalty, for the crash and found it hard to face the Finn or accept an apology.

Hartley crashed during practice for the Spanish Grand Prix, was forced out of the Canada Grand Prix after a collision on the first lap and had to retire from last week's Austrian Grand Prix with mechanical trouble.

Asked later by reporters about the comment and whether he suspected the incident had been deliberate, Hamilton only fanned the flames, saying: "All I'd say is that it's now two races that the Ferraris have taken out one of the Mercedes, and a five-second penalty and a 10-second penalty doesn't appear to feel".

The Swede was unhurt and climbed out to applause from the crowd as a Safety Car was deployed.

After 10 events, Vettel leads the championship on 171 points, followed by Hamilton with 163 and Raikkonen with 116. Verstappen and Raikkonen were third and fourth with Ricciardo fifth.

Hamilton has to take some of the blame for the third corner incident with Raikkonen that ended any chance of turning pole position into a fifth straight victory at the former WWII airfield.

But Wolff's counterpart at Ferrari, Arrivabene, was livid.

"I was a bit concerned (about my neck injury) going into the race but I was fine. He spun, my bad", said the 2007 world champion.

But the Mercedes driver struggled to hide his disappointment.

Force India's Esteban Ocon was a quiet but excellent seventh, as Fernando Alonso bested Magnussen in a fiery late fight to finish eighth. In France, I lost my wing so I screwed my race.

Dutch 20-year-old Max Verstappen, victor in Austria last weekend, retired with a brake problem while running in fifth place.

Despite a long term contract which secured the race until 2026, it finally dawned on the circuit's owners - the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) - that the deal agreed with Bernie Ecclestone which included an annual 5% increment, meant that by the end of the contract what had begun as an £11.5m fee would have risen to £25m.

Stoffel Vandoorne finished 12th for McLaren ahead the Williams pair of Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin, who were the last classified finishers in 13th and 14th respectively. It was only a couple of laps where he had a proper shot.