PRACTICE AND QUALIFYING
Home favourite Lewis Hamilton and championship leader Nico Rosberg traded times in practice on Friday while choosing to stay out of the limelight in the damp Saturday morning practice.
Vettel and Ricciardo showed well while Austrian podium-taker Bottas lurked in the top ten.
Qualifying was a shambles for Williams and Ferrari, both teams failing to read the changing conditions and finding themselves at the back of the grid with the newly-sold Caterhams team. The Marussias did a much better job, ending up qualifying 12th and 13th. Cruelly, Chilton would be relegated to 17th after a gearbox change.
Rosberg took pole, followed by Vettel and Button. Ricciardo admitted to making a mistake and not going out for a final run in Q3, ending the session eighth. Worst driver blunder, though, went to Lewis Hamilton, who backed off on his final lap when everyone in front of him set their best time.
Worst team blunder went to Lotus who underfuelled Maldonado's car and left him stranded, earning him a drop twentieth.
The race started beneath overcast skies, but the track was dry and the crowd predictably huge. Rosberg fired away off the start while Hamilton and Vettel banged wheels. It got serious further back in a serious three car accident.
Kimi Raikkonen had a massive impact under the bridge after Brooklands, the Finn requiring help to limp away from the car. He returned to the pits in the Medical Car rather than an ambulance, suffering nothing worse than bruising.
The Ferrari driver had run wide out of the previous corner and rejoined the track at the worst place possible, the car jinked out of control after launching out of a drainage trench. The F14T punched nose first into the armco then back across the track, narrowly avoiding collection by Kobayashi but an unsighted Massa had just millisecond to avoid.
The Brazilian locked the FW36's rears, sliding sideways and knocking what was left of the front right off Raikkonen's Ferrari, but it was the best he could do to avoid a far more dangerous accident. He dragged the car back to the grid for the restart, but the day was over.
The cars reformed on the grid in race order, no doubt much cheering McLaren - Magnussen had a mighty start and now found himself ahead of Vettel. A long pause ensued as the barriers were repaired.
The restart order was Rosberg, Button, Magnussen, Hamilton, Vettel, Hulkenberg, Ricciardo, Kvyat and Bottas. That Finnish Williams driver had been the big winner from the chaotic start, jumping five places.
Chilton should have been tenth, but he came into a crowded pitlane under red flag, which looked extremely dangerous. He was then investigated for doing so and received a drive-through penalty. His Marussia had been struck by a tyre from Raikkonen's Ferrari.
The race restarted with the Safety Car - Rosberg backed the field up and took off into a strong lead again. Bottas made a pass on Kvyat and Ricciardo. Hamilton pressured Magnussen into running wide at Copse to take third.
Hamilton was right on Button's gearbox at Brooklands and sailed past under brakes, the Mercedes driver starting off after his German teammate. Back at the other end of the top ten, Alonso moved on Sutil and Bianchi to get into the points.
Bottas continued his march, grabbing sixth from Hulkenberg and chasing down the Red Bull of Vettel. Two laps later he got past Ricciardo's RB10, the Australian distracted by his fierce battle with Hulkenberg.
It was then announced that Alonso was under investigation for being out of grid position on the original start, nearly 75 minutes earlier. He got a five second stop-go for his mistake.
Once Alonso got past Hulkenberg, Ricciardo resumed battle with the German, doing everything he could to get past, trying several times to go around the outside in unexpected places. He got by on lap 10 and tore away.
Gutierrez and Maldonado had a reasonable coming-together, the Lotus taking to the air after running over the rear tyre of the Sauber. Gutierrez came off second-best, ending up in the gravel with a puncture.
Vettel pitted from fourth on lap 11 as the Sauber was recovered. Hamilton hadn't made a great deal of headway but started to close on the German.
Bottas swept by Magnussen on lap 14, putting him fourth and no doubt improving the mood in the Williams pit. Alonso shot past the Dane two laps later as Daniel Ricciardo pitted from seventh.
Bottas rounded up Button on lap 17 at Stowe corner around the outside, taking third.
Hamilton was by now less than three seconds behind Rosberg who was told to push hard in the final laps prior to his first stop. Rosberg stopped on lap 19 with just 2.7 seconds stationary.
Button and Alonso had an entertaining battle over several laps, the Ferrari driver doing his best to go around the outside with his seemingly superior grip and corner exit speed.
Rosberg radioed in to complain of a problem with the downshift on his eight-speed gearbox. Ricciardo, meanwhile, took Hulkenberg's eighth place with a big move down the inside of the Force India.
Hamilton stubbornly stayed out on the medium tyres despite losing three or four tenths of a second to Rosberg fifteen seconds behind him.
Hamilton finally pitted on lap 25 for hard tyres. He was stuck in the box for 4.1 seconds, a sticky left rear costing the time.
Vettel took sixth from Magnussen with an impressive move while Alonso pitted. He took the five seconds penalty and was away with a set of the hard compound tyres.
Hamilton took huge chunks out of Rosberg after his stop, reeling Rosberg in at a rate of knots, almost a second per lap. On lap 29, Hamilton shot past Rosberg who was now stuck in fifth gear. The team tried some IT support over the radio but he could not get the car to the pits and suffered his first DNF of the year.
The home favourite took the lead with a gigantic roar from the crowd, while Williams' home grand prix continued to improve with Bottas in second for a couple of laps. He pitted on lap 32 for hard compound tyres, losing second to Vettel who had to stop again.
The Williams driver could have waited, but instead attacked the Red Bull and passed Vettel at Stowe on his in-lap. Vettel dropped to fifth in front of Alonso.
The Ferrari driver mounted a challenge straight away, the Spaniard flying past the Red Bull at Copse, neither driver giving any quarter. The German didn't let the Ferrari go, however, staying with it and challenging for fifth.
Vettel got past on lap 37 for all of half a second, Alonso pushing back in front. Vettel wasn't happy with the move, complaining on the radio he wasn't given enough room, despite the Ferrari having the inside line.
The battle raged over a number of laps, with Vettel refusing to give up and on much fresher tyres than Alonso's. This allowed Button to breathe and sidle away into a nine second lead over the squabbling pair of world champions.
Hamilton pitted again on lap 41 and returned to the track in the lead.
Vettel continued complaining bitterly about Alonso's conduct, but it seemed the stewards didn't want to know about it. Alonso, for his part, was upset with Vettel's regular excursions off the racetrack.
Vettel tried again after an Alonso mistake on lap 48. Vettel shot past at Brooklands but Alonso held his line. The two cars were wheel-to-wheel for three corners, Alonso finally yielding but not without Vettel again complaining.
Ricciardo had worked his way to third almost twenty laps from the end and held that position from a fast-charging Button.
"This is the best third place I've ever got," Ricciardo said.
"I'm not normally ecstatic with a third but I really am today, obviously to redeem myself from yesterday and also the fact that I don’t think we had an awesome race car today, but we made it work."
Bottas was twenty-five seconds ahead of him in second while Lewis Hamilton took a very, very popular second win at the British Grand Prix.
Formula 1 returns in two weeks for the German Grand Prix.
- L. Hamilton - Mercedes - 2:26:52.094
- V. Bottas - Williams +30.135
- D. Ricciardo - Red Bull +46.495 +16.360
- J. Button - McLaren +47.390 +0.895
- S. Vettel - Red Bull +53.864 +6.474
- F. Alonso - Ferrari +59.946 +6.082
- K. Magnussen - McLaren +1:02.563 +2.617
- N. Hulkenberg - Force India +1:28.692 +26.129
- D. Kvyat - Toro Rosso +1:29.340 +0.648
- J. Vergne - Toro Rosso +1 Lap
- S. Perez - Force India +1 Lap
- R. Grosjean - Lotus +1 Lap
- A. Sutil - Sauber +1 Lap
- J. Bianchi - Marussia +1 Lap
- K. Kobayashi - Caterham +2 Laps
- M. Chilton - Marussia +2 Laps
- P. Maldonado - Lotus +3 Laps
Did not finish
- N. Rosberg - Mercedes +32 Laps
- M. Ericsson - Caterham +41 Laps
- E. Gutiérrez - Sauber +43 Laps
- F. Massa - Williams +51 Laps
- K. Raikkonen - Ferrari +52 Laps