July 21, 2024


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Hamilton takes ninth win at Silverstone as McLaren stumbles

Hamilton takes ninth win at Silverstone as McLaren stumbles

Lewis Hamilton claimed his ninth British Grand Prix win in a thrilling race at Silverstone, outpacing Formula 1 championship leader Max Verstappen in wet conditions to claim victory.

Hamilton took advantage of Mercedes’ initiative to switch to slick tyres after a period of rain midway through the race, which put him ahead of long-time leader Lando Norris while McLaren were slower to react to the conditions.

Using soft tyres, Hamilton sought to maintain his newly acquired lead over Norris, which had lasted less than three seconds when the Miami Grand Prix winner emerged from the pits on the same red-walled Pirelli tyres.

Although Norris began to put in a series of fast laps to get closer to the Mercedes’ gearbox, his pace seemed unsustainable, which was eventually proven when Verstappen – who had been unusually slow throughout the race – emerged ahead on the hard tyre.

Verstappen soon began to catch Norris, which helped Hamilton extend his lead as the two cars behind him began to claim second place. Norris did not have enough tyres to challenge Verstappen, and lost second place to Stowe at the end of lap 48, leaving Hamilton with four laps to maintain the lead as the Red Bulls were quickly catching up to him.

Both had to fight through traffic, but neither lost much time, with Hamilton starting the final lap with over two seconds in his hands, which proved enough to cement his first Formula 1 win since the 2021 Saudi Grand Prix.

“I can’t stop crying,” Hamilton admitted after the race. “Since 2021, I’ve been waking up every day and trying to fight, train, focus on the task and work as hard as I can with this amazing team.

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“This is my last race here at the British Grand Prix with this team, so I wanted very much to win this race for them because I love them.”

Ultimately, Mercedes managed to secure the race for the McLarens after losing the lead to them in heavy rain. Neither of the leaders responded to the first downpour, with the slick tyres holding up in the oily conditions, but the McLarens were the better side of the stage.

Norris and Oscar Piastri led Hamilton and pole-sitter George Russell, who Hamilton passed on lap 18 as the younger Briton suffered the first rain.

When the second rain cell arrived, Norris followed the two Mercedes into the pits, while Piastri stayed outside, which took the Australian out of the lead battle as he struggled on the extra lap on slick tyres.

Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL38

Photo: Zach Mauger / Motorsports Pictures

Russell was next to lose a place, with Verstappen weakening the Mercedes driver by stopping with one lap to go to third. Although the polesitter started to catch up with the Red Bull driver, he was asked to retire from the car due to a suspected water system problem.

Hamilton reported that the sun came out at the start of lap 37, and by the end of the next lap the track had dried considerably. Mercedes took the lead and pulled Hamilton, followed by Verstappen. The two disagreed; Hamilton chose the soft tyre and Verstappen chose the hard tyre in case of greater wear.

McLaren took the decision to keep Norris off the track, but the race leader insisted he should enter the track on the following lap – a move that cost McLaren the lead and eventually second place, as the soft tyres began to wear down significantly against Verstappen’s harder tyres.

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He had to console himself with third place, with worn tyres leaving him six seconds behind Verstappen at the finish line. Piastri saved himself in fourth after falling out of the race for victory due to a late pit stop for medium tyres.

Carlos Sainz, who had earlier faced Verstappen when the Dutchman struggled in the first two-thirds of the race, pitted late in the race to set the fastest lap on a used set of soft tyres, having enough tyres on hand to take Nico Hulkenberg.
Hulkenberg took sixth place for the second time in a row to boost Haas’ hopes of catching Robert Red Bull in the constructors’ championship, while Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso finished seventh and eighth respectively for Aston Martin.
Alex Albon overcame a tough first-lap tussle as Hulkenberg and Alonso entered Turn 4, but passed Yuki Tsunoda to take ninth – Tsunoda completing the top 10 by 10 seconds over Logan Sargent.

United kingdom British Grand Prix 2024