gtag('config', 'UA-12595121-1'); Lewis Hamilton Triumphs at British Grand Prix, Holds Off Verstappen for First Win Since 2021 – The Zimbabwe Mail

Lewis Hamilton Triumphs at British Grand Prix, Holds Off Verstappen for First Win Since 2021

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SILVERSTONE, England — Lewis Hamilton secured a thrilling victory at the British Grand Prix on Sunday, holding off a late surge by Max Verstappen to claim his first win since the penultimate race of the 2021 season.

Hamilton became the first F1 driver to win at any track nine times, extending his record to 104 wins overall. His last victory was at the Saudi Arabian GP in December 2021, the year he lost the title to Verstappen.

“You’ve got to continue to dig deep even when you are feeling the bottom of the barrel,” Hamilton said. “My fans around the world have been so supportive.”

The victory was a poignant way for Hamilton to conclude his last British GP with Mercedes before joining Ferrari next year.

“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,” Hamilton said. “There’s just no greater feeling than to finish at the front here.”

The seven-time F1 champion beat defending champion Verstappen by 1.5 seconds, with Lando Norris finishing third for McLaren ahead of teammate Oscar Piastri.

An emotional Hamilton thanked his team over the radio and struggled to compose himself as he addressed the crowd.

“There’s definitely been days between 2021 and here when I didn’t feel I was good enough,” Hamilton admitted.

Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate, George Russell, started from pole position ahead of Hamilton, with Norris in third and Verstappen in fourth. However, Russell’s hopes for a second straight F1 win ended on Lap 34 of 52 due to a suspected water system issue.

Verstappen overtook Norris with four laps remaining but could not catch Hamilton, much to the delight of the 164,000 fans in attendance.

Moments after crossing the finish line, Hamilton celebrated with his mechanics and shared a long hug with his father. He then soaked in the applause from the home fans, jumping over a crash barrier and proudly waving a British flag.

“There’s just no greater feeling,” Hamilton told the cheering crowd.

The race began with Russell and Hamilton making clean starts while Verstappen overtook Norris. Rain started to fall about 25 minutes into the race, making the track slippery.

Hamilton took the lead from Russell on the damp track, with Norris moving into second following a mistake by Russell. The first round of pit stops saw Verstappen, Norris, and both Mercedes cars change tires, but McLaren kept Piastri out longer, costing him a chance at victory.

After the tire-change shakeup, Norris led Hamilton by just over three seconds while Verstappen was initially falling behind. However, the final round of pit stops with just over 10 laps remaining proved crucial. Verstappen, Hamilton, and Norris made quick changes, but McLaren took too long on Norris’ rears, causing him to emerge 2.4 seconds behind Hamilton, with Verstappen closing in fast.

Despite Verstappen’s efforts, Hamilton held on for the win, making him the sixth different winner this season—compared to just three in 22 races last year.

Verstappen still leads the standings with 255 points, 84 points ahead of Norris, with Charles Leclerc in third place with 150 points. Despite his victory, Hamilton is eighth overall with 110 points.

Carlos Sainz Jr. finished fifth for Ferrari, followed by Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg, Lance Stroll (Aston Martin), Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin), Alex Albon (Williams), and Yuki Tsunoda (RB) rounding out the top 10.

Sergio Perez, who started from the pit lane after a dismal qualifying in 19th, finished 17th, while Leclerc started 11th and placed 14th.

Source: AP