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Screenshot from a CNN interview with Lewis Hamilton, where he reflected on special British GP at Silverstone. (CNN)

Hamilton takes ‘fairytale’ British Grand Prix victory

July 7, 2024

By Issy Ronald, CNN

(CNN) — Lewis Hamilton won his home race at the British Grand Prix on Sunday, battling to a thrilling, record-extending victory as the lead changed hands several times on a rain-slicked track at Silverstone.

The seven-time world champion rolled back the years to take his first race win since the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and a record-extending ninth victory at Silverstone, prompting delirious celebrations from the packed home crowd as a tearful Hamilton paraded around the track, holding the Union Jack aloft from his car.

And it was his old rival, Max Verstappen, who Hamilton fought off to secure the win as the Red Bull driver chipped away at the Briton’s lead in a dramatic finish, but was unable to overtake him.

For Hamilton to win his last British Grand Prix with Mercedes – the team with whom he dominated the sport for so long – seemed like a “fairytale,” team principal Toto Wolff told broadcaster Sky Sports after the race.

No other driver has won as many races at the same circuit as Hamilton has at Silverstone now, further cementing the 39-year-old’s legacy at the trackand as the sport’s most successful ever driver.

Hamilton himself seemed overwhelmed by emotion too, embracing his father at the finish and telling Sky Sports that he “can’t stop crying.”

“It’s been since 2021, 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,” he said. “This is my last race here at the British Grand Prix with this team, so I wanted to win this so much for them.

“There’s definitely been days between 2021 and here where I didn’t feel like I was good enough or whether I was going to get back to where I am today but the important thing is I had great people around me continuing to support me,” he added.

Hopes were high among the home crowd for a British winner at the race since there was a British 1-2-3 starting on the grid at Silverstone for the first time since 1962.

George Russell began on pole, ahead of his teammate Hamilton in second and McLaren’s Lando Norris in third, and Russell held the lead for the first third of the race until Hamilton streaked past his teammate.

But both Mercedes cars ran wide off the track across the run-off shortly afterwards, allowing Norris to overtake Russell and then to accelerate past Hamilton too.

As the rain poured down at Silverstone, Norris seemed assured in the lead but Hamilton began slowly reeling him in while Russell was forced to retire from the race with a technical issue and Verstappen started chasing the leaders down.

Once the rain cleared, the drivers pitted to change their tires again and Norris slightly misjudged his mark, adding an extra couple of seconds to his stop, and Hamilton capitalized to take the lead.

There was still drama to come in the closing laps of the race as Verstappen overtook Norris to take second and began chasing down Hamilton but ultimately ran out of road.

This story has been updated with additional developments.

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