Formula 1 F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Great Britain – July 18, 2021 Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes celebrates after winning the REUTERS / Andrew Couldridge race

SILVERSTONE, England – Lewis Hamilton won his British Grand Prix at home for the eighth time on Sunday, a record breaking 10-second penalty for a controversial first-lap collision that lost the race to rival Red Bull Max Verstappen.

The Mercedes driver, now just eight points behind Verstappen after 10 races, passed Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc for the lead with two laps to go as a crowd of 140,000 rose to cheer him on.

Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas finished third after obeying the team’s orders to let Hamilton pass and chase Leclerc in a race that was interrupted after the Verstappen crash and then restarted.

The victory was the 99th in Formula 1 career for seven-time world champion Hamilton and the fourth in the current campaign.

It was also the worst possible result for Verstappen, who had started from pole position 33 points clear and looking for a fourth straight win but found himself empty-handed and hospitalized for checks.

“It is a dream for me today to do it in front of all of you,” Hamilton told the largest crowd to attend a sporting event in Britain since the start of the pandemic. Last year’s race took place without spectators.

“I always try to be measured in my approach, especially with the fights with Max, he is very aggressive. And then today I was fully at his side and he left no room.

“Whether or not I agree with the penalty, I take it by the chin and I continued to work.

“I was like ‘I won’t let anything get in the way of the weekend crowd fun, the national anthem and the British flag.’

Leclerc also kept his head held high after missing what would have been Ferrari’s first win since 2019.

“I didn’t give 100% but I gave 200%. I gave everything but it just wasn’t enough in the last two laps, ”said the Monegasque.

“Kudos to Lewis, he did an amazing job. It’s amazing to see so many fans in the gallery.

No points were awarded for the fastest lap, as Red Bull’s Mexican Sergio Perez established it but failed to secure the top 10 needed to trigger the bonus.

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