MOTOR RACING

Emphatic victory for Hamilton at Silverstone

Briton wins incident-packed home grand prix as Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg fails to finish

PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 July, 2014, 12:30am
UPDATED : Monday, 07 July, 2014, 12:38am
AFP

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Lewis Hamilton delighted a 120,000 crowd of enthusiastic home fans when he revived his world championship bid on Sunday with an emphatic victory in a dramatic incident-filled British Grand Prix.

The 29-year-old Briton took full advantage of Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg's first non-finish of the season, due to gearbox problems, to reduce the German's lead in the title race to just four points.

Driving with great elan and speed, the 2008 champion Hamilton came home 30 seconds clear of second-placed Finn Valtteri Bottas of Williams, who started from 14th on the grid.

This just proves you should never give up! I have got so many mixed feelings and you never want to see a teammate go out
Lewis Hamilton

It was Hamilton's second home win at the British Grand Prix, his fifth of the season and the 27th of his career, drawing him level with his fellow Briton, three-time champion Jackie Stewart, in the record books.

"You can't touch this Lewis - home grand prix," said Hamilton's race engineer on the team radio. "England! What a great feeling, guys. I couldn't be happier … a fantastic job today, as ever!" responded Hamilton.

Later, from the podium, he added: "This just proves you should never give up! I have got so many mixed feelings and you never want to see a teammate go out."

Australian Daniel Ricciardo, of Red Bull, finished third ahead of 2009 champion Briton Jenson Button, of McLaren, defending four-time champion German Sebastian Vettel in the second Red Bull and two-time champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso of Ferrari.

Alonso's teammate Finn Kimi Raikkonen was involved in a spectacular high-speed opening lap accident that halted the race for an hour, for repairs to the barriers. He lost control, spun, hit the barriers and collided with Brazilian Felipe Massa's Williams.

Both escaped serious injury, but Raikkonen, whose car was massively damaged, limped away and required later X-rays on his right ankle. Massa was forced out with a damaged car.

Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen finished seventh for McLaren ahead of German Nico Hulkenberg of Force India, Russian rookie Daniil Kvyat of Toro Rosso and 10th-placed Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne in the second Toro Rosso.

At the start, Rosberg made a near-perfect getaway from his fourth pole of the season while Hamilton, from sixth, swiftly rose to fourth before the race was red-flagged to a halt when Raikkonen lost control of his Ferrari, spun across the track and crashed heavily into the barriers on the Wellington Straight.

Massa took rapid action but could not avoid a collision that tore off the rear left wheel of his Williams car while Raikkonen's Ferrari was almost destroyed. The Finn, however, managed to climb out of the cockpit and limp away.

When the race restarted, Rosberg streaked. Hamilton, from fourth, charged after him, passing the McLarens of Magnussen and Button on successive laps to take second.

But by lap 29, Rosberg was struggling to survive as his gearbox began seizing up, Hamilton grabbing his chance to sweep into the lead.

Within seconds, it was all over. Rosberg coasted to a halt at Becketts and switched off, leaving Hamilton with the prospect of a clear run to the flag and a chance to cut a lump out of his teammate's 29-point prerace advantage in the title race.