Sebastian Vettel widened his lead in the 2018 Formula One World Championship over the weekend with a decisive win at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit, picking up 25 Drivers’ Championship points to Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton’s 18 so that he now leads by a total of 8 points. Vettel’s teammate Kimi Räikkönen rounded out the podium with a third-place finish, solidifying his position as the current third-place competitor in the Drivers’ Championship behind Hamilton, and in front of Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo (fourth) and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas (fifth).
The start of the 2018 British Grand Prix was an exciting one, with Sebastian Vettel leapfrogging pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton within the opening moments, thanks to an aggressive start. Räikkönen, too, had an impressive start, moving quickly to try and overtake the two Mercedes cars. Unfortunately, in his eagerness to get ahead, the Fin caused a collision with Hamilton; both cars were relatively unscathed, but Hamilton was bumped back to 18th place, while Räikkönen wound up behind two Red Bull cars and was issued a ten-second penalty for causing the incident.
Hamilton fought his way back up from 18th swiftly, in a repeat of what his rival Sebastian Vettel was forced to do two races prior in France, and by Lap 20, he’d worked his way into fifth, roughly 20 seconds behind the race leader. Then, after a period of relative calm, Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 driver Marcus Ericsson crashed, prompting a full-course caution and allowing the field to bunch together. That ended up playing to both Vettel’s and Hamilton’s favors; Vettel was able to pit for fresh tires without losing sight of the lead, and Hamilton watched as the gap between himself and the race leader – then his teammate Valtteri Bottas – all but disappeared.
Little changed after the restart until 10 laps later, when another crash caused a Sector 2 caution. After that was dealt with, the final ten laps of the race were an all-out battle as Vettel worked to get back out ahead of Bottas, Hamilton slipped by his teammate to take second, and Räikkönen surged ahead of Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen and the less-competitive of the two Mercedes cars.
After the race, Sebastian Vettel said that “the main thing is we were competitive which we haven’t been [here] in the past. We have a very good car. We brought bits which seemed to work. Very, very happy with the result.”
“It had been a difficult track for us but we were a match this year. Overall I think we had pace in hand. I managed the second stint and then raced well. If you have a car that is fast you can make things happen.”