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Silverstone success has Vettel and Ferrari roaring in F1 title hunt

10 July 2018
Silverstone success has Vettel and Ferrari roaring in F1 title hunt

Bottas, who had led for long periods of the race, was eventually reeled in and overtaken by Vettel, with Hamilton and Raikkonen doing the same to complete the podium in front of a raucous crowd. Meanwhile, the Finn driver was slapped with a 10-second penalty due to the incident.

Hamilton is bidding for a record sixth win at Silverstone, but his once-dominant team have arrived here under a cloud following strategy mistakes this season.

"You're a lion", the elated team told him over the radio at the chequered flag as they celebrated Ferrari's first win in Britain since 2011.

And while the Mercedes driver has subsequently accepted Raikkonen's apology and that it was a racing incident, the matter rumbles on with F1 fans all having their say.

Bottas said: "I'm disappointed - our pace was good today and it was all going well for me, but I lost it in the last two corners".

Although not yet announced, it is now common knowledge in the paddock that the four-time world champion has signed up again for 2019 and 2020.

The appearance of the safety auto on the 33rd of 52 laps, after Sauber's Marcus Ericsson crashed at Abbey, was greeted with a huge cheer from the 140,500 crowd who had already cheered Hamilton's every overtake.

Mercedes endured one of its worst weekends of the V6 turbo era at the Red Bull Ring, with both cars retiring from the race. He also won the Canadian Grand Prix on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, which, like Silverstone, has recently played to the power-strength of Mercedes.

Raikkonen, it should be noted, is one of the cleanest and fairest racers on the grid, and the idea the Scuderia would order the Finn to attack Hamilton's auto - just as Sebastian Vettel has made a dream start and disappeared into the distance - is preposterous.

"I gave every bit of energy I had, I didn't have anything left when I came in".

"The team did an unbelievable job this weekend, and we had so much support but also so much pressure", he said.

Hamilton had referred to "interesting tactics" immediately after the race, in which Raikkonen hit the back of his vehicle and spun him round on the first lap. Sitting out most of final practice, Vettel received various treatments but, unlike in MotoGP and various other championships, F1 drivers are not allowed to be given pain killing injections to see them through the race.

"I lost almost 3kg trying to get back to the top for you and my team", he wrote. Raikkonen claiming third with three laps to go. I could have easily taken second place today, but we made a decision to go for it. I took 10 seconds and kept fighting.

Force India's Esteban Ocon was a quiet but excellent seventh, as Fernando Alonso passed Magnussen in a fiery late fight to finish eighth.

Dutch 20-year-old Max Verstappen, victor in Austria last weekend, retired with a brake problem while running in fifth place.