The British Jolyon Palmer (Renault) had to give up starting due to a hydraulic problem.
It was a mark of Hamilton’s dominance in Northamptonshire that he pitted on lap 26 and re-emerged with his race lead still intact. Vettel (2009) and Kimi Raikkonen (2007) have also won here.
In the short span of a lap, Hamilton did his best to pull away from the pack but it would all come undone on a few moments later.
The Briton clocked a best time of one minute and 28.063 seconds in the opening spell before rain intensified with 20 minutes remaining. With scattered debris and Sainz Jr. unable to move his auto, the safety vehicle was brought out.
“This is definitely not our strongest type of circuit”, said Raikkonen.
Vettel, brakes smoking, meanwhile lost a place to Verstappen. Vettel, who appeared to have benefited from his teammate’s misfortune, suffered a puncture only a lap later, his vehicle dragging along the ground and throwing up sparks as it crawled back to the pits. Verstappen however had the inside line for the next corner, allowing him to keep his position.
“But I would like to see Budapest, how the vehicle works, with a low speed and high temperatures track and then maybe I will have a more complete picture”. Sadly, Alonso had to retire following a power unit issue.
Hamilton’s Finnish team mate Valtteri Bottas, victor in Austria, was fourth fastest but has a five-place penalty following a gearbox change.
Vettel was no threat to Hamilton at any time during the 51-lap duration.
Hamilton pipped the Ferrari driver as Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas took third – only 0.042secs further back. A blisteringly quick out lap by Vettel ensured the undercut worked. Third placed Bottas trails Hamilton by 22. Vettel, already enduring a hard afternoon, had been due to cross the line fourth until a punctured front left tyre two laps from the end forced the German to pit, dropping him down to seventh at the flag.
Vettel, who has been so consistent this season, was only fourth, four tenths of a second slower than the Mercedes pair.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, who enjoyed a team one-two as Valtteri Bottas finished second, believes the criticism only increased Hamilton’s resolve to continue his winning run at the Northamptonshire track.
Hamilton made a flawless getaway under heavy grey skies while Vettel had flames leaping from his Ferrari’s brake drum, a distraction that did nothing to stop Verstappen passing him for third on the opening lap. Nico Hulkenberg secured sixth for Renault ahead of the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel. Vettel on the other hand managed seventh, barely clinging on to the championship lead.