What could have been a huge setback in his bid for a fifth drivers' title turned into only an eight point deficit with still more than half the season remaining. Pirelli believes a one-stop is possible if tyre temperatures can be kept under control, but let them spiral upwards and a two-stop comes into play.
The nightmare continued for former champions Williams at their home race, with Lance Stroll bringing out red flags when he crashed at the start of the first phase of qualifying.
"It is you guys that helped me get through today so we take it on the chin, we keep pushing hard. Last time we said it was going to be a boring race, and it was a very entertaining race, so let's see".
That left him vulnerable as Raikkonen clipped his rear tyre sending him into a tailspin off the track and into last place.
Hamilton rushed back into the mix for a podium spot with the majority of runners picking a one-stop strategy until Marcus Ericsson lost control of his Sauber at Turn 1, and his fierce shunt into the tyre barrier brought out a lap 33 safety vehicle.More news: 'Moja Domovina!': Croatia celebrate after defeating Russian Federation by singing patriotic songs
This time his team, who had messed up the strategy so badly just seven days before in Austria, got it right.
There was no stopping the four-time champion as he seized the lead at the start of the race and fought back after losing the initiative during two safety auto periods to register his second win at Silverstone and the 51st of his career. "So I think it was 100 per cent the right decision, particularly on my auto". If I'd followed them in I'd have finished behind them.
"Things happen sometimes. Funnily enough you start blaming us for doing it on objective but I locked the wheel, unfortunately we touched and we both paid the price for it and that's how it goes sometimes".
Vettel had his neck taped up having complained of a problem earlier in the weekend, but could not hide his delight at seeing off Hamilton in front of his adoring British fans.
Later, responding to the comments from Mercedes, Raikkonen said: "That's how it goes sometimes".
'The neck held up and that was a race I enjoyed a lot'.