Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has won the British Grand Prix before delighted home fans to make it a hat trick of victories at Silverstone.
The Briton led from a safety car start on Sunday for his fourth win of the season and the 47th of his career as he equalled Nigel Mansell’s British record of four F1 wins, while Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo narrowly missed out on a podium finish.
The victory, following last week’s win at the Austrian Grand Prix, puts Hamilton just four points behind second-placed Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in the drivers’ standings.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who was second in Austria, was back on the podium in third place, while teammate Ricciardo was fourth.
Rosberg was being investigated by stewards after instructions from his team late in the race following a gearbox problem.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was fifth, followed by Force India duo Sergio Perez and Nico Huelkenberg, Carlos Sainz in a Toro Rosso, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Daniil Kvyat in a Toro Rosso.
A heavy shower shortly before the start caused a safety car start, and when the safety car went in on lap five several teams including Ferrari went straight into the pits for the intermediate tyres.
The top four initially stayed out on the wet tyres but Hamilton, Rosberg and Verstappen eventually changed on a drying track on lap eight in a virtual safety car phase.
Verstappen got past Rosberg on the outside on lap 16 to loud cheers from the stands, but the German – after complaining about Verstappen’s defensive tactics – eventually overtook the Dutch teenager on lap 38.
Several cars slid off at a slippery Turn One, and on lap 28, Hamilton was also a victim closely followed by Verstappen for a second time, but both avoided the gravel and recovered quickly to return to the track.
Vettel’s torrid weekend continued, when after a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change, the four-time world champion lost time with a spin on lap 18 and was later given a five-second penalty for forcing Felipe Massa of Williams wide, which dropped him a place to 10th.
Any hopes Rosberg had of challenging Hamilton disappeared when he suffered a gear problem with four laps remaining and was told to skip seventh gear – leading to an investigation for being given radio instructions by his team.
The home crowd were on their feet as Hamilton took the last lap to take the chequered flag by more than six seconds over Rosberg.
“Awesome stuff Lewis, great job,” Hamilton was told by his race engineer over radio.
“Great job this weekend guys, thank you for your continued efforts,” Hamilton replied.