Lewis Hamilton cruised to a fourth consecutive British Grand Prix victory at Silverstone ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas as both Ferraris hit tyre trouble in the dying stages.

Hamilton enjoyed the perfect getaway from pole position after an aborted start following Jolyon Palmer’s stoppage on the formation lap, with Max Verstappen passing Sebastian Vettel for third.

An early safety car period followed after a clumsy collision between the two Toro Rosso team-mates of Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat at Becketts. Sainz was forced to retire, with Kvyat handed a drive-through penalty.

Hamilton proceeded to pull away from Kimi Raikkonen at the restart, while Vettel and Verstappen engaged in a monumental battle as the Dutchman defended fiercely from the Ferrari.

Vettel then pitted on Lap 19 and executed the undercut to perfection, emerging ahead when the Red Bull driver stopped on the following lap.

The leaders then followed suit, while the soft-shod Valtteri Bottas stayed out before switching to the faster supersofts for his final stint on as he continued his impressive fightback.

Daniel Ricciardo, who had started from the back, promoted himself into the points places by overtaking both the Force India drivers on fresh rubber.

At the front of the field, Bottas had closed in on Vettel, who offered only a brief defence before the Mercedes driver swept past. Bottas was then elevated to second as what seemed to be a puncture forced Raikkonen to pit.

Remarkably, Vettel then suffered a tyre failure at the death and could only limp home in seventh, meaning his lead in the championship was slashed to a single point.

It was a comparatively serene afternoon for Hamilton, who equalled Jim Clark’s record of five British GP victories as he led home Bottas and Raikkonen.

Verstappen also made a late pit-stop but salvaged fourth place, with Ricciardo completing his charge by overtaking Hulkenberg in the final laps to grab fifth.

Esteban Ocon, Sergio Perez and Felipe Massa rounded out the top ten on a memorable afternoon at Silverstone.

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