Friday, July 12, 2024

Lewis Hamilton ends F1 win drought with 9th British Grand Prix victory | The Express Tribune


Lewis Hamilton shed pent-up tears of joy after ending a 945-day wait for a win with a record ninth British Grand Prix victory in front of his home fans on a fairytale Sunday at Silverstone.

Mercedes’ seven-times Formula One world champion was overcome by the emotion as he took the chequered flag in triumph for the first time since Saudi Arabia on Dec. 5, 2021 – 56 races ago.

Red Bull’s triple world champion Max Verstappen finished 1.465 seconds behind, extending his overall lead to 84 points, and McLaren’s Lando Norris was third after being passed four laps from the end.

Mercedes’ pole-sitter George Russell, winner of the previous race in Austria, retired with a suspected water system issue at the end of lap 33.

“Get in there Lewis, you are the man. You are the man. Mate, I have been waiting for this,” yelled Hamilton’s race engineer Peter Bonnington, who joined the driver on the podium where he was drenched in champagne, over the team radio.

“Thank you so much guys,” sobbed Hamilton in reply, his voice faltering as he choked back the flow of tears inside the helmet while the grandstands — and a crowd of 164,000 — erupted on a cold afternoon punctuated by showers.

“It means a lot. Big thank you to all the fans here.”

The record-extending 104th win of Hamilton’s career set new benchmarks – not least the first F1 driver to win a race in 16 different seasons and first to win nine times at the same circuit. Hamilton had previously shared the latter record with Ferrari great Michael Schumacher.

He is also the first driver to win a race after reaching the rare milestone of 300 starts. Sunday’s was the 344th race of Hamilton’s F1 career that started with McLaren in 2007.

“I’m still crying,” the Briton told 2009 champion and compatriot Jenson Button, doing the pre-podium interviews, with the flag draped around his shoulders after stepping out of the car and hugging his father in a tight embrace.

“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 and all the hard work they’ve been putting in over the years,” added the Ferrari-bound driver.

McLaren’s Oscar Piastri finished fourth with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz fifth.

Nico Hulkenberg was sixth for Haas with the Aston Martins of Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso eighth. Alex Albon took two points for Williams and Yuki Tsunoda was 10th for the Red Bull-owned RB team.

Red Bull are now on 373 points to Ferrari’s 302 and McLaren’s 295, with Mercedes on 221.

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