Lewis Hamilton conjured a sensational British Grand Prix triumph after being involved in a frightening lap-one collision with Max Verstappen.
It was Hamilton's eighth triumph at Silverstone, and in dramatic circumstances again following his win last year when he crossed the line on three wheels.
But it followed a remarkable first-lap tangle with Verstappen in front of 140,000 fans at Silverstone as the duo went wheel to wheel, resulting in a 51G impact for the Red Bull driver at Copse.
Following an initial medical check at the circuit, Verstappen was taken to a local hospital for what has been described as 'precautionary checks' as it is understood he was feeling light-headed.
Hamilton was handed a 10-second time penalty that he served at his only pit stop, with the seven-time champion going on to finish second ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who was forced to yield to team orders on lap 40.
With an eight-second cushion, the Briton then hunted down Ferrari's Charles Leclerc and went on to catch the Monégasque on lap 50 of 52, to the delight of the crowd.
Hamilton has now closed the gap on Verstappen to eight points, while Mercedes are just four adrift of Red Bull after Sergio Perez could only finish 16th, leaving the team pointless.
Hamilton could have been joined on the podium by fellow Briton Lando Norris who ran in third place up until his pit stop after 21 laps, only for the fitting of the right-rear to prove a problem.
A two-second stop turned into six seconds, allowing Mercedes to comfortably make the undercut on the following lap with Bottas for the Finn to claim the final podium place for the fifth time in 10 races this season, with Norris fourth, albeit 17 seconds adrift.
The major talking point, however, was on lap one and despite the respect that has been extended between the two drivers this season in the wake of other close incidents, it was always going to be a case of when, and not if, they finally collided.
On this occasion, it was in front of Hamilton's fans as the circuit became the first since 2019 to welcome back a capacity crowd.
In Saturday's sprint race, Hamilton had tried on a couple of occasions on the opening lap to make his way past Verstappen but to no avail as the risk was not worth the reward.
In the grand prix, though, Hamilton chose a different tactic, pushing Verstappen hard off the line and through the first corner.
Although Hamilton was forced to back off, the seven-time champion continued to go wheel-to-wheel as the lap unfolded, leading to the duo alongside one another as they hurtled towards Copse.
Hamilton again gave way and as Verstappen cut across onto the racing line, the right-rear wheel of the Dutch driver's RB16B clipped the front-left of the Briton's W12.
The contact sent Verstappen hurtling off the track and across the gravel before he smashed heavily sideways into a tyre barrier at around 150mph, and measured at a force of 51g.
The incident led to FIA race director Michael Masi red-flagging the grand prix soon after, resulting in a 36-minute delay due to Verstappen's car being embedded in the barrier.
After gingerly exiting his car, Verstappen was attended to by medics before then heading to hospital, with Red Bull team principal Christian Horner giving thanks his driver "walked away okay".
For the standing restart, with Leclerc on pole and Hamilton alongside him on the front row, there was no repeat of the fireworks that had unfolded on lap one.
From fourth on the grid, Leclerc had made his way past Valtteri Bottas off the line at the first start and passed Hamilton as he recovered from the Verstappen clash.
Moments after the restart the stewards announced Hamilton's penalty, leading to a change of strategy for the team following discussions held in the morning.
On lap 15, with Leclerc comfortably holding Hamilton at bay, he suddenly announced over the radio that his "engine cut, engine stopped" for a split second before firing back into life.
The issue, related to engine mapping management, occurred again on the following lap, allowing Hamilton to pull within DRS range, before the Monégasque's team confirmed the problem had corrected itself and he was able to re-open the gap.
That was nudging three seconds when Hamilton pitted after 27 laps, and to serve his 10-second penalty, resulting in him dropping from second to fifth as Bottas and Norris were able to pass.
That soon became fourth as Ferrari's Carlos Sainz made his stop, with an issue to his front-left undermining matters for the Spaniard.
On lap 31, Hamilton eased past Norris - entering Copse of all places given what had unfolded earlier with Verstappen - although there was not much a fight.
Nine laps later, and after being instructed to yield to Hamilton, Bottas' position as 'wingman' was confirmed as he allowed by the 36-year-old through Stowe.
At that point, Hamilton found himself eight seconds adrift of Leclerc with 10 laps remaining, following which he produced fastest lap after fastest lap before making his way past on lap 50.
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