2024 Qatar Airways British Grand Prix Race Recap - ESPN (2024)

ByLaurence Edmondson

Jul 7, 2024, 01:03 pm

SILVERSTONE, England -- Lewis Hamilton won a dramatic British Grand Prix in mixed conditions, ending a victory drought that stretched back to the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver beat his old foe Max Verstappen to the win by 1.4 seconds, and in doing so took his ninth win on home soil at Silverstone -- the most for any driver at a single circuit in Formula One history.

An emotional Hamilton said afterwards: "I can't stop crying. I know it's been since 2021, every day getting up trying to put my mind to the task and work as hard as I can with this amazing team, and this is my last race here at the British Grand Prix, so I wanted to win this so much for them.

He added: "It's so tough, I think for anyone. I think the important thing is how you continue to get up and continue to dig deep even when you feel like you're at the bottom of the barrel.

"I mean there have definitely been days between 2021 and here when 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, my team, every time I turn up and see them putting in the effort, that really encouraged me to do the same thing."

Hamilton's long wait for his 104th F1 victory stretches back to his title battle with Verstappen in 2021.

The seven-time world champion lost out on both the championship and a race win in controversial circ*mstances at the final race of 2021, with Mercedes then struggling to provide him a winning car under a new set of regulations introduced in 2022.

Hamilton is due to leave Mercedes for Ferrari at the end of the year after 12 years at the team.

Behind Hamilton, Verstappen overtook Lando Norris for second place with four laps remaining and initially looked like he might catch the Mercedes as well.

For the majority of the 52-lap race, Verstappen looked out of contention for the victory, but his car came alive with a switch to the hard compound tyres at his final pit stop.

Norris and Hamilton opted for soft tyres, which proved fast initially but soon dropped off in performance, allowing Verstappen to pass the McLaren and close to within 1.4 seconds of the lead at the chequered flag.

Verstappen said: "We just didn't have the pace today, I was slowly dropping back when it mattered at the beginning.

"It did not look great at some point, I was really thinking: 'Are we gonna finish fifth, sixth?' The call from the team to be on the hard tyre at the end instead of the soft was definitely helping me out. That's why I think we finished second today, it could have been a lot worse, we're making the right calls and we still got onto the podium and I'm of course happy with that."

- Unlapped: Listen to ESPN's F1 podcast

Norris will see Sunday's race as another missed opportunity after taking the lead on Lap 20 in the midst of the first rain shower.

2024 Qatar Airways British Grand Prix Race Recap - ESPN (1)

Mario Renzi - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images

He led through the first round of pit stops, which saw the lead drivers switch to rain tyres, but pitted a lap later than the others to switch back to slicks and lost track position to Hamilton as a result.

He also passed up the opportunity to switch to the medium compound tyre for his final stint, which, with the benefit of hindsight, would have been a better choice as teammate Oscar Piastri used the medium to set the fastest lap in the closing stages on his way to fourth place.

The Briton said: "It was tough. It was enjoyable, it was fun, battling these guys and these tricky conditions are on a knife edge and you're risking a lot. So many things good, but a few too many let-downs today, and as a team I don't think we did quite the job we should have done or good enough, but still lovely to be on the podium here at Silverstone.

"I'm not making the right decisions, at the same time I blame myself today for not making some of the right decisions. I hate it. I hate ending in this position and everyone having excuses for not doing a good enough job but I'm still happy, I'm still going to enjoy it, we still did so many things right."

Piastri was also the victim of a poorly timed pit stop earlier in the race after McLaren switched him to wet-weather tyres a lap later than his rivals, dropping him from second place to sixth.

Carlos Sainz was the highest-placed Ferrari driver, in fifth ahead of Haas' Nico Hulkenberg in sixth, the two Aston Martins of Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso in seventh and eighth.

Alex Albon secured ninth place for Williams at the team's home race ahead of Yuki Tsunoda in tenth for RB.

Hamilton's teammate George Russell, who started from pole position, retired from the race with a suspected water system issue on Lap 33 after dropping from the lead to fourth place in the wet weather.

2024 Qatar Airways British Grand Prix Race Recap - ESPN (2024)
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