Lewis Hamilton: British GP win more crucial to Mercedes than Russell victory

The British icon made history at Silverstone with his first F1 victory since 2021 to hand Mercedes back-to-back wins

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Lewis Hamilton explained why he felt his victory at the Formula 1 2024 British Grand Prix on Sunday was more significant to Mercedes than George Russell’s success in Austria a week ago.

It was a momentous day for the Hamilton, who not only ended his 56-race and 946-day wait for his 104th F1 victory, but the 39-year-old became the only F1 driver in history to claim a British GP win nine times at Silverstone with a phenomenal drive.

Hamilton held off a late challenge from Max Verstappen and Lando Norris to take the checkered flag in a thrilling rain-hit race, where his team-mate Russell had started from pole position before falling to fourth and retiring with a water system issue.

The Mercedes star could not wipe the smile off his face when discussing his victory in front of his home crowd – and spoke of how the Silver Arrows’ second win in the space of a week mattered more than the first after Russell won at the Red Bull Ring in fortuitous circumstances.

Race winner Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes race engineer Peter Bonnington celebrate on the 2024 British GP podium with Max Verstappen and McLaren's Lando Norris | Mark Thompson/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Race winner Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes race engineer Peter Bonnington celebrate on the 2024 British GP podium with Max Verstappen and McLaren’s Lando Norris | Mark Thompson/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

“Hugely grateful to everyone in the team, I think this is just hats off to everyone. You know [the late Mercedes chairman] Niki [Lauda] would definitely take his hat off, but everyone that’s continued to work hard, everyone in the garage has continued to show up each weekend and not get downbeat by results,” Hamilton told the written press at Silverstone, including Total-Motorsport.com.

“I think George’s win last week was was amazing, but it wasn’t on pure pace. I think this weekend was the first time we did it on pure pace, with our qualifying on the front row and then after that even pulling away in that first stint from everybody else. Ultimately, I think with the conditions today, the driver is able to make a bit of a difference.”

Emotional Hamilton savours British GP win

Hamilton was tearful on the podium as he addressed the fans and noticeably more emotional than perhaps he has ever been before with any of his previous 103 race wins.

And the British icon admitted the elongated wait for a win, stretching back 56 races, made it feel all the sweeter on the top step of the podium.

“I think ultimately, because it’s been such a long time. Someone just told me it’s been 946 days or something like that since the last win and [it’s been a] really challenging time, obviously in 2021 and then coming back in with a car that we’ve not been able to fight with for the last couple of years,” Hamilton added.

“I think just it’s been incredibly mentally challenging for everyone in the team. But I think just knowing how hard everyone’s continued to work, knowing how I’ve managed to just to keep my head in. And then with everything that’s happened this year as well with so many emotions, announcing that I’m leaving, and at the same time starting with a car that we didn’t feel that we could win with, to then finally be in a place where we win.

“And not only that, but at the British Grand Prix in front of my home crowd. Honestly, it’s the most incredible honour to be standing on the top of the podium and hearing the national anthem with the king’s name in it, for example, it’s the first time about that. And then also, my family’s here.”

Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
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