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Formula 1 in Silverstone: Tears and pride: Hamilton’s triumphant return at home race

A victory for the record books: Lewis Hamilton triumphs in Silverstone. A spectacle over 52 laps with drama factor – and a strong German.

Lewis Hamilton’s voice faltered, tears flowing under his helmet, while the British fans among the 164,000 spectators paid tribute to the record world champion after his next impressive Formula 1 record. The 39-year-old superstar celebrated his triumphant return to first place at his home race in Silverstone and did a lap of honour with the Union Jack after the British Grand Prix.

“This means so much to me,” Hamilton stammered in the car. “We will win, we will never give up,” team boss Toto Wolff radioed to the emotional Briton, who had to wait 945 days for this moment.

7.7. a special date for the seven-time world champion

Hamilton celebrated his last victory to date on December 5, 2021 in Saudi Arabia. Overall, it was career success number 104. In Silverstone alone, it was his ninth – no other driver in the premier class of motorsport has achieved so many victories on one track.

The weight that had been lifted from the future Ferrari driver became clear to the seven-time world champion with every second after the victory on July 7th. “Since 2021, I have tried to get back on track every day. It was the last time the British Grand Prix with this team, I wanted this victory,” said Hamilton. He hugged his equally moved father Anthony for a long time and let the fans and his family celebrate with the British flag. In 2008, he won for the first time at the home race.

Max Verstappen only managed second place in the cinematic Silverstone spectacle. In the closing stages, he also overtook Lando Norris in the McLaren and thus further extended his lead in the World Championship over his British friend in the penultimate race before the summer break. The gap is now 84 points.

Lots of action after getting ready for a Hollywood movie

The 26-year-old, who had finished fifth in Spielberg a week earlier after an incident with Norris, also benefited from a defect in the Mercedes of Austrian winner Georg Russell, for whom the action-packed race in the Home of British Motor Racing ended prematurely from pole position. Nico Hülkenberg in the Haas achieved a strong sixth place and once again confirmed his strong form.

There was actually no need to get everyone in the mood with the first trailer for next year’s Hollywood film starring Brad Pitt. After the argument between Verstappen and Norris in Spielberg, the two of them were standing next to each other on the starting grid.

How resilient is the friendship, how reliable would the suddenly insightful words of Norris be, who had been terribly upset in Austria after a collision with Verstappen had forced him to retire.

Anxious waiting for the rain

Verstappen made short work of the start and pushed past Norris from fourth place on the grid without much difficulty and without much resistance, although Norris drove too far out in turn three. The first Briton of the home trio was now behind him again. But the Dutchman was unable to get past Hamilton and Russell. He didn’t even try at first.

Everyone was worried and waited until the rain started. At the start, the sun was shining in places, but the dark clouds were not far away. On Saturday, on a track that was still partly wet, Verstappen went off course and drove through the gravel. He damaged the underbody of his car and had to settle for fourth place on the grid.

The big question: When would the rain start and who had the best timing for changing tires? First, Norris grabbed Verstappen. And this time the champion didn’t put up any resistance at all. The British fans in the stands cheered and clapped before they needed their hands to open their umbrellas and put on their rain jackets and Oscar Piastri in the second McLaren overtook Verstappen.

Risky driving on wet roads

Hamilton put pressure on the front and overtook Russell after 18 laps. Now it got even louder in the stands. It became slippery and critical. Norris took the chance, passed Russell and then Hamilton, and Piastri grabbed Russell from behind. A gamble on the wet asphalt. With both McLarens in the lead at the same time. Would you prefer the mixed tires, the command post asked Hamilton. “No, there are enough dry spots,” he replied.

More rain was to come. Verstappen was one of the first to react and got the mixed tires – that was pretty clever. “We’re back in the race,” the pit radioed to Verstappen. McLaren brought Norris in, let Piastri continue in the rain, Mercedes finished off both cars one after the other – which at least cost Russell a place. Piastri then even fell back to sixth place after his stop.

Things were worse for Russell. A week after his victory in Austria and pole position on Saturday, he had to park his Mercedes in the garage after 34 laps – a problem with the cooling system was suspected. Hamilton, however, took the lead after another tire change and did not let it slip away.

Source: Stern

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