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Hamilton wins British Grand Prix to end three-year drought

Lewis Hamilton claimed an emotional and long-awaited record 104th career victory on Sunday when he resisted Max Verstappen to triumph in vintage fashion at the British Grand Prix for a record ninth time. 

The seven-time champion, who will turn 40 in January, cracked with emotion and was in tears as he spoke on Mercedes team radio on his victory lap, having finished 1.465 seconds ahead of Red Bull’s series leader and three-time champion. 

In a roller-coaster race of changing weather and track conditions, Lando Norris came home third ahead of his McLaren team-mate Oscar Piastri, Carlos Sainz of Ferrari and Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg with Lance Stroll finishing seventh for Aston Martin. 

Hamilton, who had not won since the 2021 Saudi Arabia Grand Prix, delivered a masterclass in tyre and race management to secure his 150th podium finish for Mercedes. 

“I’ve been waiting for this,” shouted Briton Hamilton after crossing the line in his Mercedes to claim a ninth victory at Silverstone, breaking a tie with Michael Schumacher for most wins at one track.

“I can’t stop crying,” said Hamilton. “I think, since 2021, every day getting up, trying to fight, and to train, and to put my mind to the task and work as hard as I can with this amazing team.”

Hamilton is leaving Mercedes for Ferrari after this season.

“This is my last British GP with this team. I wanted to win so much for them. I love them so much. All the hard work they’ve been putting in.”

Verstappen overtook Norris in the closing laps.

“We just didn’t have the pace today,” said Verstappen. “I was slowly dropping back when it mattered at the beginning. It really wasn’t looking great at one point, but we made the right calls.”

Norris had lost the lead after a misjudged pit stop.

“First of all, congrats to Lewis,” Norris said. “That crucial decision at the end, he just did a better job, so hats off to him and Mercedes, they deserve it. It was tough. It was fun battling these guys and these tricky conditions, risking a lot, on a knife-edge.”

Two-time champion Fernando Alonso was eighth in the second Aston Martin, ahead of Williams’ Alex Albon and Yuki Tsunoda of RB. 

On a day of clouds and intermittent sunshine in central England a crowd of more than 120,000 witnessed three Britons starting their home race at the front of the grid for the first time since 1962.

George Russell started on pole and made a clean start with Hamilton moving in tight behind him to provide protection from Verstappen who had quickly passed Norris.  

Russell settled and by lap six led by 1.6 seconds with Hamilton 1.4 seconds ahead of Verstappen and the two McLarens.  

By lap 14, rain began to sweep across the old wartime airfield as Norris passed Verstappen to regain third. As the rain intensified, the McLarens came alive and Piastri passed Verstappen on lap 17.

‘The sun’s coming out’

Hamilton then overtook Russell for the lead as both Mercedes slithered in the rain. Norris, revelling in the conditions, passed Russell for second on lap 19 and then powered past Hamilton while Piastri made it a McLaren 1-2, on lap 21. 

As the first shower relented, Verstappen was five seconds adrift in fifth.

By lap 28, Norris led Hamilton who was trying to preserve his tyres while hanging on to the rapid McLaren. 

Russell’s race ended on lap 34 when he was called in to pit and retire the car with a hydraulic problem.

With 15 to go, Hamilton reported that “the sun’s coming out” before on lap 39 he, Verstappen and Piastri pitted together. Norris pitted a lap later losing the lead to Hamilton who measured his final stint to perfection, ending 56 winless races to a tumultuous home reception.

Hamilton wept as he fell into the arms of his 

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