Hamilton ends his countdown of days since his last F1 win with a superb victory at the British GP

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Lewis Hamilton celebrates with the trophy

Lewis Hamilton had been keeping track of the days since his last Formula 1 victory, and the count was nearing 1,000. Following an impressive win at the British Grand Prix on Sunday, cheered on by his home crowd, Hamilton can finally stop counting.

“That’s the longest stretch without a win, 945 days. This could be one of the most special for me, if not the most special,” Hamilton said. “There have definitely been moments when I thought it’s never going to happen again.”

Despite many victories since his debut win in Canada in 2007, this was his first win anywhere since the second-last race of the 2021 season in Saudi Arabia. That’s more than 50 races ago.

That year he lost his F1 title to Max Verstappen, who is now aiming for his fourth consecutive F1 title. However, Sunday was all about the 39-year-old Hamilton in his final British GP with Mercedes, before he moves to Ferrari next year.

“Leaving on a high,” Hamilton said. “This is my last race here with this team so I wanted to win this so much for them because I love them and I appreciate them so much.”

As much as the fans appreciate him. “My fans around the world have been so supportive,” Hamilton said. “I was coming round and there’s just no greater feeling than to finish at the front here.”

Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the race at the podium

Silverstone held its breath in the closing laps as Hamilton fended off Verstappen’s late charge and secured his ninth win on any track, a record in F1.

“For me, personally, it’s the best track in the world,” said Hamilton, who now holds another F1 record alongside his 104 wins and 104 pole positions. He also shares a record seven F1 titles with Michael Schumacher. So how was he planning to celebrate? “With a curry,” he said. “I love Indian food.”

In a tight finish, he beat Verstappen by 1.5 seconds, with Lando Norris of McLaren finishing third ahead of teammate Oscar Piastri.

Hamilton sounded tearful as he expressed gratitude to his team over the radio, and he remained emotional several minutes later when addressing the crowd. “I’m still crying,” Hamilton said as he spoke to the fans.

There were high expectations for a home victory at Silverstone, especially with Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate George Russell starting from pole position ahead of Hamilton, and with Lando Norris in third and Max Verstappen fourth.

However, Russell’s hopes for a second consecutive F1 win were dashed on Lap 34 of 52 due to a water system issue in his car.

Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the race

Verstappen managed to pass Norris with four laps remaining but couldn’t catch Hamilton, much to the delight of the majority of the 164,000 fans in attendance.

Immediately after crossing the finish line, Hamilton embraced his mechanics and then shared a heartfelt hug with his father, Anthony Hamilton. He then soaked in the applause from the home crowd, waving a British flag as he jumped over a crash barrier.

“I can feel you lap by lap, there’s just no greater feeling,” he told the cheering fans. At the start of the race, Russell and Hamilton made clean getaways while Verstappen passed Norris.

Rain began to fall around 25 minutes into the race, making the 5.9-kilometer (3.7-mile) track more slippery. Hamilton took the lead from Russell on the damp track, with Norris benefiting from Russell’s mistake to move into second place.

Verstappen, Norris, and both Mercedes cars pitted for fresh tires shortly after the halfway point of the race. McLaren opted to keep Oscar Piastri out longer, which ultimately cost him a shot at victory.

Following the tire changes, Norris was just over three seconds ahead of Hamilton, while Verstappen was gradually falling behind.

The final round of tire changes, with just over 10 laps remaining, turned out to be crucial.

Verstappen, Hamilton, and Norris all made quick stops, but McLaren took too long changing Norris’ rear tires—4.5 seconds—which dropped him 2.4 seconds behind race leader Hamilton, with Verstappen rapidly closing in.

Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the race

“I’m pretty disappointed,” Norris said. “It’s frustrating when we’ve let slip away opportunities that should have been ours.”

Verstappen couldn’t close the gap enough, and Hamilton’s victory marked the sixth different winner of the season, compared to only three winners in 22 races last year.

“There are many of us in contention,” Norris said. “I expect there will be some good battles ahead.”Despite not winning as frequently, Verstappen continues to widen his lead because Norris consistently finishes behind him.

Verstappen leads Norris in the championship standings by 84 points, 255-171, with Charles Leclerc in third place with 150 points. Despite earning 25 points for his victory, Hamilton is currently eighth with 110 points.

Carlos Sainz Jr. finished fifth in Sunday’s race for Ferrari, ahead of Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin), Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin), Alex Albon (Williams), and Yuki Tsunoda (RB) completed the top 10.

Sergio Perez apologized to Red Bull after qualifying a disappointing 19th and starting from the pit lane due to multiple part changes. He finished 17th, while Leclerc started 11th and ended up 14th.


By Christopher Kamila

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