Lewis Hamilton in tears after winning incredible 2024 British Grand Prix at Silverstone

Lewis Hamilton delighted Silverstone fans with his first win since 2021
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Lewis Hamilton managed to fend off a late surge from Max Verstappen, ending a 945-day drought in front of his adoring fans at Silverstone.

George Russell began the British Grand Prix in pole position and Lando Norris also had a stint leading his home race. However, it was Hamilton who ultimately triumphed, despite having a Red Bull looming in his rear-view mirror during the final stages.

The race kicked off under sunny skies, with Russell making a strong start to keep his team-mate Hamilton at bay. In fact, within just a few laps he had already moved out of DRS range of the other Mercedes, while Hamilton had established a lead of more than one second over Verstappen.

Verstappen, who started fourth, emerged victorious in his first wheel-to-wheel clash with Norris since their collision in Austria the previous Sunday. However, he was steadily losing ground on the Mercedes cars ahead, with no indication that this was due to tyre management.

This was because a large rain cloud was approaching, which engineers throughout the paddock were warning their drivers about. It was predicted to hit around lap 16 - but this was only the first, shorter spell.

After another brief period of sunshine, the real downpours began.

The day's first major cheer came on lap 18, after the raindrops had started to fall. Norris had Verstappen in his sights but there was no repeat of their prolonged duel in Austria - he used DRS to speed past the Red Bull, earning a resounding standing ovation from the Silverstone crowd.

Oscar Piastri swiftly overtook Verstappen, but the home crowd was too engrossed in cheering as Hamilton caught up with Russell and took the lead in his home Grand Prix. However, both drivers veered off the track during their duel, bringing Norris within striking distance.

The McLarens didn't need any assistance, as they were suddenly soaring in the wetter conditions. Norris effortlessly overtook Russell before doing the same to Hamilton to take the lead, while Piastri also had no trouble passing the Mercedes cars.

Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez were among a few drivers who had opted for intermediate tyres early on, but they were losing several seconds per lap and the gamble did not pay off. By the time wet weather tyres were actually needed, both had been lapped by several cars.

Red Bull made their move with Verstappen on lap 27, triggering a flurry of pit lane visits. Mercedes had the gap to double stack their pit stops but McLaren didn't, so Piastri had to stay out for another lap.

By the time he reached the pit entry again, Norris had already caught up with him and the Aussie dropped to sixth.

Verstappen was hoping to close the gap but instead found it widening again, and was soon complaining over the radio about his tyres overheating even though the rain continued to fall. But he didn't have to worry about Russell anymore as the Briton was told to retire his Mercedes.

As the race progressed and the time came for slick tyres, different strategies were adopted. Hamilton opted for softs while Verstappen chose mediums.

Norris, leading the pack, decided to go for the softs to match Hamilton but overshot his marks in the pit box, causing his mechanics to readjust to fit his tyres.

This error cost him two seconds, and by the time he re-emerged from the pit lane, Hamilton had regained the lead. Clearly focused on the task at hand, Hamilton instructed his race engineer Peter Bonnington to cease providing updates on other drivers.

The British racer was overcome with emotion after finishing the race, sharing a long embrace with his father amid scenes of jubilation in front of the ecstatic home crowd.