Dominant win for Hamilton

Brit back at top of standings after stunning performance at soggy Silverstone

Lewis Hamilton is back at the top of the World Championship standings after mastering wet conditions and scoring a comprehensive victory in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Amazingly, the McLaren Mercedes driver took the chequered flag over a minute clear of the second placed driver, BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld, with Honda's Rubens Barrichello taking the final podium position.
World Champion Kimi Raikkonen came home lapped in fourth place, ahead of McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen, Renault's Fernando Alonso, Williams driver Kazuki Nakajima and Toyota's Jarno Trulli.

The win was perhaps even more impressive than Hamilton's victory in last season's wet Japanese Grand Prix, the 23-year-old at times lapping several seconds per lap quicker than his rivals on the same intermediate tyres.
But the vagaries of the English summer proved too much for Ferrari and Felipe Massa in particular, the Brazilian spinning at least five times as steady rain worsened before then clearing - the closing laps being run under blue skies.

He eventually finished 13th and last, the result also meaning that Hamilton, Massa and Raikkonen are now tied for the lead of the World Championship.
The thought that something special might unfold became apparent as soon as, from fourth on the grid, Hamilton momentarily seized the lead from team-mate and polesitter Kovalainen at Copse Corner on the opening lap.
However, Kovalainen closed the door - the cars touching - and edged back ahead on the run down to Becketts. Behind Hamilton, Mark Webber undid his good qualifying work by spinning in the spray on the Hangar Straight, while Massa also lost control of his Ferrari coming out of Abbey.

There was more to come on the opening lap: David Coulthard collided with Sebastian Vettel at Priory, with both men in the gravel and the Scot's last British Grand Prix over all too quickly.

Heated battle

The two McLarens proceeded to engage in a heated battle up front, with Raikkonen third and Alonso passing Heidfeld for fourth on lap three - Nelson Piquet, Trulli and Robert Kubica completing the top eight.
With Massa engaging in another spin on the start-finish straight, Hamilton passed Kovalainen for the lead at Stowe on lap five and, lapping some 0.6s per lap quicker than his team-mate, immediately extended his lead.
Times were falling as the conditions steadily eased, with Raikkonen moving up to second on lap 10 after Kovalainen spun at Abbey.

The same corner accounted for Adrian Sutil one lap later - the Force India aquaplaning off the track in spectacular fashion - while Raikkonen started closing the gap on Hamilton, the latter's lead coming down from five seconds to 3.8s by lap 14.
Lap 18 saw Raikkonen take a full second out of Hamilton, the Ferrari in turn over 11 seconds ahead of Kovalainen, who became the first of the frontrunners to stop on lap 19.
Fresh intermediate tyres went on the McLaren and he rejoined ahead of Kubica in sixth. Alonso kept the same set of intermediates when pitting from third one lap later, his Renault rejoining in eighth.

Hamilton and Raikkonen pitted in tandem at the end of lap 21 and the McLaren exited its pit box just ahead of the Ferrari - which, crucially, kept the same set of tyres - and resumed the lead when Heidfeld pitted one lap later.
The rain worsened as Heidfeld climbed from seventh to fifth place by passing both Timo Glock and Alonso - struggling on his worn intermediates - at the end of lap 23.

Raikkonen was now struggling for the same reason, with Hamilton's lead up to 21s after the Ferrari driver lost five seconds on each of laps 25 and 26. Meanwhile, Piquet relieved Alonso of sixth place, the latter then pitting for new tyres.
Passing his countryman at the end of lap 27, Kovalainen also conspired to let the charging Heidfeld through, the German therefore climbing to second place - albeit 29 seconds behind Hamilton.

That lead came down by some seven seconds over the space of two laps as Hamilton appeared to make an error and, as the race reached half distance, the ailing Raikkonen - who had fallen to sixth place - finally pitted for fresh intermediates, rejoining 11th.
Kubica took third place from Kovalainen at Stowe on lap 35, the McLaren also being passed by Piquet before making his second stop to rejoin in ninth.

Heavy rain

The rain was by now falling very heavily indeed and cars started to spin: Kubica, Glock (twice), Massa again, Raikkonen (twice) and Piquet all losing it, with the latter out of the race on the spot.
Hamilton also ran wide but held onto his lead; however, Barrichello had stopped for extreme wets and the sight of the Brazilian's Honda then cruising past the McLaren on the Hangar Straight to unlap himself pointed towards what seemed the way forward.

But, just as Hamilton pitted at the end of lap 37, the rain passed and the sun came out. New intermediates therefore went on, with Heidfeld choosing the same when he stopped soon after.
Barrichello was still the quickest man on the track - to the tune of 25s per lap at one point - as he climbed to third, with Kubica's race ending in the gravel at Abbey on lap 40.

The Honda driver passed Heidfeld on lap 43 before falling back again three laps later after getting more fuel - the team's rig having earlier failed - and changing back to intermediates.
With ten laps remaining, Hamilton's lead had been stretched to over a minute with team-mate Kovalainen down to sixth after spinning and letting through Alonso and Raikkonen.
However, Ferrari passed Renault for fourth with seven laps remaining, with Kovalainen also getting ahead of Alonso at the start of lap 58.

British Grand Prix, result:

1. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 1hr 39mins 09.440secs
2. Nick Heidfeld (Germany) BMW Sauber +01:08.577
3. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Honda 01:22.273
4. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1 lap
5. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) McLaren 1 lap
6. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Renault 1 lap
7. Jarno Trulli (Italy) Toyota 1 lap
8. Kazuki Nakajima (Japan) Williams - Toyota 1 lap
9. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Williams - Toyota 1 lap
10. Mark Webber (Australia) RedBull - Renault 1 lap
11. Sebastien Bourdais (France) Toro Rosso - Ferrari 1 lap
12. Timo Glock (Germany) Toyota 1 lap
13. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 2 laps

r. Robert Kubica (Poland) BMW Sauber 21 laps
r. Jenson Button (Britain) Honda 21 laps
r. Nelson Piquet (Brazil) Renault 24 laps
r. Giancarlo Fisichella (Italy) Force India - Ferrari 33 laps
r. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India - Ferrari 50 laps
r. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Toro Rosso - Ferrari Spin
r. David Coulthard (Britain) RedBull - Renault Spin

(rank: r = retired, nc = not classified)

Fastest Lap: Kimi Raikkonen, 1:32.150, lap 18.