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Hamilton cuts Vettel title lead

16 July 2017 National Sport


Hamilton now just one point back on Vettel as difficult race for title leader compounded by late puncture; Raikkonen’s Ferrari also runs into tyre woe and loses second to Bottas

Last Updated: 16/07/17 3:05pm

Lewis Hamilton has cut Sebastian Vettel’s title lead to just one point at the halfway stage of the F1 season with a dominant, record-equalling fifth British GP victory.

Vettel was only seventh after an incredible end at Silverstone saw both Ferraris pick up punctures and make emergency pit stops.

Kimi Raikkonen had been on course for second and Vettel fourth, but their unplanned late stops promoted Valtteri Bottas from third to second and gifted Mercedes an unexpected one-two.

Raikkonen salvaged third, just his third podium of the year, but Vettel lost three places and as a result his season-long championship lead over Hamilton has been all-but wiped out.

Having started the race 20 points back on Vettel, Hamilton’s now-one point deficit is the closest the rivals have been in the standings since the second round of the season.

Bottas’s second place means he closes to within 23 points of the summit with 10 races to go.

Despite also pitting with two laps to go with a puncture, Max Verstappen took fourth for his first finish since May, while Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo thrilled the Silverstone crowd with a stirring drive from the back row to fifth.

Sixth-placed Nico Hulkenberg capped a fine weekend with Renault’s best result since their return to F1 team ownership last year.

It’s Verstappen v Vettel in the battle of the British GP!

Hamilton’s British GP week had begun with heavy criticism from the media about his absence from F1’s London street demonstration, but the triple world champion appeared the quickest driver around his home circuit all weekend.

After recording the most dominant pole of the season so far on Saturday, Hamilton was never headed at the front on Sunday to equal the great Jim Clark’s 40-year-old record of five British GP victories. Alain Prost also equalled the mark in 1993.

Hamilton also ties Clark as the only drivers to win the British GP four years in succession.

More to follow…


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