Formula One: Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton wins British Grand Prix

AP, Sunday 10 Jul 2016

Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team's British driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates with teammates in the paddock after winning the British Formula One Grand Prix at Silverstone motor racing circuit in Silverstone, central England, on July 10, 2016. (AFP)

Defending Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton reeled off his fourth win in five races Sunday to storm to victory in the British Grand Prix.

The 31-year-old Englishman came home 6.9 seconds clear of his German teammate Nico Rosberg. Dutch teenager Max Verstappen was third ahead of his Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo of Australia.

Hamilton's victory completes a hat trick of consecutive home wins at the British Grand Prix for the Mercedes driver, and is his fourth win on home soil and the 47th of his career.

The win cut Rosberg's lead in the world championship to four points, subject to an investigation into the German's comments during a radio dialogue with his pit crew as he tried to resolve a gearbox problem late in the race.

Kimi Raikkonen finished fifth for Ferrari ahead of Sergio Perez and his Force India teammate Nico Hulkenberg, Carlos Sainz of Toro Rosso, Sebastian Vettel in the second Ferrari and Daniil Kvyat in the second Toro Rosso.

In a reversal of the scenes last week at the Austrian Grand Prix, where a victorious Hamilton and Rosberg collided on the final lap, Rosberg was booed by fans during the podium ceremony.

''A great job and thank you so much guys for your efforts back at the factory,'' said Hamilton on his victory lap. ''Right now, I'm thinking about all the people.''

He then ran and cavorted in front of them before getting in among the spectators.

From the podium, he said: ''We've got the best fans here so thank you so much . I am not sure you can be as happy as I am.

''I did everything I could to save that engine,'' he added, explaining why he had not performed any 'donuts' to celebrate his win. ''I saved it for quite a long period of time . So now, keep your fingers crossed, I'm catching him!'' he added, pointing at his teammate.

Rosberg didn't offer a direct reply.

''It was a tricky start in the wet. Then, Max got ahead of me and it was an exciting race. l got back past him, which I was very happy about, but I couldn't catch Lewis. He did a great job today,'' Rosberg said.

A downpour before the race created havoc and an immediate call for ''full wet'' tires and a start behind the safety car. Hamilton led the way for six laps before racing began.

Both Mercedes drivers pitted for their intermediate tires on lap eight, ahead of the Red Bulls, when a virtual safety car was deployed as Pascal Wehrlein spun off the still-wet track.

By lap 12, Hamilton was 5.2 seconds clear as he raced in tire-conservation mode ahead of Rosberg and Verstappen, who was another 1.4 seconds back. Perez was 10 seconds adrift in fourth.

Vettel was first in for slick tires after 15 laps before Verstappen swept past Rosberg to take second.

With Hamilton leading, a series of pit stops followed, which gave Verstappen a brief run at the front before he pitted and rejoined second, 7.1 seconds behind the champion.

Hamilton managed his tires while Rosberg attacked the Dutchman relentlessly, but in vain, until lap 38 when he swept past and began to hunt down his teammate.

Rosberg slowed on lap 47 after reporting ''gearbox problems'' and fell back three seconds to 11 adrift of Hamilton. ''Avoid seventh gear,'' the team told him before he recovered to secure his podium finish.

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