Lewis Hamilton wins British Grand Prix after 945-day F1 victory drought

After a long 945 days, Lewis Hamilton has finally won a Formula One race. The seven-time world champion won the British Grand Prix, marking Mercedes’ second consecutive victory this season.

All three British drivers led the race at some point, cheers coming from the grandstands. Mercedes had a stronghold of the lead in the opening stages, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton building a healthy gap while Max Verstappen passed Lando Norris. Russell began pulling away from his seven-time world champion teammate, and it seemed like the Silver Arrows were set for their second consecutive win of the season.

Until the rain began closing in, and an epic battle unfolded.

Verstappen kept losing ground to the Mercedes duo, and Norris overtook him, using DRS down the Hangar Straight and completing the move into Stowe. Then came Oscar Piastri, the second McLaren passing the Red Bull driver with relative ease. Verstappen didn’t seem to be in the mix as the race continued unfolding, at least for three-quarters of the race.

It’s key to remember that Mercedes allowed its drivers to battle (though to keep it clean). On Lap 18, Hamilton slipped past Russell but his lead didn’t last long. Norris came flying. Russell and Hamilton went off on Lap 19, and Norris snagged P2 when the Silver Arrows rejoined the track. A lap later, Norris took the lead from Hamilton while his teammate put pressure on Russell, eventually turning it into a McLaren 1-2 soon after.

The question became whether it was wet enough for intermediate tires. Another rainstorm loomed on the horizon, and Verstappen was the first among the leaders to make the switch. McLaren and Mercedes diverged on strategies, the Woking-based crew bringing in Norris but leaving Piastri out for another lap. Mercedes, though, double stacked.

The shocks weren’t done yet, though. On Lap 34, Russell was told to retire the car, marking the second retirement of the race (Pierre Gasly being the other before the race began). Mercedes reported the retirement was due to a suspected water system issue. The pressure was on Hamilton to close on Norris as the sun began coming out at Silverstone.

The battle of the Brits remained. Norris massively missed his marks when pitting to swap to the soft tire, and Hamilton zipped past, pitting before the McLaren. The cheers roared around Silverstone as the seven-time world champion took control of the race, hunting for a record-breaking ninth win at this track.

But Verstappen entered the picture once again, starting to set some of the fastest laps with the final 10 laps. The Red Bull driver switching early from intermediate to slicks paid off. While Norris and Hamilton raced on soft tires, the Dutchman was on the hard compound.

Norris came under pressure by Lap 46 as Verstappen surged behind him, the gap being under two seconds while Hamilton was ahead of the McLaren by over 2.5 seconds.

The Dutchman made his move on Lap 49, slipping past Norris to second. Time, though, was on Hamilton’s side, who held the lead at over three seconds when Verstappen made the pass on the McLaren.

(Photo: Mario Renzi – Formula 1 / Formula 1 via Getty Images)

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