British GP: Faultless Lewis Hamilton wins for fourth time at Silverstone
Rosberg drops to third after receiving penalty from Silverstone stewards; Verstappen up to second for Red Bull
By Pete Gill at Silverstone
Last Updated: 11/07/16 1:14am
Lewis Hamilton has closed to within one point of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in their World Championship fight with victory in the British GP.
A faultless Hamilton led every lap of the race as he claimed his third successive victory at Silverstone and the fourth overall.
Rosberg had followed Hamilton in second but received a 10-second time penalty from the stewards after the race, dropping him behind Max Verstappen of Red Bull.
"I don't know if you can be as happy as me, I'm really happy," said Hamilton. "It's never clean sailing which what makes this spectacular - that is why the British Grand Prix is the best grand prix we have."
Rosberg, who was booed on the podium a week after the Mercedes' collision in Austria, suffered a gearbox glitch in the closing stages which prevented him from using seventh gear.
The Silverstone stewards judged that Mercedes broke the sport's new radio crackdown when they issued a series of the instructions to their driver as Rosberg grappled with the problem.
Mercedes confirmed they had 'lodged their intention to appeal' the decision, which was the first penalty handed out after a breach of the new-for-2016 rule.
Verstappen had finished third after a ding-dong battle with Rosberg on the track, but now looks to have consecutive second places.
After overtaking the Mercedes with a stunning move on the outside of Chapel as the Silverstone circuit dried out following a pre-race downpour, Verstappen then lost time running wide at Turn One and was retaken by Rosberg at Stowe with 10 laps remaining.
For the 130,000 spectators crowded in around the Silverstone circuit, an eventful but unspectacular race fizzed along without ever quite going bang.
The race had started behind the Safety Car before Hamilton quickly built up a five-second lead that he never surrendered as the home favourite, despite one brief off-track moment, maintained the form he had displayed all weekend.
Verstappen's Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo finished fourth, half a minute behind Hamilton on another dominant weekend for the Mercedes steamroller.
But Ferrari failed to make any sort of impression during the race with the fifth-placed Kimi Raikkonen over a minute down on the race leader, while Sebastian Vettel finished just ninth. The former world champion was docked five seconds by the stewards after forcing Felipe Massa off the track as he tried to recover from 11th on the grid, although it did not lose him a place.
Force India pair Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg were sixth and seventh respectively, while Toro Rosso duo Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat took eighth and 10th respectively to round off the points-scoring positions.
That meant a race day to forget for Williams and McLaren. As frustration mounted, Fernando Alonso angrily condemned McLaren's strategy while Williams driver Valtteri Bottas, who spun, rued "a really bad race" and admitted to "mistakes I will have to learn from".
Up at the front, though, there were none from Hamilton as the Silverstone hero gave his adoring public the result they wanted.
British GP 2016 result
1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 52 laps
2. Max Verstappen, Red Bull, +8.3s
3. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, +16.9s (10-second penalty)
4. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, +26.2s
5. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, +69.7s
6. Sergio Perez, Force India, +76.9s
7. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, +77.7s
8. Carlos Sainz, Toro Rosso, +85.9s
9. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, +91.7s
10. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, +92.6s
11. Felipe Massa, Williams, +1 lap
12. Jenson Button, McLaren, +1 lap
13. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, +1 lap
14. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, +1 lap
15. Felipe Nasr, Sauber, +1 lap
16. Esteban Gutierrez, Haas, +1 lap
DNF Kevin Magnussen, Renault
DNF Jolyon Palmer, Renault
DNF Rio Haryanto, Manor
DNF Romain Grosjean, Manor
DNF Marcus Ericsson, Sauber
DNF Pascal Wehrlein, Manor