Australian Daniel Ricciardo has finished third in the British Grand Prix, as Lewis Hamilton revived his world championship bid with an emphatic victory in the drama-filled race.
Hamilton took full advantage of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg’s first non-finish of the season, due to gearbox problems, to reduce the German’s lead in the title race to just four points.
Driving with great elan and speed, the 2008 champion Hamilton came home 30 seconds clear of second-placed Finn Valtteri Bottas of Williams, who started from 14th on the grid.
It was the 29-year-old’s second home win at the British Grand Prix, his fifth of the season and the 27th of his career – drawing him level with fellow-Briton three-time champion Jackie Stewart in the record books.
“This just proves you should never give up! I have got so many mixed feelings and you never want to see a team-mate go out,” Hamilton said from the podium.
Ricciardo, of Red Bull, finished third ahead of 2009 champion Briton Jenson Button, of McLaren, defending four-time champion German Sebastian Vettel in the second Red Bull and two-time champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso of Ferrari.
Alonso’s team-mate Finn Kimi Raikkonen was involved in a spectacular high-speed opening lap accident that halted the race for an hour, for repairs to the barriers.
He lost control, spun, hit the barriers and collided with Brazilian Felipe Massa’s Williams.
Both escaped serious injury, but Raikkonen, whose car was massively damaged, limped away and required later x-rays on his right ankle.
Massa was forced out with a damaged car.
Rosberg pitted from the lead after 18 laps, for a stop of 2.7 seconds, and Hamilton took over the lead, extending it to more than 15 seconds within three laps as he stayed out on his original tyres.
Rosberg reported a gearbox problem following his stop, but it did not affect his speed as he rejoined second and chased after Hamilton.
Rosberg’s problems worsened and by lap 29 he was struggling to survive as his gearbox began seizing up, Hamilton grabbing his chance to sweep into the lead.
Within seconds, it was all over.
Rosberg coasted to a halt at Becketts and switched off, leaving Hamilton with the prospect of a clear run to the flag and a chance to cut a lump out of his team-mate’s 29-point pre-race advantage in the title race.