Lewis Hamilton names favourite British GP win: Did he pick 2021 battle with Verstappen?

Hamilton weighed up his controversial 2021 win against his masterful 2008 British GP victory

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To say Lewis Hamilton has dominated the Formula 1 British GP through his career would be an understatement, but from the seven times he’s emerged victorious at Silverstone which was his favourite win?

Three moments immediately spring to mind. Firstly there is the 2008 edition when he crushed the opposition in torrential conditions and then comes 2020 when he managed to win with three tyres on the final lap to break the record for home GP wins.

Or was it 2021 following his infamous crash with Max Verstappen? The pair struck each other at Copse on Lap 1, leaving Hamilton to produce a charge back through the field to overcome a 10-second time penalty to narrowly beat Charles Leclerc and Ferrari and to breathe life back into his title challenge.

But as it turns out, the 39-year-old felt nostalgic for the McLaren-Mercedes era as he named 2008, when he took his first ever win at Silverstone as an F1 driver, as the best of the bunch.

“I think 2008 will always be probably the most special,” Hamilton told members of the media, including Total-Motorsport.com, naming his favourite British GP win. “My first Grand Prix win here, and in the rain and that’s my first like real I would say engagement or just the beginning of the journey with the fans here.

Silverstone Circuit, Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the 2021 British Grand Prix | Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron
Silverstone Circuit, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the 2021 British Grand Prix | Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron

“2021 was still I think a great feeling. I’ve been on such a long journey with the British fans, and we have such great [fans] here, really the best fans. I think it was just because it was a wet race, and it was the trickiest conditions that a racing driver will experience and just the level that I was able to operate that day.

“I think it was like 68 seconds I won the race by; I was like so far out. More any other race that I think I’ve probably ever done, and particularly the rain.”

How did Lewis Hamilton win his favourite British GP?

It was classic British weather on July 6, 2008, as the heavens opened to drench the Silverstone circuit in a river of rainwater which instantly placed exceptional emphasis on a drivers’ talent in the wet and a feel for where the grip was.

And critically, it handed Hamilton a perfect ‘get out of jail’ card after qualifying fourth whilst Heikki Kovalainen took pole in the other McLaren the day prior, and he did not take long to seize the opportunity presented to him.

When the five lights went out, the fresh-faced Brit, chasing his first title all those years ago, quickly jumped into second behind his teammate with an exceptional start before taking the lead from Kovalainen on Lap 5 with a move into Stowe corner.

By Lap 10, the now seven-time world champion had pulled six seconds over his teammate and after a brief challenge from Kimi Raikkonen, he left he left everyone behind from Lap 22. Working out at an astonishing 1.789 seconds-per-lap average faster than any other man, Hamilton went on to win by 68 seconds from Nick Heidfeld’s BMW Sauber as he lapped his teammate too.

Hamilton snatched the championship lead away from Felipe Massa, who spun five times as many drivers couldn’t find the grip, but it was the McLaren-Mercedes ace remained impervious to the weather to take a crucial 10 points in his hunt for his maiden title.

It’s become regarded as one of the finest wet weather drives in F1 history and one of the best performances in F1 history as the then-23-year-old thoroughly dominated proceedings in Silverstone to become the first Brit to win his home race since David Coulthard in the 2000 season.

Brandon Sutton
Brandon Sutton
Brandon is an alumni of an NCTJ and BJTC Liverpool John Moores University course, and has been with Total-Motorsport.com for over a year now. He enjoys covering all forms of motorsport but particularly focuses on Formula 1, and Brandon loves to debate various topics of the sport and other interests, especially if that topic doesn't have an open/shut answer such as the GOAT debate.
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