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Hamilton praises Norris, McLaren and record home crowd

McLaren driver Lando Norris (left) and Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton. Photo: Andrej Isakovic/AFP

Lewis Hamilton praised fellow-Briton Lando Norris and a record Silverstone crowd on Sunday after he finished third for Mercedes in a stirring and tense British Grand Prix. 

The seven-time world champion, a record eight-time winner at his home event, registered his 14th podium finish in the British race after chasing Norris in a furious finale.

Red Bull’s defending double world champion Max Verstappen won to record his first British Grand Prix victory, his sixth in succession and the team’s record-equalling 11th in consecutive races. 

Hamilton, whose shared podium with Norris delivered two Britons in the top three at home for the first time since 1999, said the crowd’s energy had pushed him. 

“Firstly, I didn’t do it — the crowd did it,” he responded during the post-race interviews, referring to the Sunday attendance of 160,000 and the weekend total of 480,000. 

“Once again Silverstone put on a great show. We’ve got the greatest crowd here. Thank you to everyone for supporting. I felt the energy, I felt the support and it’s also the reason we got back up there.

“Big congratulations to Lando and to McLaren. That’s my family, where I first started. To see them back up there looking so strong. 

“That thing (the McLaren car) was so rapid around the corner. I couldn’t keep up. We had a good battle on the re-start. The start wasn’t so great for me, but the long run on the medium was good.”

Of Mercedes’ recovery from a slump in form in pursuit of the seemingly invincible Red Bull team that has won all 10 races this season and 11 in a row to level with McLaren’s 1988 achievement, he added: “We’re not that far away.

“We’ve just got to keep pushing. We can catch those guys at the front.”

He said he was impressed not only with the talent of Norris, but also the speed of his upgraded McLaren car. 

“Once he goes through turns 13 and 14, he’s gone. We had good performance and a lot of speed and we had a good battle!

“But I’m really happy to come third. A big thank-you to my team. We had great pit stops, and a great weekend…. I love this crowd!”

Turning to address the spectators sitting in a grandstand opposite the pits, where his interview was taking place, he added: “It continues to be an honour to race and represent you all. 

“We’ll continue to push. Thank-you so much for the support. I hope you had a great day.”

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