SILVERSTONE, England (AP) — Lewis Hamilton slashed Sebastian Vettel’s Formula One championship lead to one point by winning a record-equaling fifth British Grand Prix on Sunday as his title rival was left reeling by a late puncture.
Vettel was in third heading into the penultimate lap at Silverstone only to see his front left tire shred — immediately after Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen’s car experienced the same fate.
Raikkonen still made the podium by replacing Vettel in third, but the championship leader fell back to seventh as the 25-point lead he held over Hamilton going into the 10th round of the 20-race season was all but wiped out on an overcast afternoon in central England.
It capped a dominant weekend for Hamilton in front of his home fans and the three-time world champion was assisted by Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas making up seven places to join him on the podium after finishing second.
“Great drive by Valtteri,” Hamilton said over the team radio after claiming victory. “Fantastic job, all weekend.”
For Hamilton, the victory after failing to make the podium in his last two races will vindicate the decision to embark on a two-day holiday to Greece after last weekend’s Austrian GP. The jaunt annoyed racing fans in London who turned up to a flagship showcase of the sport that was attended by the other 19 drivers.
ROB HARRIS, AP Sports Writer