Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton toasted a successful gamble after he tightened his grip on the drivers' title with victory in the rain-hit British Grand Prix yesterday.
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Hamilton led home team-mate Nico Rosberg for a fifth win this season and the sixth Mercedes one-two from nine races. The 30-year-old started on pole but had to recover from being instantly overtaken by Williams pair Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, and, having regained the lead during the first pit stops, effectively secured his third British Grand Prix triumph by quickly switching to intermediate tyres when a second rain shower started.
"Nico was catching me and I chose to come in and change the tyres and thankfully it was the right choice," he said. "It is a lottery. Sometimes you get it right and sometimes you get it wrong. When I had got the wets on, that is my ground, I enjoy that. I felt comfortable by the end."
Hamilton's win extended his championship lead over Rosberg to 17 points and saw him join greats Jack Brabham, Niki Lauda and Michael Schumacher on three British Grand Prix wins. Only Nigel Mansell, with four, and Jim Clark and Alain Prost, with five apiece, have more.
He added: "I still have some work to do, but to be up there among the greats, I'm really fortunate."
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Rosberg revealed he thought the Englishman had made a decisive error by pitting and opting for harder tyres when he did.
"I was pretty sure it was the wrong call," the German said. "It was still touch and go at that time, so I was actually quite happy that he boxed. But it was the right call in the end. It started raining more on that lap, so that was it."
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel completed the podium, with Massa and Bottas fourth and fifth.
Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso took 10th to earn his first points of the season, but his McLaren colleague Jenson Button endured more frustration, retiring on lap three in what could be his last home grand prix. Button suffered damage to his car in a first-lap collision with Alonso as the Spaniard tried to avoid a crash involving Lotus pair Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado.