SILVERSTONE – Lewis Hamilton held on to win the British Grand Prix on Sunday despite a puncture on the last lap to clinch an 87th career win and move within four of Michael Schumacher's Formula One record.
The championship leader's record-extending seventh Silverstone win saw him finish six seconds ahead of Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who unexpectedly moved up a place after Hamilton's Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas sustained a puncture with three laps left.
With Hamilton so far ahead, Verstappen went in for a tire change in a bid to gain an extra point for the fastest lap but that pit stop ultimately cost him victory because Hamilton's front left shredded with half a lap to go. Verstappen swallowed up most of the 25-second gap but ran out of time.
“I definitely haven’t experienced anything like that. I thought my heart was going to stop," Hamilton said. “Up until that last lap everything was relatively smooth sailing. When I heard his (Bottas' tire) went I looked at mine and it seemed fine.”
Charles Leclerc finished third for Ferrari with Daniel Ricciardo fourth for improving Renault and British driver Lando Norris fifth for McLaren.
"It was a very tricky race," said Leclerc after his second podium of the season. “I am very happy with how I managed the tires from beginning to the end.”
When his tire melted, Bottas had to come back for a tire change and dropped out of the points altogether into 11th spot and 30 points behind Hamilton in the title race after four races.
Sebastian Vettel, a four-time F1 champion, placed 10th and has now failed to get into the top five for his worst start to a season since 2008.