"I guess I wanted to give a boost to England", he said.
Bottas had held Vettel off on a number of occasions but the championship leader then pulled off a sublime late dive to the inside at Brooklands to force his way through (pictured above) and escape up the road, with Bottas then fading as Hamilton and Raikkonen also found a way through.
Vettel pitted for new tires while the safety auto was out following Marcus Ericsson's crash.
Despite Hamilton's drive back to second from last, Ferrari's double podium means it has opened up the lead in both championships.
"All I'll say, there's now two races the Ferrari have taken out one of the Mercedes".
Hartley took his place on the start line for the main race - won by Germany's Sebastian Vettel - but was unable to complete the first lap when his rebuilt Toro Rosso auto limped into the pits.
Despite suffering from a neck injury throughout the weekend, the German overtook title rival Lewis Hamilton at the start of Sunday's race to set him on course for a first win at Silverstone since 2009.
That was no comfort to Hamilton, who quickly worked his way through the back-runners as he posted the fastest lap times.
Both spun and rejoined, Hamilton after running off track. Vettel pitted from the lead, but Bottas stayed out, to lead on lap 34, as did Hamilton.
"There is no way I can compete with new tyres", he said. Bottas, still on medium tires, was soon struggling, and Ferrari was celebrating when Raikkonen went past to go third.
The race was neutralised again moments later for an accident at Copse between Carlos Sainz and Romain Grosjean, when Sainz attacked on the outside but Grosjean suffered a wobble at the apex.
"It's home base for Mercedes, Red Bull, Williams so you have to be quite strong at Silverstone".
Pierre Gasly claimed the final point in 10th for Toro Rosso and Honda.
Any race where your team wins will be declared as a great race by a team boss but when the racing is brilliant throughout the field, the action is close, and your driver still reigns supreme, it's that little bit sweeter.
"It was my mistake, so that's fine".
"I am sorry I could not bring it home for you today".
The Silverstone circuit was celebrating 70 years since the Royal Automobile Club held a Grand Prix on the former wartime airfield in 1948, when Luigi Villoresi led an Italian 1-2 for Maserati. "I will not give up".