Lewis Hamilton reveals secret weapon in quest for British GP history

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell completed a Mercedes front-row lockout for the British GP

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Lewis Hamilton expects his Mercedes W15 to have a strong race setup at the 2024 British GP as he chases a historic ninth win at Silverstone, starting alongside teammate George Russell on the front row as the Silver Arrows finally appear to be the quickest cars on the grid.

They’re ahead of championship leaders Lando Norris and Max Verstappen – whose challenge for pole was blunted by damage picked up in the gravel in Q1 – and while neither rival can be written off there’s no sense of inevitability that the Mercedes will be hunted down.

Victory for Hamilton would move the statistically greatest driver of all time past his own tally at the Hungaroring and Michael Schumacher‘s eight French GP wins, with the champion revealing he’s entered parc ferme with the race in mind.

“I was cautious with my setup, more thinking to have a nice balance in the race rather all for one particular lap,” Hamilton told members of the press including Total-Motorsport.com. “So I do think that the car will be good tomorrow.”

It’s been a long road back to the front for Mercedes, who secured their first front-row lockout since 2022 (which itself was only due to a sprint race and grid penalty for Carlos Sainz) at Silverstone.

After starting the season comfortably behind Ferrari and McLaren and in a different league to Red Bull, Mercedes faced months of difficult questions with Hamilton having already announced his 2925 departure in January.

Both drivers were contenders in a wet-dry Canadian GP but were then outclassed in successive weeks by Verstappen and Norris in Spain and Austria Russell only winning the latter due to the lead pair colliding.

Lewis Hamilton celebrates his podium at the 2024 Spanish GP | Mercedes / Sam Bloxham
Lewis Hamilton celebrates his podium at the 2024 Spanish GP | Mercedes / Sam Bloxham

Hamilton hails ‘season’s best’ British GP qualifying

Mercedes began qualifying at Silverstone as joint-favourites with Red Bull to take pole position, though the bookies backed both Verstappen and Norris ahead of either Silver Arrow.

A trip through the gravel raked Verstappen‘s floor and prevented the Dutchman challenging for pole but Norris had no such excuse and admitted afterwards that he couldn’t have beaten Russell even if he hadn’t bailed on his final lap in Q3.

“It was a great session, actually the best session that we’ve had as a team,” Hamilton added. “To just have the real pace and be able to actually compete with the Mclarens and Red Bulls I think is incredibly satisfying, just really a huge boost for the team.

“And the car felt great, a huge congratulations to George for getting the pole but to be on the front row I think is massive for our team, so many of them are here this weekend and with their families and it’s been a long time since we’ve had it so this is a great feeling.”

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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