Lewis Hamilton's hopes of a fifth consecutive Silverstone victory went up in smoke within moments of the start: after a poor getaway from pole, the world champion was punted at Turn 3 by Raikkonen as they tussled for third position. The team should have opted to pit the Finn under the first safety vehicle and this would have guaranteed a facile second place. On cue, Marcus Ericsson lost it through Abbey on lap 33.
"An awesome recovery from Lewis, he was dead last, and ending P2 was the maximum damage limitation we could have achieved, a fantastic drive from him", Wolff told Sky F1's Ted Kravitz.
"This is the greatest race of the year and this is the greatest crowd and I'm sorry I wasn't able to bring it home for you today, but thank you for your support", Hamilton said. "Don't give up." He still wasn't convinced, once again questioning the value of his tyres. "The numbers look good to me", came Bono's response.
We would have to wait for the safety vehicle retreat seven laps later for the numbers to add up.
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Belgium and England face off in the third-place match after losing in the semifinals. The best team won on Wednesday, I don't think anyone can really argue with that.
Lapping well around the 5.891-kilometre course, Hamilton soon moved into the points and was 25 seconds off Vettel by lap 9, with the German 5 seconds ahead of Bottas at the front. A safety vehicle was deployed and luckily the Swede walked free after his crash.
Hamilton had surged back with a display of overtaking pace the watching Lord Coe, would have been proud of in his athletics heyday to take second place behind Sebastian Vettel in the other Ferrari. Hamilton second with 163 points.
A mechanical problem forced Verstappen out with a handful of laps remaining. With four laps to go Hamilton rounded his team-mate, whose rear tyres, four laps older the Hamilton's, had lost meaningful traction. In F1 folklore as written by former McLaren leader Ron Dennis, second was always first of the losers.
Hamilton could be proud of his recovery, but Vettel will surely be the happier after extending his lead at the top of the standings with a first win at Silverstone since 2009.
"So I think, balance-wise, we are not far off, but we are losing a lot of lap time on the straights".