Hamilton wins British GP, trims Rosberg's points lead

The Sports NetworkJuly 6, 2014 

Silverstone, England (SportsNetwork.com) - Lewis Hamilton from Mercedes bounced back in the Formula One world championship battle with his teammate, Nico Rosberg, in a big way by winning his home race -- the British Grand Prix -- on Sunday.

Rosberg started on the pole and was leading the way when he experienced a faulty gearbox, which forced him to retire on lap 29. That allowed Hamilton, who started this 52-lap race from the sixth starting position, to take the lead, delighting the crowd here at Silverstone Circuit. The Briton crossed the finish line a whopping 30.1 seconds ahead of his closest competitor, Valtteri Bottas from Williams.

Hamilton entered this race -- the ninth round on the 2014 F1 calendar -- 29 points behind Rosberg, but Hamilton's victory here moved him to within four points of Rosberg.

"[Rosberg] got quite a good gap at the beginning, and I really just tried to look after the tires," Hamilton said. "I came out on the harder tires, and I was catching him at a second a lap at the time. I couldn't believe I had that kind of pace.

"You never want to see a teammate fall behind. We wanted to really work and get those 1-2 [finishes], but at the end of the day, I really needed this result, so I'm very grateful for it."

Hamilton scored his fifth victory of the season and the 27th of his career, which placed him in a tie with his fellow countryman Jackie Stewart for seventh on F1's all-time race winners list. It was the second time Hamilton won the British GP. His first victory in this race occurred during his 2008 world championship season.

"I think this weekend really just showed that, for one, you never give up," Hamilton said. "Coming here today, I had my family with me. I was just focused and had the support from the fans. They just spurred me on, and I really couldn't have done it without them."

Rosberg's last retirement came in April 2013 in the Chinese Grand Prix (25 races ago). He had finished either first or second in the first eight grand prix this season.

"It's a pity what happened today, as I lost a lot of points in the championship," a disappointed Rosberg said. "We are always aiming for 100 percent reliability, but unfortunately that didn't work out for me today. I had a small issue in the installation lap, but the car felt great in the beginning. By lap 20, the gearbox started to become a serious problem, and from then, it got worse."

Bottas' second-place run marked his career-best finish in F1 as well as his second straight podium appearance. He placed third in the Austrian Grand Prix two weeks ago. Bottas started 14th in this race.

"We knew that this race could be good fun. and we knew that we had a quick car," Bottas said. "Maybe it was a bit surprisingly quick today, but since the first stint, the pace was good. I was able to go through the field quite well."

Daniel Ricciardo from Red Bull finished third, while McLaren's Jenson Button took the fourth spot. Ricciardo's teammate, Sebastian Vettel, the four-time F1 world champion, was fifth.

The British GP was stopped for approximately one hour after Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa from Williams were involved in a collision on the opening lap. Raikkonen ran wide coming out of a corner and then came back on track but the Finn clipped a bump. He lost control and slammed hard into the barrier before his car spun across the track and into the path of Massa.

Raikkonen, the 2007 Formula One world champion, climbed out of his badly- damaged car under his own power but was limping as he walked away. He was complaining of soreness in his ankle and taken to the circuit's medical care center for evaluation. Raikkonen was later diagnosed with a badly-bruised ankle.

"The most important news right now is that Kimi is alright, even though the impact with the barriers was a heavy one," Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci said. "He has some bruising and will now be resting to be in shape for the next race [July 20 German Grand Prix]."

Massa was not injured during the incident but sustained heavy damage to his car. The Brazilian made his 200th career F1 start.

"Kimi came across the track, and I never really had a chance to miss him," Massa said. "The damage was too much to continue. Luckily, I turned as it could have been a worse accident. I hope Kimi is OK, but it's a weekend to forget for me personally. It was not the 200th grand prix I had planned."

Fernando Alonso from Ferrari finished sixth after he bounced back from a 16th starting position and a 5-second stop-and-go penalty for overshooting his grid slot at the start.

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