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It's a cake walk for Hamilton at Silverstone

Lewis Hamilton started the British Grand Prix at Silverstone from the pole position and when the lights went out to start the race he darted into the lead and never looked back. Hamilton worked has way to lead so large he was able to make his pit stop for the mandatory tire change and return to the action without losing the lead. Hamilton was never challenged, the out-come of the race in little doubt from beginning to end.

"I’m so happy… this has got to be one of my sweetest wins here." said Hamilton "I was gunning for this victory. There was so much negativity ahead of the race, with people questioning how I prepared for the race. But this weekend has been one of my strongest of the weekend. I made a solid start and then after that I managed the car and the balance, and the boys did a fantastic pit stop. I really can't find a fault at the moment. The team did an exceptional job this weekend and Valtteri obviously drove a stormer today - I’m proud of him. It's great to have him in the team. I’m surprised to see the issues the Ferrari had because I didn’t see any debris. I did not expect to come away from this weekend just one point behind Sebastian. This result really opens up the championship – and we go to Hungary next, where I’ve always gone well. Every time I came around Turn 7, I could see the fans cheering every single lap. It was really reminiscent of 2008, my first Grand Prix win here. I've got some great supporters here, not only in the crowd, but in the garage as well. I've got my brother here, some of my aunties and family has come too. There's this amazing young kid who's come from South Africa, Michael, who is fighting cancer. It was amazing to see him. And Billy Monger is with us, who is just such an inspiration."

With this win Hamilton took his 57th career victory, his fifth at the Silverstone Circuit, and fourth of the 2017 season. It was also Hamilton's fifth career Grand Slam, claiming pole, the victory, fastest lap and leading every lap of the Grand Prix weekend.

While Hamilton was on a Sunday drive through the British countryside there was drama behind his Silver Arrows. On the opening lap the Torro Rosso duo of Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat managed to take each other out. Sainz cleanly passed Kvyat but the Russian decided to retaliate making over driving his car into Saint ending the day for both.

After a Safety Car appearance to clean what was left of the Torro Rosso team from the circuit racing resumed with Hamilton comfortably in the lead followed by Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari, Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen and the second Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel.

Behind the leaders Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas were moving forward. Ricciardo starting 19th after a mechanical issue sidelined him early in qualifying quickly worked through traffic and into the top ten while on his way to a fifth place finish.

“I hope they showed a lot of that on TV." said Ricciardo "I just felt like the whole race I was overtaking cars and I hope the fans enjoyed it. We made up a chunk of positions early on and then I got a bit greedy, went off track and ended up at the back again. It was great fun coming back through the field and I gave it everything. I caught Hulkenberg with a few laps to go and then Seb had his issue which handed me fifth, so danke Sebastian. I’ve been really happy with how I’ve been putting my Sundays together for the last handful of races, it’s been strong and to get fifth from the back today I really couldn’t ask for more. Last week I was the hunted and this week the hunter, I love the fight of this sport and today I felt I could really enjoy that. I would give this race ten out of ten in terms of fun. I think you could say that in the last six races the Honey Badger has certainly shown up on Sunday and it’s been great fun.”

Bottas, who started ninth because of a penalty for changing the gearbox in his Mercedes quickly worked his way into the top five on his way to a podium finish.

As the laps began to run out Hamilton led Raikkonen, Vettel and Bottas. On lap 43 of the 51 lap race Bottas and Vettel battled for position but Vettel's softer compound tires began to give out allowing Bottas to gain the position. Bottas then focused on Raikkonen catching the Ferrari with two laps to go in the race. As Bottas began to work his past the Ferrari the right front tire on Raikkonen's car gave out sending his to the pits and insuring a one-two Mercedes finish.

“My race wasn’t going too bad until a few laps before the end." said Raikkonen "I suddenly had the problem, my front left tire let go with no warning; the air stayed in the tire but the rubber part, came off. It’s disappointing because without that issue the second place was secured, and we deserved a better result. We had made some changes to the car and they seemed to have improved the feeling. When it’s like this you are confident and you can push; I hope that it will be a similar story in the future races. However, today we were lacking a little bit of speed against our rivals. We did what we could but obviously there’s some work to be done to catch up the Mercedes in places like this. This is definitely not our strongest type of circuit. I’m interested to see what happens in the next race, I guess the Hungarian track should suit our car better.”

With Raikkonen out of the way Bottas was a able to cap a great drive off with an appearance on the second podium step earning Mercedes a one-two finish, the second of the season

"What a race! I’m really happy for us as a team, to get the second 1-2 of the season." said Bottas "Of course I would have liked to win, but I’m happy anyway because that was definitely one of my best ever races. I had to fight hardcore out there a couple of times, but I ended up in a good position. We could actually go longer than expected in the first stint on the Softs and the tires were really good. In the last stint the team told me to just take care of the tires, because we saw a few failures out there for some other teams, but for me they were fine. We’re just at the half-way point of the season and it could definitely be worst. It’s still just my first year with the team and I’m still right in the championship fight. As a team we did a really good job today. The strategy right from the start of the race worked really well. It was a flawless race for us and the 1-2 was our prize – the team really deserve this. We definitely got lucky with Kimi's puncture in the end, to take P2, but that's racing and today luck was on our side."

If winning the race was not a grand enough prize enough for Hamilton the front right suspension on the Vettel's car gave out on the last lap of the race dropping the Championship Points leader from a fourth place finish to seventh, enough of a change to put Hamilton a single point behind Vettel in the Driver's Title battle. Hamilton with 176 points closes the gap on Vettel who has 177 points with Bottas at 154 points a further 23 points back in third.

“It was a difficult race." said Vettel "The brakes got fire on the grid and I think this is the reason why I had no grip at the start: they were too hot. During the last laps, after the problem with the front left tire, I tried to get the car back and recover some points. It was difficult today because I was stuck at the beginning behind Max, but I am not the one to judge what happened between him and me. After that I think the pace was good, considering the fact that I was on the Soft tires. Valtteri was on other compound, the Supersofts, so it was clear that he would have been strong. Today was not a great day, but we’ll see what happens in Hungary, on a different track.”

2017 British Grand Prix – Race
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 14.063
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 36.570
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 52.125
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1:05.955
6 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:08.109
7 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:33.989
8 Esteban Ocon Force India 1 lap
9 Sergio Perez Force India 1 lap
10 Felipe Massa Williams 1 lap
11 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1 lap
12 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1 lap
13 Romain Grosjean Haas 1 lap
14 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1 lap
15 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1 lap
16 Lance Stroll Williams 1 lap
17 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 1 lap
Ret Fernando Alonso McLaren -
Ret Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso -
Ret Jolyon Palmer Renault

07/17/17

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