Lewis Hamilton has described his win at last weekend’s British GP as one of his “sweetest wins”, the home favourite clearly ecstatic to return to winning ways after tribulations suffered in Azerbaijan and Austria.
The three-time world champion went into the race weekend under scrutiny for skipping the pre-event F1 Live London showcase – electing instead to take a holiday in Greece – but by Sunday afternoon had turned the tide of opinion in his favour. He referenced the thousands of fans who came out to Silverstone to support him as making the win extra special for him.
“I’m so happy,” said an elated Hamilton. “This has got to be one of my sweetest wins here. I was gunning for this victory. There was so much negativity ahead of the race, with people questioning how I prepared for the race.”
“Every time I came around Turn 7, I could see the fans cheering every single lap. It was really reminiscent of 2008, my first Grand Prix win here.”
Hamilton was unchallenged throughout the race, beating Kimi Raikkonen to the first turn and not looking back. When exiting the pitlane after his only stop, the Brit emerged in front of his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas by the finest of margins, who was still circulating on his original set of tyres from qualifying. This in effect meant he was a whole pit-stop ahead of the Finn, who would go on to inherit second place after tyre troubles for the Ferrari pair of Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.
“I made a solid start and then after that I managed the car and the balance, and the boys did a fantastic pit stop. I really can’t find a fault at the moment.
“The team did an exceptional job this weekend and Valtteri obviously drover a stormer today – I’m proud of him. It’s great to have him in the team.”
The gap in the championship to Vettel was reduced to only a single point thanks to the German’s tyre failure late in the race, an outcome he was not expecting given there were no suggestions of tyre problems earlier in the weekend.
“I’m surprised to see the issues the Ferrari had because I didn’t see any debris. I did not expect to come away from this weekend just one point behind Sebastian. This result really opens up the championship – and we go to Hungary next, where I’ve always gone well.”
Hamilton currently has five wins at the Hungaroring, whilst Vettel’s only win in Budapest came in his debut season with Ferrari in 2015.