Formula 1 sporting boss Ross Brawn believes Sebastian Vettel’s British Grand Prix victory is a “significant” result in the 2018 world championship fight. 

Vettel beat polesitter Lewis Hamilton off the line and pulled clear in the opening stint, before being forced to pass Bottas to recliam the lead with a superb move after a pair of Safety Car periods threatened to turn the race on its head. 

The German’s fourth win of the season has moved him eight points clear of chief title rival Hamilton, who finished second after a brilliant recovery drive from being turned around by Kimi Raikkonen on the opening lap. 

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While Brawn does not see the result as being a turning point in the direction of this season’s championship, he stressed the importance of Vettel’s victory at a track Hamilton and Mercedes has dominated in recent years. 

“This was Sebastian’s 51st Formula 1 win, putting him joint third with Alain Prost on the list of most successful drivers in F1,” Brawn said.

“It cannot be seen as a turning point in the championship, given that his eight-point lead is small when there’s still half a season to go, but it was definitely a significant result, both technically and psychologically, as we head toward the Ferrari man’s home race in Germany.

“Hamilton’s pace throughout was prodigious and who knows what would have happened if Vettel and Bottas hadn’t got past him at the start. What is certain is that a race that should have seen him retake the championship lead from Vettel turned into a damage limitation exercise.”

Ferrari has now taken four wins to Mercedes’ three, with the Scuderia moving 20 points clear of the reigning world champions heading to the German manufacturer’s home race in Hockenheim

Brawn said he is anticipating the closely-matched battle for supremacy at the top of F1’s pecking order to continue to thrill heading into the second half of 2018.

“Ferrari showed that it had matched Mercedes in terms of development and in its ability to make the most of its technical package,” he added.

“It augurs well for an even more exciting second part of the season, a taste of which we got in the closing laps of the race at Silverstone.”

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