Lewis Hamilton was at his prodigious best as he claimed his third consecutive British Grand Prix triumph and his fourth in total, leading from the front in all conditions at Silverstone on Sunday.
The Mercedes AMG PETRONAS driver survived a heavy pre-race rain shower that necessitated a safety car start and two pit stops to switch from the full wets to intermediates and then to slicks for his fourth victory of 2016 in front of his home fans.
Perhaps Hamilton’s trickiest moment was behind the safety car, when he almost struck the rear of the car, ironically also a Mercedes, while trying to get some heat into his brakes at Copse Corner.
“Best weekend of the whole year!” said Hamilton. “I couldn’t believe it started raining at the beginning of the race. I thought: “are you serious?” It makes it so much harder for everyone when that happens.
“I couldn’t really see the safety car either. It was going really slowly and my rear brakes were getting way too cold, so I was trying to heat them up and before I knew it I’m heading straight for the back of the thing!
“Thank goodness I could turn! Luckily it was okay and from there I was feeling great in the wet conditions.”
Hamilton praised his team for providing him with a car that was dominant the whole weekend long at Silverstone, but saved his biggest thank you to the fans who flocked to the home of British motorsport to support him come rain and shine.
“A huge thank you first of all to the team for doing such an amazing job,” insisted Hamilton. “Our performance this weekend has been outstanding. The engineers and mechanics did a great job, so big thanks to all of them once again.
And then the crowd… I mean, where do they all come from? It’s absolutely amazing! Nothing we see in any other country even comes close – and that for me just shows the passion us Brits have for sport, regardless of the weather. It’s pouring down and these guys are just like “yeah, we love it!”
“This is beyond my wildest dreams, honestly.”
Hamilton is hoping that when his time comes to an end in Formula 1, he will be able to watch the next generation of British drivers coming through and taking his place at the head of the field, especially to experience the feeling of winning the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
“When I was younger I didn’t see the other stuff that comes with being a Formula One driver,” said Hamilton. “I was just in awe of the racing and it wasn’t until I grew up that I started to understand.
“I’m just trying to bask in the glory and enjoy it because one day I’ll be watching someone else, hopefully a young Brit, winning here and I want to make the most of these moments.
“For now though, it’s my time – our time. Thank you so much to everyone out there today. It’s just been unbelievable.”