Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates pole position. (Reuters)
Lewis Hamilton slashed Sebastian Vettel's Formula One championship lead to one point by winning a record-equaling fifth British Grand Prix on Sunday, with his title rival capitulating after a late puncture.
''We were generally faultless,'' Hamilton said after crowd-surfing with the Silverstone crowd at his home race.
Vettel was in third heading into the penultimate lap at Silverstone but the Ferrari driver fell back into seventh place after his front left tire shredded.
So too did the 20-point lead Vettel held over Hamilton going into the 10th round of the 20-race season.
Even more remarkably for Ferrari, Vettel's tire trouble came immediately after teammate Kimi Raikkonen's car experienced the same misfortune. Raikkonen still made the podium, with only Valtteri Bottas passing him to complete an unexpected Mercedes one-two after making up seven places.
''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 jeered Hamilton's name at the showcase of the sport that was attended by the other 19 drivers.
''There is no reason to question my preparations,'' Hamilton said. ''My performance is second to none.''
Jim Clark and Alain Prost also won the British GP five times.
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