Lewis Hamilton Wins First Race Since 2021 in Thrilling British Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton won his first race since December 2021 by outlasting Max Verstappen and Lando Norris in a thrilling wet-dry British Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton won his first race since December 2021 by outlasting Max Verstappen and Lando Norris in a thrilling wet-dry British Grand Prix.

Hamilton had just enough to fight off a late push from Verstappen’s Red Bull to win his 104th career race, his ninth at home, and set the record for most victories on a single circuit.

Verstappen, who had struggled for pace for much of the race due to two distinct periods of rain, came alive in the last circuits to capture second place behind Norris, who finished third.

Hamilton, who was driving in his final British Grand Prix for Mercedes before joining Ferrari next year, appeared to be in tears in the car as he told his team, “This means so much to me,” as they congratulated him on the radio.

“This one means a lot to us all,” his engineer, Peter Bonnington, explained. “I love you, Bono,” Hamilton said.

Toto Wolff, Mercedes team principal, described the victory as “a fairytale” for both the team and Hamilton.

Norris’ teammate Oscar Piastri, who was also in the lead fight for the opening part of the race, finished fourth ahead of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz.

Lewis Hamilton‘s comeback with victory

Despite the bad weather, the top drivers and three leading teams put on a spectacular display in front of a crowd of 164,000 people who cheered the British drivers, particularly Hamilton, to the rafters.

Mercedes drivers George Russell and Lewis Hamilton led the early laps after the team secured the front row of the grid, while Verstappen past Norris down the outside of Turn Four on the first lap to finish third.

However, the Red Bull did not display its normal race pace, and Norris reclaimed third place on lap 15 with a pass into Stowe corner.

Piastri followed the Briton through two laps later, just as the first shower of rain began, putting the McLarens, who had chosen a higher-downforce setup than Mercedes and Red Bull, in command.

Hamilton made the first move, however, bypassing Russell into Stowe on lap 18.

A few laps later, both Mercedes drivers skidded off the track at Turn Two at the start of lap 19 as they battled for grip on the treacherous track, and Norris pounced, past Russell at Turn Four before closing up on Hamilton and passing him at Turn One on lap 20.

Piastri raced up to second behind him, and the McLarens went one-two for five laps as the track began to dry.

The lead cars went out on slick tyres for the first bout of rain, but the teams knew more was on the way, and as the rain fell heavier, Verstappen benefited from an early intermediate stop on lap 26.

Norris, Hamilton, and Russell followed him a lap later, with Piastri suffering as a result of lingering out on the slicks for another lap and losing ten seconds to the lead pack.

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen
Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen

Verstappen moved into third place behind Norris and Hamilton, with Russell in fourth.

Four laps later, Russell was forced to withdraw his Mercedes due to a water system issue.

By lap 38, with 14 laps remaining, the track was mostly dry, and Verstappen again jumped early for a tyre change.

He and Hamilton came to a stop together, with Mercedes using soft tyres and Verstappen using hard, while Norris waited for a lap before switching to softs.

The early stop, combined with a delay in the pits for McLaren as Norris stopped past his markings, propelled Hamilton into the lead.

It set up a grandstand finale, with the three cars captured in a single camera shot on the Hangar Straight during the race’s climax.

Lewis Hamilton always appeared to have Norris under control, but it soon became evident that Verstappen was the real threat, with the Red Bull altered by the decision to move to hard tyres.

Verstappen passed Norris on lap 48 down the Hangar Straight and entered the final four laps 3.2 seconds behind Hamilton and closing close.

But Hamilton had enough to hold him off, reaching the finish line 1.4 seconds behind, before fighting back tears as he climbed out of the vehicle.

Meanwhile, Norris and Piastri were left to rue some questionable McLaren pit calls – both Norris’ stops were a lap too late, and Piastri was undone by the decision not to double-stack him behind Norris when they switched to intermediates.

And Piastri’s pace on the medium tyres after the race – he was the fastest vehicle on the track by a significant margin, gaining 10 seconds on the leaders – suggested that Norris, too, should have switched to the same compound when he made his last stop.

Behind Sainz, Hulkenberg finished sixth in a highly improved Haas, while Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso finished seventh and eighth, respectively, with Williams’ Alex Albon and RB’s Yuki Tsunoda rounding out the top ten in points.

Also Read: Lewis Hamilton Wins First Race Since 2021 in Thrilling British Grand Prix