Grand prix

‘I wasn’t sure it would come’

Hamilton passed McLaren’s Lando Norris as rain fell in a frantic last few laps to claim his fifth win of the season and record a century of grand prix victories to move back into the lead of the world championship.

The seven-time world champion had to work hard for the unprecedented achievement after a messy qualifying and poor start left him as low as seventh on the opening lap.

But Hamilton fought back and took the lead when Mercedes made the right call to switch to intermediate tyres amid the late downpour to seal the win.

“It’s taken a long time to obviously get to 100 and I wasn’t even sure whether it would come,” Hamilton said in parc ferme after the race.

“Obviously, the team made a great call right at the end.

“I didn’t want to let Lando go, of course, I didn’t know what the weather was doing but I am incredibly grateful to all these men and women that are here and back at the factor because I am hungry.”

It marked Hamilton’s first win since the British Grand Prix in July, ending a run of four races without appearing on the top step of the podium.

“That was such a special moment for me in front of the home crowd [at Silverstone], to share it with them, obviously the first time they were all back [after COVID],” Hamilton said.

“Of course I came back [after the summer break] hoping to get a good result at some point but they came out the starting blocks, winning every race, and then obviously the difficult race we had last.

“I didn’t know when it would happen and I knew that it would be difficult. Just in terms of the pace we have, it’s good but it’s not exceptional.

“We’ve definitely still got work to do and I’m hopeful we can maybe squeeze out a bit more performance these next races. I hope and have my fingers crossed.”

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