Red Bull’s Verstappen led from the start, just holding off Hamilton’s Mercedes – who attacked him hard. At Copse corner, they touched wheels with Verstappen sent spinning into the tyrewall that caused the race to be stopped.
During their clash Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc jumped to the front to restart on pole, and he led at the resumption from Hamilton – who was given a 10s penalty.
Hamilton’s penalty dropped him to fourth place after his pitstop but he charged back to the front, passing Leclerc at Copse for victory with three laps remaining.
2021 British Grand Prix race results
How the British Grand Prix unfolded
From pole position, Verstappen just held on to his lead from pole after running side-by-side with a fast-starting Hamilton through Turn 1. Hamilton attacked like he did in the sprint race into Brooklands and again at Copse – where they touched wheels (Hamilton’s left-front to Verstappen’s right-rear) at 180mph and Verstappen was sent plunging backwards into the tyrewall.
Leclerc took advantage of their collision to grab the lead. Verstappen climbed out of the car unaided but was clearly winded before he was taken to the medical centre – and later to a local hospital. Meanwhile, the safety car came out and then the red flag was flown.
After a break of over 30 minutes to repair the tyrewall, they lined up for the standing restart in the order: Leclerc, Hamilton, Bottas and the McLarens of Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo.
Leclerc led Hamilton, the fast-starting Norris, Bottas and Ricciardo. Behind them, Sebastian Vettel spun his Aston Martin at Luffield while battling Fernando Alonso’s Alpine for sixth.
On Lap 5, Hamilton was notified of a 10-second penalty for causing the collision with Verstappen, while Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz passed Alonso for sixth at Brooklands.
Leclerc led comfortably until his engine began to cutout on Lap 15. That put Hamilton into his DRS range, but Ferrari managed to solve his mapping issues and he pulled clear again.
Norris stopped on Lap 22, but a lengthy 6s stop – due to a right-rear issue – cost him third place to Bottas. Hamilton pitted on Lap 28, serving his 10s penalty before switching to hard tyres, and rejoining behind Norris in fourth.
Sainz suffered a slow 12s pitstop due to a left-front problem, dropping him back behind Ricciardo. Leclerc pitted a tour later on Lap 30, rejoining with a 7s lead over Bottas, who was 5s clear of Norris and a charging Hamilton, who was 13s off the lead.
Hamilton passed Norris for third on Lap 31 and caught Bottas 10 laps later. Bottas followed team orders and gifted second to Hamilton at Stowe. At that point he was 8s behind Leclerc with 12 laps remaining but was consistently lapping a second per lap faster.
Hamilton got into DRS range of Leclerc with four laps remaining, and passed him at Copse with three laps to go when Leclerc understeered wide when he attacked. It was Hamilton’s eighth victory in his home race, with Leclerc finishing second.
Bottas was a distant third, ahead of Norris, Ricciardo, Sainz and Alonso.