Sports

Sebastian Vettel heads Lewis Hamilton in British Grand Prix second practice

Sebastian Vettel heads Lewis Hamilton in British Grand Prix second practice

Vettel secured second place on Sunday's grid - 0.44s off Lewis Hamilton on pole position - after one of the closest qualifying sessions at Silverstone in recent memory. Frenchman Esteban Ocon finished seventh for Force India, who are now level on points with McLaren and ahead on podiums.

First Hamilton bogged down at the start, losing a couple of places.

FINAL - Sebastian Vettel wins the British GP!

While Raikkonen was handed a 10-second time penalty for the incident, Hamilton immediately set about climbing back through the field as the contact had left him with minimal - if any - damage.

The front-runners all stopped for fresh rubber, promoting Hamilton to third. Five laps to go! The Ferraris took the opportunity to pit again, sending Bottas into the lead.

Hamilton, from his record 76th pole, appeared bogged down as he responded and was instantly in a scrap for third with Raikkonen, who collided with the Briton under braking into Turn Three. This is getting interesting with nine laps to go. The Finnish driver stays first. "To push over the limit just a little bit more, without losing it, is one of the toughest positions to put the vehicle". Both cars end up in the wall.

The four-time champion seized the lead at the start and fought back after losing the initiative during two safety vehicle periods to register his second win at Silverstone and the 51st of his career.

Beryl intensifies to a Category 1 hurricane
This graphic from the National Hurricane Center shows the projected path of Tropical Storm Beryl on Saturday, July 7, 2018. Small storms can morph quickly - Beryl flared up from a depression Thursday morning to a hurricane in less than 24 hours.

It had looked, however, as if Vettel was going to deny him the top slot. Sauber's Marcus Ericsson loses control over his vehicle and crashes one of the safety walls.

Now it seems the biggest challenge will come from the Ferrari drivers. The safety auto is out.

Lap 22 - Vettel still is in the lead.

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. Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) at 2.264sec, 3. He's now 22.118 second away from second-placed Valtteri Bottas, but he gets closer.

Raikkonen was at fault for the coming together and the stewards concurred as they slapped the Ferrari driver with a 10-second penalty.

Bottas did well to hold off Daniel Ricciardo for fourth as the Finn's tires dropped off dramatically, while Verstappen retired in the closing stages with gearbox issues.

Hamilton was sent spinning and reported that his auto was broken but has so far continued in the race.