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Vettel edges Hamilton to win British Grand Prix

12 Juillet 2018

The spell is broken. I could have easily taken second place today, but we made a decision to go for it.

Vettel, however, who now leads Hamilton by eight points in the title standings, vehemently denied any foul play.

After a slow start which allowed eventual race-winner Sebastian Vettel to pass him, Vettel's team-mate Kimi Raikkonen collided with Hamilton at turn three, sending his auto off the track and leaving him last of 19 cars. Raikkonen apologised for his first lap brush with Hamilton which earned the 38-year-old Finn a 10-second penalty.

"Every incident needs to be looked at, so-called racing incidents for some reason are not allowed to happen any more".

The session began in hot conditions with a track temperature of 51 degrees Celsius (or 124 degrees Fahrenheit) and the air at 26, Vettel following Raikkonen after some intensive physiotherapy to ease his stiff neck.

Bottas would assume the lead from Vettel, with Hamilton now third.

Hamilton was sent spinning and reported that his auto was broken but has so far continued in the race.

"I think there is consistency on the penalties", said Mercedes' team principal. Nonsense boy, get your foot down was the essence of the reply.

Hamilton's arm wrestle is against Vettel, of course.

Vettel leads Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton by a single point after nine races.

The Sauber driver emerged unscathed, but the safety vehicle was sent out. Mercedes rolled the dice positively, as opposed to last week, by keeping Hamilton and Bottas on the circuit.

Hamilton was not convinced. It's always easy to judge these things in hindsight, but at the point we made the call to stay out I was on the same page.

"It's such a technical circuit and it's about vehicle placement and you've got to have the package", Hamilton said. "Don't give up." He still wasn't convinced, once again questioning the value of his tyres. I didn't have anything left when I came in.

We would have to wait for the safety vehicle retreat seven laps later for the numbers to add up.

Bottas was unable to fend off Vettel for the win and later lost positions to Hamilton and Raikkonen as his tyres degraded. The safety auto went in, the safety vehicle came out.

After the Sauber wreckage was cleared, the race resumed only for Romain Grosjean to collide with Carlos Sainz at the high-speed Copse corner.

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.

Hamilton had led until team mate Valtteri Bottas suffered an hydraulics failure and pulled over, bringing out the virtual safety vehicle for one lap.

Wolff said he had been impressed by his driver's creativity, but also recognised he could just decide to quit - as former team mate Nico Rosberg did after winning the 2016 world championship.

Vettel edges Hamilton to win British Grand Prix