SPORT

Lewis Hamilton Wins British Grand Prix After Huge Crash To Kimi Raikkonen

06/07/2014 15:35 BST | Updated 06/07/2014 17:59 BST

Lewis Hamilton thrilled his home fans by winning the British Grand Prix after a huge crash involving Kimi Raikkonen on the opening lap had halted the race for an hour.

The Mercedes driver finished ahead of Williams driver Valtteri Bottas, who had started the race from 14th while Daniel Ricciardo was third for Red Bull denying Jenson Button his first British GP podium.

lewis hamilton

Lewis Hamilton described his win as a 'fantastic job' for the Mercedes team

After the drama of the opening lap, Hamilton enjoyed a relatively easy run to claim his fifth win of the season and his second career victory in front of a home crowd to move to within four points of Nico Rosberg, while Bottas recovered what had been a miserable weekend for Williams.

Hamilton had started the race in sixth place after a disappointing qualifying display on Saturday and had it all to do to catch his team-mate and championship leader, Nico Rosberg, who started from pole.

Luck was on his side when Raikkonen crashed at 150mph on the opening lap. The Briton had already moved into fourth place and took further advantage when the race restarted.

Starting from 18th on the grid, Raikkonen was fighting his way up the field through the opening corners when he ran wide at Aintree corner. When he tried to rejoin the track he caught the kerb along the Wellington Straight.

Travelling at around 150mph, Raikkonen hit the barriers at the bridge across the Straight before spearing across the track and into the barriers on the other side. Marshals helped the Finn out of his wrecked Ferrari but he looked to be in some pain.

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British Grand Prix 2014 - Race Day

The incident also took out Felipe Massa who was passing a Caterham and didn't see the accident until it was too late. He quickly tried to move out of the way but couldn't avoid hitting the Ferrari and although he managed to get his Williams back to the pits, the damage was too great and he was forced to retire from his 200th grand prix.

When the red flag came out, Rosberg had held onto first place but Sebastian Vettel had dropped to fifth with Button replacing the world champion in second. However, the biggest beneficiary of the delay was Hamilton who had moved up from sixth to fourth and would now restart much closer to his Mercedes team-mate.

He made quick work of two cars in front of him. First he took advantage of Kevin Magnussen running wide at Copse and then he passed Button soon after at Brooklands, leaving only his team-mate in front.

Hamilton began to close on Rosberg, narrowing the gap by a second each lap before before the German pitted on lap 18 with less than 2.5s separating them.

Hamilton didn't immediately follow his team-mate into the pits, instead waiting for six laps before coming in for a set of hard tyres. His cause wasn't helped by a delayed tyre change and he rejoined nearly six seconds behind Rosberg.

However, any concerns he had were soon dispelled as he once again began to reel Rosberg in. It quickly became clear that the race leader had a problem, and he reported an upshift issues to his team which would eventually force him to stop on the circuit and retire on lap 31.

Hamilton found himself with a clear road ahead and was able to driver a controlled race to the finish while behind him the fight for the remaining podium slots was hotting up. Bottas began to pull away from the chasing group which included Ricciardo, Button, Alonso and Vettel.

Alonso and Vettel produced some stunning race action for the thousands of fans in the packed stands with the Spaniard overtaking Vettel before the reigning world champion retook position with only a handful of laps remaining after some close wheel-to-wheel racing.

After the race, Hamilton pleased to have closed the gap on Rosberg and said how important the victory had been.

"At the beginning he [Rosberg] got quite a good gap," Hamilton said.

"I just tried to look after the tyres but after that I came out on the harder tyre and I was catching him a second a lap at the time and I couldn't believe I had that kind of pace.

"Obviously you never want to see a team-mate fall behind, we wanted to go up and get those one-twos but at the end of the day I really needed this result."