Hamilton beaming after record sixth British GP victory

by James Eagles
Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas & Charles Leclerc - Formula 1 - 2019 British GP

Lewis Hamilton said that he felt the same “excitement and happiness” at the end of his sixth Formula 1 British Grand Prix win as his did in his first 11 years ago.

Hamilton’s fifth Silverstone win in six years opened up a 39-point gap at the top of the Drivers’ Championship to Mercedes AMG Motorsport team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who finished 24 seconds behind in second after an enforced late pitstop for a second tyre compound.

The win makes Hamilton the record winner in British GP history, surpassing Jim Clark and Alain Prost‘s total of five wins.

“I remember my first win here in 2008 and the feeling that I had coming out of Brooklands and going down the straight and seeing the crowd,” said Hamilton.

“It felt so reminiscent of that today – the excitement and happiness and joy that I felt were exactly the same as back then.

“I’ve done so many races now, and you would think that after so many races you’d get used to it and the feeling would numb down, but it felt like it was the first win I ever had.”

Hamilton started behind polesitter Bottas and could not force his way into the lead at the start as the Mercedes duo pulled away from Scuderia Ferrari‘s Charles Leclerc in third.

The Brit tried to pass Bottas at Brooklands and Luffield in a brilliant battle in the early stages of the race, edging ahead before Bottas retook the lead with a bold move at Copse Corner seconds later.

Bottas was the first Mercedes to pit and took on another set of medium compound tyres, forcing him into a two-stop strategy while Hamilton stayed on track.

Hamilton managed to lengthen his first stint enough to take full advantage of the Safety Car, prompted by Antonio Giovinazzi‘s spin in the Alfa Romeo Racing car and subsequent retirement, and assumed the lead on fresh hard tyres.

He also claimed the fastest lap of the race on the final tour, a 1:27.369, on a set of worn hard tyres compared to Bottas’s fresh softs.

Lewis Hamilton - Formula 1 - 2019 British GP
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

The five-time world champion praised his team-mate for a “strong” performance and admitted that the Safety Car came at an optimal time for his race.

“Valtteri drove a very strong race and we had a really good fight in the beginning,” Hamilton added.

“I nearly got him going into Turn 7, but he was next to me and I couldn’t really close the door.

“After that I backed off a little and waited for the pit stops, hoping that I could maybe overtake him in the pits.

“I extended my first stint for a few more laps, then the Safety Car came out and that was perfect timing for me as I came back out in front of Valtteri.”

Hamilton also paid tribute to the Mercedes side, who took a ninth victory in the first 10 races of 2019 and hold a commanding 164-point lead over rival Ferrari in the Constructors’ Standings.

“I’m really grateful to all of those people that have helped me achieve this today,” he said.

“I have this incredible team behind me and it’s really amazing to be a part of it, to be breaking down walls and records and pushing the limits and boundaries every weekend.” 

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