Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel passed the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas to win a British Grand Prix full of action as Lewis Hamilton fought up from the back of the field to take second.
Hamilton drove superbly to recover from a first-lap collision with Vettel’s team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, and the result hinged on two late-race safety cars, when world champion Hamilton’s Mercedes team took a strategic gamble.
Unlike rivals Ferrari and Red Bull, Mercedes chose not to pit both their drivers for fresh tyres at the first safety car intervention.
The decision promoted Bottas, who had run second from the start, to the lead ahead of Vettel, while it gained Hamilton two places on the track, propelling him to third ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Raikkonen.
It was a gamble that paid off for the Briton – winning him crucial points in his title fight with Vettel and limiting the damage that could have been caused after the first lap – but failed with Bottas, who ran out of tyres and was passed by Vettel, Hamilton and Raikkonen before the end of the race.
Hamilton is eight points behind German Vettel in the championship, which is as tight as ever as the season approaches its halfway point.