The Ferrari led for most of the race after getting the jump on pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton from the start but dropped behind Valtteri Bottas after his second pit stop.
Hamilton recovered to second, beating Raikkonen, but referred to “interesting tactics” from Ferrari on the podium and Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said they had questioned whether the incident was “deliberate or incompetence”.
ESPN rounds up the main talking points from a thrilling British Grand Prix, where Sebastian Vettel claimed Ferrari’s first win at Silverstone since 2011.
The decision promoted Bottas, who had run second from the start, to the lead ahead of Vettel, while it gained Hamilton two places on the track, promoting him to third ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Raikkonen.
In a fortnight, Formula 1 reconvenes in Hockenheim for the German Grand Prix and the home favourite will boast an eight-point advantage when the lights go out in Baden-Wurttemberg.
Hamilton was hoping for an incident-free race and a win at Silverstone for the fifth straight year.
When the race resumed there were 14 laps remaining and Bottas had to go into full defensive mode against Vettel, who had shown excellent pace in the opening stint on soft tires but struggled more on the mediums.
Coming into Turn Three, Hamilton was under pressure from Raikkonen.
Hamilton was sent spinning and reported that his vehicle was broken but has so far continued in the race. Vettel came back out in between the two Mercedes cars.
“I think my auto should be good for tomorrow”.
That early crossover creates the potential for undercut strategies, whereby the driver behind pits earlier than the auto in front in the hope of setting quicker lap times than his rival when in clear air and on fresh rubber. Hamilton ended up 17th while Raikkonen received a penalty, but high-speed crashes and Safety Car appearances ensured both still had a chance of victory.
His team-mate Bottas, on older tyres, led the closing laps, but was unable to resist the challengers. He held on to the lead as long as he could under attack from Vettel, who had a huge tyre advantage, with some of the gutsiest driving we’ve seen from the No.77 vehicle. But the gamble only half-worked.
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The four-time world champion was able to battle back in a fantastic recovery drive, but it was only good enough for second as Sebastian Vettel clinched the win. 15 laps to go, and Bottas is in the lead.
“An awesome recovery from Lewis, he was dead last, and ending P2 was the maximum damage limitation we could have achieved, a fantastic drive from him”, Wolff told Sky F1’s Ted Kravitz.
It had looked, however, as if Vettel was going to deny him the top slot.
“The safety auto spiced it up”, said Vettel, wearing supporting tapes on his stiff neck. “In the end, I surprised Valtteri”. With 11 laps remaining, the race started once more. Raikkonen was less than one tenth of a second slower in final practice earlier Saturday, while Vettel was fastest in Friday’s second practice. “The neck held up, the race was fantastic and what a great crowd”.
“I only saw it briefly, and I don’t think there was any intention”.
“It wasn’t the most enjoyable session but I did the session so it was fine”, he said. My bad. It was my mistake. “I deserved it”, he added of the penalty.