Hamilton wins Formula 1 2024 British Grand Prix

Hamilton wins Formula 1 2024 British Grand Prix
Hamilton wins Formula 1 2024 British Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton secured a much-needed victory for the home crowd at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in Northamptonshire. The race saw a historic record-breaking race with only British top three riders at the front.

The 2024 Formula 1 season was far more exciting than most fans had expected after the first few races. The reigning drivers’ and constructors’ champions are Max Verstappen and Red Bull, who won convincingly after winning 19 of the 22 races, a new F1 record. For many fans, the 2024 season looked set to be similarly dominant after easy victories for the three-time world champions in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Japan and China.

Hamilton with one win so far in the season

However, Red Bull’s fortunes have changed since the Miami Grand Prix. Although Verstappen continues to win races, it is not in the same way as before. The qualifying and race pace gap between Red Bull and the rest of the grid has clearly decreased.

McLaren has emerged as the biggest threat to Red Bull and Verstappen’s dominance. Lando Norris currently sits second in the Drivers’ Championship after a shock win in Miami and a string of podiums. In his second season in Formula 1, team-mate Oscar Piastri continues to impress after second places in Monaco and Austria.

Ferrari and Mercedes are not far behind, however. Both Ferrari drivers have won races this season, with Carlos Sainz coming back from appendicitis to win in Australia and Charles Leclerc taking a previously elusive home win in Monaco. After a lackluster start, Mercedes have turned the season around with Hamilton taking his first podium of the year in Barcelona and George Russell unexpectedly winning last time out in Austria.

Verstappen/Norris rivalry

Despite being good friends off the track, the rivalry between Verstappen and Norris reached its first peak in Austria when the two collided late in the race. The incident, which saw Verstappen receive a ten-second time penalty, proved costly for both drivers, as Verstappen went from first to fifth place and Norris was forced to retire from the race. Both Norris and McLaren team boss Andrea Stella criticised Verstappen’s driving immediately afterwards. However, Verstappen and Norris revealed in the run-up to Silverstone that they had discussed the incident and resolved their differences.

Victims of the weather

The session started in rain and the Mercedes pair were an early pacesetter. However, this Q1 session was rather dramatic in terms of weather. During the 18-minute session, the track conditions alternated between wet and dry.

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez was the biggest victim of the weather, spinning on the run-off area at Copse Corner and ending up in the gravel. His car had to be towed out, ending his qualifying session.

The end of Q1 was quite hectic as the track dried and the times started to drop. Eventually, Valtteri Bottas of Sauber and the Alpine pair of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly joined Pérez and Magnussen in the elimination zone.

The second part of qualifying was much calmer in comparison, with Norris setting the pace. It was not without its bumps though. The Aston Martin pair of Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso were quick, with both cars reaching the final part of qualifying at the team’s home race after a difficult run of form. Williams also had success at their home race, with British-born Alex Albon making it through. Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg also impressed, making it safely through to Q3.

Home heroes shine in qualification

The biggest shock, however, was Leclerc’s last-minute elimination in 11th place. Joining him in the drop were Williams’ Logan Sargeant, Sauber’s Zhou Guanyu and the RB pair of Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo.

It was a four-man battle for pole position between the two Mercedes and the two McLarens, with Verstappen sidelined due to car damage following his Q1 excursion into the gravel. In the end it was an all-British top three at home for the first time since 1962, with George Russell taking pole position by more than a tenth of a second. His team-mate Hamilton secured a Mercedes front row lockout, with Norris third. Verstappen managed to secure fourth place and Piastri was fifth.

A record breaking Sunday

It was a dream start for Mercedes, with Russell and Hamilton leading in the early stages. Verstappen initially passed Norris, but later fell behind both McLarens as the Red Bull struggled for pace. Rain began to fall on lap 17 and the lead battle between Hamilton, Russell, Norris and Piastri was tense.

The McLarens jumped on lap 20, with Norris taking the lead and Piastri passing both Mercedes. The rain became heavier as the race progressed, and Hamilton, Russell and Norris were called up for intermediate tyres on lap 28. This allowed Piastri to lead for another lap on dry tyres, which proved to be a mistake as the McLaren driver ended up behind Verstappen and Sainz, who had retired earlier. Russell would suffer heartache not long after when he was told to retire the car due to a problem with the water system.

Hamilton breaks through

On lap 39, Hamilton and Verstappen both stopped for slicks, with Norris following them a lap later. McLaren’s pit stop did not go to plan, as Norris overran his time and the stop was slightly too long at 4.5 seconds, allowing Hamilton to take the lead. Verstappen closed in on both of them on his hard tyres, overtaking Norris on lap 48. However, Hamilton had too much of a lead over the Red Bull driver.

After 52 laps of racing, Lewis Hamilton took the chequered flag and secured his record-breaking ninth victory at Silverstone to the delight of the home crowd. The victory was emotional for both team and driver, with Hamilton tearfully hugging his team and parents closed park.

Verstappen was happy to finish second after his early struggles and Norris was a disappointed third. Piastri was fourth after passing Sainz in the second round of pit stops. Hulkenberg, Stroll, Alonso, Albon and Tsunoda completed the Top 10.

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