LEWIS HAMILTON took a dominant victory at Silverstone to tie the all-time record of five career wins in the British Grand Prix.
The Mercedes driver equalled the tally of Scot Jim Clark and Frenchman Alain Prost with his fourth home win in a row to add to his first win for McLaren in 2008.
Hamilton’s victory cut his deficit to Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to just one point in the championship as the German suffered a front-left tyre failure when running third with two laps to go, dropping to seventh.
The same problem had hit Vettel’s team-mate Kimi Raikkonen the lap before, costing the Finn an almost certain second place, promoting Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas to a Mercedes one-two. Raikkonen recovered to finish third.
Following the podiums celebrations, Hamilton went down to see the crowd, surfing on their outstretched hands and high-fiving as he ran past the adoring throng.
“The support has been incredible this weekend,” he said. “I am so proud I could do this for you all. Now the plan is to win the championship.”
The drama all unfolded behind Hamilton, whose 57th career victory was among the most straightforward, on a weekend which he started 20 points behind Vettel and needed everything to go his way.
The 32-year-old converted pole position – earned with a spectacular lap on Saturday afternoon – into a first-corner lead and simply drove off into the distance.
Hamilton was 1.6 seconds clear after the first lap before the race was neutralised by a safety car following a collision between the Toro Rosso drivers.
After the restart on lap five, Hamilton edged clear, building a 3.1-second lead after 12 laps and five seconds after 18, before he began to cut loose as the pit stops approached.
Suddenly Hamilton was lapping a second faster than Raikkonen, pulling out five seconds behind Raikkonen made his pit stop on lap 24, Mercedes calling Hamilton in for his stop on the next lap.
Hamilton returned to the track with a 10-second lead over Raikkonen and cruised to the flag as attention now turned to the battle for the remaining podium positions. —BBC Sport