By Andrew Benson
BBC Sport at Silverstone
Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen shattered Lewis Hamilton's dreams of a debut British Grand Prix victory with a copybook second victory in a row.
A revitalised Raikkonen has won the last two races
The Finn, who won at Magny-Cours last weekend, drove a superb race to beat Hamilton's McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso, with Hamilton a distant third.
Hamilton was unable to convert his pole position into a win, losing the lead at the first round of pit stops.
But the Briton still holds a 12-point lead over Alonso in the standings.
Raikkonen's victory moves him into third place, one point ahead of team-mate Felipe Massa but still 18 points adrift of Hamilton.
Massa finished fifth following an impressive fightback after he stalled on the grid and was forced to start from the pit lane.
"We had a good car all weekend," said Raikkonen. "At the beginning, I tried to save some fuel and look after car and tyres.
We've been close here a few times but something has happened and we haven't been able to win
"Once we knew we had enough fuel I was able to close on Lewis and try to overtake him. But we knew he was coming in so didn't take too much of a risk.
"It was a very nice feeling to win the race. We've been close here a few times but something has happened and we haven't been able to win. Now, finally, we have done it and it's one of the nicest races and feelings.
"Hopefully, the championship is not over. It's still going to be a long season.
"We seem to have good speed now but I think it also depends on the circuit at conditions at the places we go."
Alonso admitted Raikkonen's Ferrari had just been too fast for him to handle.
"We changed the strategy, thinking that we should be able to maintain the lead even at the second stop, so we short-fuelled in the first pit stop and started the second stint ahead of Kimi," he said.
"But I was not able to open a gap that was big enough. I knew I had to open at least an eight-second gap, and I was only five seconds ahead when I pitted for the second time, so I knew already that maybe it was not enough.
"I lost a little bit of time when I left the pits passing three cars together.
"Kimi had six laps' more fuel, two of them I was overtaking people, so I lost a little bit of time, but I think the result wouldn't have changed. I think the Ferrari was a little bit too quick today."
Hamilton said he had not been happy with the handling of his car all weekend.
"We had an interesting race," he said. "It started off quite well. I was trying to open a gap to Kimi but obviously he was very quick, and at the end of the stint the tyres were starting to fall away.
"All weekend I was struggling to balance the car. In the last stint it was better. I was very consistent, but I just didn't have the pace."
Hamilton led away at the start, aggressively defending his lead from Raikkonen on the run down to the first corner, with Alonso slotting into third place.
But the Englishman was unable to break clear of Raikkonen, whose looming presence in the 22-year-old's mirrors made it clear he had a faster car.
Hamilton was the first of the leading trio to make a pit stop on lap 16, suggesting he had won pole position by virtue of a lighter car.
And he didn't help himself by trying to accelerate away before his crew had finished refuelling.
Hamilton could not fulfil the expectations of the British fans
Then, when Raikkonen emerged from his own first stop two laps later, he was ahead of Hamilton.
But Alonso was still out on the track, and he leapfrogged ahead of both men after his first stop two laps later.
The race soon distilled into a battle between Alonso and Raikkonen, as Hamilton dropped further and further back.
The Spaniard and the Finn were very evenly-matched - Alonso had rejoined with a lead of just under four seconds.
The gap ebbed and flowed with traffic, but averaged around 4.5secs throughout the second stint.
Alonso eked out another second on lap 35 as Raikkonen encountered traffic, but then the world champion himself ran into slower cars on lap 37, when he came in for his final stop.
Had Raikkonen had only a couple of laps of extra fuel, Alonso might have hung on, but the Finn continued until lap 43 and emerged from the pits with a 3.2-second lead.
Underlining the impression that Raikkonen and Ferrari have been the strongest combination all weekend, he edged further ahead as the race wound to a conclusion.
Hamilton dropped further and further behind his team-mate but was under no threat whatsoever from BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica in fourth place.
The Pole was far more concerned with fending off Massa's Ferrari in the closing laps, which he managed to do.
Nick Heidfeld finished sixth in the second BMW Sauber, ahead of the Renaults of Heikki Kovalainen and Giancarlo Fisichella.
The Hondas ran reliably but slowly, with Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button completing the top 10, ahead of Red Bull's David Coulthard.
British Grand Prix race results:
1 K Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari 1:21:43.074
2 F Alonso (Spn) McLaren-Mercedes +00:02.459
3 L Hamilton (GB) McLaren-Mercedes 00:39.373
4 R Kubica (Pol) BMW Sauber 00:53.319
5 F Massa (Brz) Ferrari 00:54.063
6 N Heidfeld (Ger) BMW Sauber 00:56.336
7 H Kovalainen (Fin) Renault 1 lap behond
8 G Fisichella (Ita) Renault @ 1 lap
9 R Barrichello (Brz) Honda @ 1 lap
10 J Button (GB) Honda @ 1 lap
11 D Coulthard (GB) Red Bull-Renault @ 1 lap
12 N Rosberg (Ger) Williams-Toyota @ 1 lap
13 A Wurz (Aut) Williams-Toyota @ 1 lap
14 T Sato (Jpn) Super Aguri - Honda @ 2 laps
15 C Albers (Ned) Spyker-Ferrari @ 2 laps
ret V Liuzzi (Ita) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 53 laps completed
ret J Trulli (Ita) Toyota 43 laps competed
ret A Davidson (GB) Super Aguri-Honda 35 laps completed
ret S Speed (US) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 29 laps completed
ret R Schumacher (Ger) Toyota 22 laps completed
ret A Sutil (Ger) Spyker-Ferrari 16 laps completed
ret M Webber (Aus) Red Bull-Renault 8 laps completed