F1 tears are another first for triumphant Hamilton


Of all the Formula One firsts achieved by Lewis Hamilton on Sunday, and there was quite a list, the sobbing over the radio and tears in the arms of his father Anthony will live long in the memory.

The most successful driver of all time has had plenty of standout moments since his sensational debut in 2007 but the long wait for a record-extending 104th career victory was something else.

The Mercedes driver's first win since the controversial 2021 season, a drought lasting 945 days and 56 races, was a record ninth in Hamilton's home British Grand Prix and broke a dam of pent-up emotions.

"I can't stop crying," the 39-year-old told former teammate and 2009 champion Jenson Button in a pre-podium interview when his compatriot said he had never before seen him so emotional after a race.

Speaking to reporters later, he added: "I have never cried coming from a win, it just came out of me and it is a really, really great feeling. I'm very, very grateful for it."

In 2021 he was heading for a record eighth title only to be denied in the Abu Dhabi season-ender by a late change in the safety car procedure that allowed Red Bull's Max Verstappen, now a triple world champion, to take his first.

On Sunday the chasing Dutch driver, runaway leader in the standings, had to settle for second.

"When I came back in 2022 I thought that I was over it (2021) and I know I wasn’t," said Hamilton.

"It's taken a long time for sure to heal that kind of feeling and that's only natural for anyone that has that experience. I've just been continuing to try and work on myself and find that inner peace day-by-day."

Asked how it compared to other wins at Silverstone, Hamilton singled out 2008 -- the year of his first championship with McLaren.

"I qualified terribly, well P4, but it felt like I wasn't in with a shot and then it rained and obviously I had that great feeling," he said.

"That's the longest stint that I've not had a win... and the emotion that's accumulated over that time. So this one feels it could be one of the most special ones for me, if not the most special one."

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