Formula 1 Racing

Hamilton beats Verstappen to end win drought in thriller

Poleman Russell led Hamilton initially before McLaren came to the fore as drizzle arrived

Lewis Hamilton clinched his ninth British Grand Prix victory in a thrilling Silverstone race, prevailing in wet conditions to beat Formula 1 championship leader Max Verstappen to victory.

Hamilton pounced on Mercedes’ initiative to switch to slicks after a period of rain across the middle phase of the race, which carted him above long-time leader Lando Norris as McLaren was slower to respond to the drying conditions.

Equipped with soft tyres, Hamilton sought to preserve his newly acquired lead over Norris, one that spanned less than three seconds when the Miami Grand Prix winner emerged from the pits on the same red-walled Pirellis.

Although Norris started to log a series of quick laps to get closer to the Mercedes’ gearbox, it appeared that his pace was unsustainable. That ultimately proved true when Verstappen – who had been uncharacteristically slow throughout the race – came to the fore on the hard tyre.

Verstappen soon began to catch Norris, which helped Hamilton consolidate his lead as the two cars behind him began to stake their claim for second. Norris didn’t have the tyres to fight Verstappen and conceded second into Stowe at the end of lap 48, leaving Hamilton four laps to keep the lead from a rapidly catching Red Bull.

The two had to overcome traffic, but neither lost much time; Hamilton began the final lap with over two seconds in hand which proved to be enough to cement his first F1 victory since the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

“I cannot stop crying!” Hamilton admitted after the race. “Since 2021, I just, everyday getting up trying to fight, to train, to put my mind to the task and work as hard as I can with this amazing team.

“This is my last race here at the British Grand Prix with this team, so I wanted to win this so much for them because I love them.”

Poleman Russell led Hamilton initially before McLaren came to the fore as drizzle arrived

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Mercedes had ultimately nailed the crossover period after losing the lead to the two McLarens amid the initial drizzle. None of the front-runners responded to the first bout of rain, as the slicks were able to hang on amid the greasy conditions, but the McLaren drivers had the better car in this phase.

Norris and Oscar Piastri hit the front over Hamilton and pole-sitter George Russell, who had been passed by Hamilton on the 18th lap as the younger Briton struggled to contend with the first bit of rain.

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