Lewis Hamilton hits back at critics after winning British Grand Prix

Ruben Hill
July 17, 2017

Hamilton swept away his championship rivals in emphatic style during qualifying, beating nearest challenger Kimi Raikkonen to pole for the British Grand Prix by over half a second.

The Australian would have been set to drop to the back of the grid anyway due to a five-place gearbox change penalty, but tumbling lap times meant he ended the session 20th and last.

Max Verstappen was fifth for Red Bull ahead of Nico Hulkenberg of Renault, Sergio Perez and his Force India team-mate Esteban Ocon.

Bottas said: "I am really happy for this today".

"Mercedes are very fast, but if we get everything right we can be challenging Ferrari tomorrow", Ricciardo said, looking ahead to Saturday's qualifying.

"Hindsight is great, with hindsight it is easy, but at the time it felt okay", Vettel said of the decision to carry on. But he did just one lap.

Hamilton made a flawless getaway under heavy grey skies while Vettel had flames leaping from his Ferrari's brake drum, a distraction that did nothing to stop Verstappen passing him for third on the opening lap. It is a blow for Bottas, who had raced so well in Austria, but it should give Hamilton a free run to take the 67th pole position of his career and put himself in a strong position to revitalise his championship challenge. Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso - Renault 1:31.368 15.

Lewis Hamilton stamped his authority at the 2017 British Grand Prix with a lead of 14 seconds over his team-mate Valterri Bottas.

Vettel and Verstappen were scrapping on and off the track in a fight for third, giving the packed crowd several thrilling moments.

By lap 24, Hamilton had a cushion of more than 10 seconds on Raikkonen but knew Bottas was a threat too as the only top driver to have started on softs rather than super-softs. The polycarbonate shield, placed on Vettel's Ferrari for the first time, is created to protect against flying debris while offering an unrestricted view.

For the Silver Arrows outfit it is only the second 1-2 finish this season and it came after the Ferraris had a last lap drama with their tyres. There was further bad luck for Fernando Alonso though when he retired with yet another engine failure.

Raikkonen returned to rescue a podium finish, while Vettel had to settle for seventh.

The Finn tried to pass him on lap 42, when Vettel defended his position, but succeeded a lap later by surging past on Hangar Straight into Stowe as the German's tyres faded.

Both drivers said that they detected nothing untoward before their front left tyres lost their treads, Raikkonen's on the 49th of the 51 laps, Vettel's on the 50th.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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