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Hamilton wins British GP after Rosberg forced to retire for 1st time this season

Britain's Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes celebrates after winning the British Formula One Grand Prix at Silverstone circuit, Silverstone, England, Sunday, July 6, 2014. Finland's Valtteri Bottas of Williams finished second, and Australia's Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull finished third.(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

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Britain's Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes celebrates after winning the British Formula One Grand Prix at Silverstone circuit, Silverstone, England, Sunday, July 6, 2014. Finland's Valtteri Bottas of Williams finished second, and Australia's Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull finished third.(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

SILVERSTONE, England - Lewis Hamilton won a crash-hit British Grand Prix on Sunday to cut Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg's lead in the drivers' championship from 29 points to just four after the German had his first non-finish of the season.

Hamilton, the 2008 champion, started sixth on the grid. The British driver leapt to fourth on the opening lap before it was red-flagged, and suspended for an hour, following a crash involving 2007 champion Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari and Felipe Massa of Williams.

Hamilton then took the lead after 29 laps as Rosberg retired with gearbox failure.

Hamilton came home 30 seconds clear of Finn Valtteri Bottas of Williams, who started 14th.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull finished third ahead of Jenson Button, the 2009 champion, of McLaren and defending four-time champion Sebastian Vettel in the second Red Bull. Two-time champion Fernando Alonso of Ferrari was sixth.

It was Hamilton's fifth win this year, his second in his home event and the 27th of his career, drawing him level with fellow-Briton and three-time champion Jackie Stewart in the record books.

"England! What a great feeling guys, I couldn't be happier, I'm sorry about yesterday, but a fantastic job today, as ever!" a delighted Hamilton told his team by radio.

Hamilton made a mistake in qualifying on Saturday after wrongly deciding the track was too damp, or wet, for him to improve his best lap time.

From the winners' podium, Hamilton added: "This shows you never give up! Right now, it's very mixed emotions at the moment, but we have the greatest fans here. It was you guys who spurred me on. At the beginning, I allowed him (Rosberg) to get a good gap and look after the tires.

"But we came out on the harder tire and could not believe I had that kind of pace. I don't want to see a team-mate fail, I want a one-two, but I really needed this result."

Raikkonen was involved in a spectacular high-speed opening lap accident that halted the race for an hour to allow repairs to the barriers. The Ferrari driver lost control, spun, hit the barriers and collided with the Williams of Brazilian Massa, who was starting his 200th Grand Prix.

Both escaped serious injury but Raikkonen, whose car was massively damaged, limped away and required later X-rays on his right ankle. Massa was forced out with a damaged car, but like Rosberg, stayed to cheer the teams at the end of the race.

Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen finished seventh for McLaren ahead of German Nico Hulkenberg of Force India, Russian rookie Daniil Kvyat of Toro Rosso and 10th-placed Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne in the second Toro Rosso.

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