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Hamilton eases to British GP win for fourth straight year

by 16/07/2017 20:01:00 0 comments 1 Views
  • Lewis Hamilton leads every lap of the British Grand Prix as he cruises to a fourth successive win in the race 
  • Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas takes second with Kimi Raikkonen third after Sebastian Vettel puncture
  • Vettel suffers tyre blow out on penultimate lap to send him plummeting to seventh overall 
  • The Ferrari driver now just one point ahead of the British favourite in the overall driver's championship 
  • British driver Jolyon Palmer suffers hydraulic failure during formation lap and forced to retire before the race
  • Toro Rosso drivers Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz crash into each other on opening lap, Sainz forced to retire
  • Fernando Alonso also forced out early after his McLaren suffers yet another mechanical malfunction
  • CLICK HERE to re-live all the action from Silverstone as it happened with Sportsmail's Dan Ripley 
  • READ: More F1 news, features and points tables 

By Jonathan McEvoy for the Daily Mail

Published: 09:33 EDT, 16 July 2017 | Updated: 20:01 EDT, 16 July 2017

Lewis Hamilton, the rock-star hero of modern Silverstone, went surfing triumphantly on the hands of his adoring public.

By winning the British Grand Prix with a searing performance, he had driven himself level with a different man from a bygone age, Jim Clark, and no acclaim for the Stevenage-born battler's sporting prowess was too much.

The triple world champion gazed at the old golden trophy and surveyed the names engraved around its base. He could see that of Clark and himself among Stewart and Moss and Mansell and all the rest. But, of the Brits, only Hamilton and Clark have won Formula One's oldest race five times. Only those two have won it on four successive occasions. 

Lewis Hamilton has won the British Grand Prix for the fourth year in a row after a comfortable win at Silverstone
Lewis Hamilton has won the British Grand Prix for the fourth year in a row after a comfortable win at Silverstone

Lewis Hamilton has won the British Grand Prix for the fourth year in a row after a comfortable win at Silverstone

Such was Hamilton's dominance that he led every single lap of the race and stayed in front even after going for his pit stop
Such was Hamilton's dominance that he led every single lap of the race and stayed in front even after going for his pit stop

Such was Hamilton's dominance that he led every single lap of the race and stayed in front even after going for his pit stop

While there was drama behind him in the latter stages, it was a serene experience for Hamilton who took the chequered flag
While there was drama behind him in the latter stages, it was a serene experience for Hamilton who took the chequered flag

While there was drama behind him in the latter stages, it was a serene experience for Hamilton who took the chequered flag

Hamilton slashed Sebastian Vettel's lead in the championship standings to one point after the German suffered a puncture
Hamilton slashed Sebastian Vettel's lead in the championship standings to one point after the German suffered a puncture

Hamilton slashed Sebastian Vettel's lead in the championship standings to one point after the German suffered a puncture

Hamilton celebrates on the podium, with team-mate Valtteri Bottas (left) in second and a disappointed Kimi Raikkonen third
Hamilton celebrates on the podium, with team-mate Valtteri Bottas (left) in second and a disappointed Kimi Raikkonen third

Hamilton celebrates on the podium, with team-mate Valtteri Bottas (left) in second and a disappointed Kimi Raikkonen third

Hamilton crowd surfed on the adoring Silverstone spectators after winning his fifth British Grand Prix in his whole career
Hamilton crowd surfed on the adoring Silverstone spectators after winning his fifth British Grand Prix in his whole career

Hamilton crowd surfed on the adoring Silverstone spectators after winning his fifth British Grand Prix in his whole career

RACE RESULTS AND CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Fifty-five years separate Clark's first victory from Sunday's race, in which Hamilton reduced his deficit to Sebastian Vettel to a single point at the season's halfway point after his Ferrari rival suffered a puncture in a late twist under leaden skies.

Clark's original triumph came in 1962. And what did he do to celebrate winning his home race? He returned to the Borders and next morning he was herding sheep.

Times change and the jet-set Lewis, with the twinkling earrings, yelled from the podium: 'I'm coming over to crowd surf. You better get ready for it.'

The throng in front of the ceremonial dais yelled their support, some waved flags. Nobody since Nigel Mansell has whipped up the Silverstone crowd into seething delight as much as Hamilton. 

Vettel suffered a nightmare ending to the race after his front tyre blew out, forcing him down to seventh in the race
Vettel suffered a nightmare ending to the race after his front tyre blew out, forcing him down to seventh in the race

Vettel suffered a nightmare ending to the race after his front tyre blew out, forcing him down to seventh in the race

Vettel's puncture created an incredible display of sparks before it exploded, causing him to hobble on three wheels
Vettel's puncture created an incredible display of sparks before it exploded, causing him to hobble on three wheels

Vettel's puncture created an incredible display of sparks before it exploded, causing him to hobble on three wheels

The two Toro Rosso cars came together on the opening lap, with Carlos Sainz forced to retire after he hit Daniil Kvyat
The two Toro Rosso cars came together on the opening lap, with Carlos Sainz forced to retire after he hit Daniil Kvyat

The two Toro Rosso cars came together on the opening lap, with Carlos Sainz forced to retire after he hit Daniil Kvyat

As the team mates duelled in the middle of the pack, Kvyat appeared to catch Sainz on the side and send him spinning
As the team mates duelled in the middle of the pack, Kvyat appeared to catch Sainz on the side and send him spinning

As the team mates duelled in the middle of the pack, Kvyat appeared to catch Sainz on the side and send him spinning

Sainz was left furious by the incident, as his car caught the Haas of Kevin Magnussen as it span, forcing him out of the race
Sainz was left furious by the incident, as his car caught the Haas of Kevin Magnussen as it span, forcing him out of the race

Sainz was left furious by the incident, as his car caught the Haas of Kevin Magnussen as it span, forcing him out of the race

It was another nightmare for Fernando Alonso who had to retire when his unreliable McLaren had a mechanical malfunction 
It was another nightmare for Fernando Alonso who had to retire when his unreliable McLaren had a mechanical malfunction 

It was another nightmare for Fernando Alonso who had to retire when his unreliable McLaren had a mechanical malfunction 

British driver Jolyon Palmer endured a nightmare and was forced to retire on the formation lap after a hydraulics failure
British driver Jolyon Palmer endured a nightmare and was forced to retire on the formation lap after a hydraulics failure

British driver Jolyon Palmer endured a nightmare and was forced to retire on the formation lap after a hydraulics failure

But it was the links with Clark that swept Hamilton into the top drawer. 'Legend' was one description thrown at him. He modestly said such a word does not resonate with him. It is for old age and retirement, he said. But he added: 'I don't know how I can drive the way I can. I feel blessed.'

This fabulous, often windswept track on an old airfield in Northamptonshire has acted as the scene of some Hamilton magnificence over the years — never more so than in 2008, when he was a minute better in the soaking wet than everyone else, echoes of Ayrton Senna at Donington in 1993. But his supremacy this past weekend was perhaps more complete, if less startling.

Sir Jackie Stewart, the only other Briton to win three world titles, and a close friend of Clark before the Scottish farmer died at Hockenheim in a Formula Two race in 1968, was quick to acknowledge a brilliant drive when he saw one yesterday.

'He drove very, very well,' said Stewart. 'To have more than 10 seconds to play with was impressive.' 

Hamilton leads the cars on the opening lap; Max Verstappen (right) had overtaken Sebastian Vettel to gain third place
Hamilton leads the cars on the opening lap; Max Verstappen (right) had overtaken Sebastian Vettel to gain third place

Hamilton leads the cars on the opening lap; Max Verstappen (right) had overtaken Sebastian Vettel to gain third place

Hamilton was seeking a fourth successive victory at Silverstone and extended his lead amidst a chaotic start to the race
Hamilton was seeking a fourth successive victory at Silverstone and extended his lead amidst a chaotic start to the race

Hamilton was seeking a fourth successive victory at Silverstone and extended his lead amidst a chaotic start to the race

Verstappen and Vettel battled hard for third place mid-race, both drivers being forced off the track during their duel
Verstappen and Vettel battled hard for third place mid-race, both drivers being forced off the track during their duel

Verstappen and Vettel battled hard for third place mid-race, both drivers being forced off the track during their duel

Why is Hamilton so strong at Silverstone? 'Cos I own it,' he joked. Have we unearthed a new buyer to save the British Grand Prix? If only, although he did say the race should never be lost from the calendar. There are two years for a new deal to be struck between the BRDC and Liberty Media — respectively the track's and the sport's owners — and both sides are cautiously optimistic.

In light of the furore that followed Hamilton all the way to Silverstone — snubbing the pre-race London parade last Wednesday — he was composure itself. He took pole by more than half a second. He led every lap. He set the fastest lap. He won by 14sec from his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

Everything within his control worked out, so did everything outside his ken. Vettel's rubber went pop on the penultimate lap. The German was one of three drivers to suffer front-left tyre failure. The rubber flapped before he was re-shod. He went from fourth to finish seventh.

Bottas is worthy of praise for his fine drive from ninth to second, including a smart pass on Vettel. Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was third. 

The British crowd were very much behind the home favourite Hamilton in his title battle with Ferrari rival Vettel
The British crowd were very much behind the home favourite Hamilton in his title battle with Ferrari rival Vettel

The British crowd were very much behind the home favourite Hamilton in his title battle with Ferrari rival Vettel

Commentator Martin Brundle was not able to commentate on the race after being taken ill shortly before the start
Commentator Martin Brundle was not able to commentate on the race after being taken ill shortly before the start

Commentator Martin Brundle was not able to commentate on the race after being taken ill shortly before the start

There were a few edgy skirmishes as Vettel and Max Verstappen duelled at high speed early on. Vettel tried to pass the Dutchman on the outside of Stowe. Verstappen was pushed on to the gravel and they bumped wheels on exit.

But Verstappen came back at him into Club with a vengeance. This time he squeezed Vettel and defended his position. Vettel waved his arms in anger, but bit his tongue. Verstappen let fly over the radio. 'He wants to play bumper cars,' said the Red Bull scrapper. It was hard but fair racing, and hats off to them for that.

What Jolyon Palmer would have given for some action out there. He was due to start from 11th but a hydraulic fault meant his race was over before it started.

Palmer needs a run of luck to score his first point of the season but nothing is going his way.

Carlos Sainz was punted off by his Toro Rosso team-mate Daniil Kvyat. 'Tell Dani he did a very good job there,' said the Spaniard in a comment laced with sarcasm as Kvyaat was handed a drive-through penalty. More woe for McLaren with Fernando Alonso losing power from his Honda engine and retiring.

All were footnotes in the story of Hamilton's drive through the record books.

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