I am still crying – Lewis Hamilton emotional after British Grand Prix victory

Lewis Hamilton said he could not stop crying after he ended his mammoth 945-day losing streak to take a wild, wet and emotional win at Sunday’s British Grand Prix.

Hamilton extended his record number of victories in front of his adoring home crowd to nine following a fascinating dry-wet-dry race in front of 164,000 spectators at Silverstone.

It marked the 39-year-old’s first win in Formula One since he triumphed in Saudi Arabia on December 5, 2021. Hamilton lost the following race in Abu Dhabi as Max Verstappen denied him a record eighth world crown in the most contentious race in the sport’s history.

Hamilton, who will leave Mercedes at the end of the season to join Ferrari, admitted he doubted if he would ever enter the winner’s circle again.

After stepping out of his Mercedes machine, an emotional Hamilton embraced his father Anthony. The hug lasted for nearly 20 seconds before the sobbing Briton removed his crash helmet and balaclava, and wiped away tears.

He then leapt over a barrier before standing in front of the record crowd draped in a Union Jack flag and punching his chest.

“I am still crying,” said Hamilton. “There is no greater feeling than to finish at the front here. It is so tough for anyone.

“But the important thing is how you continue to get up and dig deep even when you feel like you’re at the bottom of the barrel.

“There have definitely been days since 2021 where I didn’t feel I was good enough or I would get back to where I am today but I have had great people around me and supporting me.”

Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the British Grand Prix by spraying champagne at engineer Peter Bonnington at Silverstone
Lewis Hamilton secured a long-awaited win (Matthew Vincent/PA)

Hamilton started second and for a large chunk of this fascinating 52-lap affair it looked as though Lando Norris would secure his maiden success on home soil, but he was left exposed by his flat-footed McLaren team in the changeable conditions.

As the Northamptonshire track dried out following a splurge of rain, Hamilton, trailing Norris by two seconds, peeled into the pit-lane to switch from intermediate tyres to the soft rubber with a dozen laps to run.

Norris was critically left out one lap longer and when he emerged from the pits – after a sluggish 4.5 sec change to the dry rubber – Hamilton had taken the lead to huge roars.

A composed Hamilton then rolled back the years over the remaining laps to take his 104th career win, with Verstappen then demoting Norris to third with just four laps remaining.

“Get in there, Lewis,” yelled Hamilton’s race engineer, Peter Bonnington, as his driver crossed the line 1.4 seconds ahead of Verstappen.

“You are the man, you are the man! I have been waiting for this.”

Hamilton’s voice cracked as he replied: “Thank you so much, guys. It means a lot to get this one. I love you guys.”

Crying in his cockpit, Hamilton added: “I love you, Bono.”

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff joined the radio love-in, saying: “We will prevail. We never give up and what a sign-off for our last race at the British Grand Prix. We couldn’t wish for anything better.”

Despite being on the back foot for much of the race, Verstappen managed to extend his championship lead over Norris to 84 points, leaving the McLaren driver to rue another afternoon wrecked by poor strategy.

Lando Norris driving at Silverstone
Lando Norris fell away at the end (Andrew Matthews/PA)

“That crucial decision at the end, Lewis just did a better job,” said Norris.

“It was fun battling these guys and these tricky conditions are always on a knife-edge and you’re risking a lot. As a team I don’t think we did quite the job we should have done.

“I’m not making the right decisions. I blame myself today for not making the right decision but I hate ending in these positions and having excuses for not being good enough.”

Pole-sitter George Russell retired with a suspected water leak as McLaren driver Oscar Piastri took fourth spot, one place clear of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz.