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Hamilton closes in on Vettel with 2017 British Grand Prix win

Hamilton closes in on Vettel with 2017 British Grand Prix win

However, nearly immediately after that Vettel suffered a puncture on his front-left, which dropped him to seventh place at the finish line after being forced to pit on the final lap.

Lewis Hamilton topped the times ahead of championship leader Sebastian Vettel in Saturday's third and final practice session before rain curtailed the action at the British Grand Prix.

This accident brought out the safety auto for four laps before racing resumed with Hamilton back in control ahead of Raikkonen and Verstappen while Ricciardo climbed to 12th.

The 51-lap race had a few exciting moments at the start including a safety vehicle period.

Toro Rosso duo Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz were 12th and 14th respectively, sandwiching McLaren-Honda's Fernando Alonso - who has a 30-place grid penalty - in P13.

With teammate Lewis Hamilton going wire-to-wire for victory, Bottas helped complete a flawless weekend for Mercedes that saw it top every session and leave with maximum points. This forced Ferrari to try to the undercut by pitting Vettel on lap 19, allowing him to rejoin the race in clear air just in front of the Force Indias. Before the race could start, there was drama for local driver Jolyon Palmer who complained of a "brake by wire" issue and later had a hydraulic failure.

Hamilton's Finnish team mate Valtteri Bottas, victor in Austria, was fourth fastest but has a five-place penalty following a gearbox change. Verstappen continued to fight with Vettel for the majority of the race as they exchanged positions a few times through overtakes and pit stops.

He rejoined in front of his team-mate and the pair led the field with Raikkonen third ahead of Vettel, the Ferraris waiting for Bottas to pit.

Raikkonen said he was disappointed with his misfortune, but Vettel said he did not blame the team.

The news was welcomed by Hamilton as he made his way round the final straight on the last lap, joined by his team mate Bottas. Vettel (2009) and Kimi Raikkonen (2007) have also won here.

With Hamilton pulling away, Vettel and Verstappen provided some fireworks with the Dutch teenager keeping the door firmly closed as they went wheel to wheel.

'We were generally faultless, ' Hamilton said after crowd-surfing with the Silverstone fans at his home race. "I couldn't see much".