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Hamilton was one lap from pitting before Silverstone safety car

Hamilton was one lap from pitting before Silverstone safety car

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Hamilton was one lap from pitting before Silverstone safety car

Hamilton was one lap from pitting before Silverstone safety car

Mercedes have confirmed that Lewis Hamilton was one lap away from coming into the pits when the British Grand Prix safety car emerged, something which enabled him to take a comfortable win over Valtteri Bottas.

The safety car came out on lap 21 as Antonio Giovinazzi's Alfa Romeo needed to be retrieved from the gravel.

Having held off Hamilton in a thrilling battle, pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas had earlier pitted, committing to a two-stop race in the process as he swapped medium tyres for a fresh set of the same compound.

And that played into Hamilton's hands when racing was neutralised as he could maintain the lead after pitting, while a period of gentler travel helped him take his hard tyres to the end of the race, even setting the fastest lap right at the end.

Trackside engineering chief James Vowles said on the team's post-race debrief video: "After pitting Valtteri we left Lewis out and the intention was to let Lewis have a slight tyre offset to maximise his chance of fighting cleanly with Valtteri for the win.

"Both drivers are presented opportunities to win the race and, in Lewis' case, as long as his lap times were strong, we were going to keep him there.

"We can only realistically have done one, maybe a maximum of two more laps before the safety car had come out.

"His lap times had started to drop a little bit and he had started to lose too much time relative to Valtteri.

"He had a small tyre offset, not enough to be abet to overtake on track, but it may have been enough on a two stop race by the final stint."

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