Vettel delighted to beat Hamilton on home ground

1st place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF71H.
Ā© XPB 

Sebastian Vettel admitted that it meant a lot to him to stop Lewis Hamilton claiming another British Grand Prix victory this weekend.

"We've won on their home ground!" a thrilled Vettel said in Italian over the team radio after claiming the chequered flag at Silverstone on Sunday.

"For us it was important," he told Sky Sports F1 after the race. "This is a track we've struggled a lot in the past so to come here with something to fight with made a difference. To come out on top is great."

His delight was matched by Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene.

"Today he fought like a lion," he said of Vettel's performance. "Especially here, because it's not easy. It's the home base of Mercedes, the home base of Red Bull, home base of Williams, so you have to be quite strong at Silverstone.

"Also because the public, and it's absolutely right, they push for Hamilton like in Monza they push for us," he said. "[But] I'm always careful of this sort of thing because maybe in Monza they give us a lesson back!"

The victory means that Vettel now has 51 wins to his name - the same number as the gret Alain Prost. It also means that he has pulled out an eight point lead in the drivers championship over Hamilton.

But heading into the race, such thoughts had taken a back seat in Vettel's mind as he battled to overcome a neck injury sustained in Saturday practice.

"I didn't care about momentum yesterday when I was struggling to keep my head up!" he admitted. "I was [worried about finishing] as well going into the race,

"I think with all the adrenalin going, probably I will feel it a bit tonight," he admitted. "It doesn't matter. The tape held up.

"Yesterday was quite bad but it was only one lap. Today, this morning I woke up and it was already a lot better. Fortunately I had good treatment. But I wasn't caring too much about momentum."

Vettel has already taken the lead by the time a slow-starting Hamilton was tapped into a spin by Vettel's team mate Kimi Raikkonen.

After that Vettel was in control of the initial stint but suffered from blistering on his first set of tyres.

"Obviously at the very beginning I was pushing - I thought I was saving the tyres as well, but obviously not as much as he [Bottas] did.

"The front left was the issue. I also had one little lock-up also, indicating that the front left was looking for a pit stop.

"Valtteri was a bit stronger at the very end of that stint. In the second stint I knew I had the track position and we weren't planning to stop again.

"I was controlling the pace even if he got closer," he added. "It's a different ball game to pass so I wanted to make sure that at the end of the race I had enough tyres in hand."

Two late-race safety car interruptions allowed Vettel to take on new tyres for the final laps, while Bottas stayed out.

"Obviously the safety car changed things and it was a question of who was going to pit. He had a free pit stop and I think I saw the Mercedes crew were ready when I came in, and I was pretty sure then that if we didn't pit they would.

"Ultimately we did the right thing," he insisted. "We had a fresh set of soft. That required me to pass him, but it was fine on track.

"It was a nice battle with Valtteri. I was pushing like crazy. Obviously I had the advantage on the tyres but it wasn't so easy to find a way through. Then I think I surprised him.

"Wasn't sure I was going to make the corner but I did, so it worked really well, so very very happy."

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