Hamilton wins British GP for ninth time

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Desk report: Lewis Hamilton won a race-long fight with Max Verstappen and Lando Norris at a gripping, wet-dry British Grand Prix to take his first victory since December 2021.

Hamilton had just enough to hold off a late charge from Verstappen’s Red Bull to take his 104th career win, and his ninth at home to become the record-holder for victories at a single circuit.

Verstappen, who had struggled for pace through much of a race that was hit by two separate periods of rain, came alive in the closing laps to take second place from Norris, who grabbed the final position on the podium.

Hamilton appeared to be in tears in the car as he told his team: “This means so much to me,” as they congratulated him over the radio.

“This one means a lot to us all,” his engineer Peter Bonnington said. “I love you, Bono,” Hamilton replied.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff described the win as “a fairytale” for them and Hamilton.

Norris’ team-mate Oscar Piastri, who was also in the lead fight for the first half of the race, took fourth place ahead of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz.

Classic race for Hamilton’s comeback win

In front of a crowd of 164,000 people cheering the British drivers – and especially Hamilton – to the rafters despite the inclement weather, the top drivers and three leading teams put on a superb show throughout.

Mercedes drivers George Russell and Lewis Hamilton led the early laps after locking out the front row of the grid for the team, while Verstappen passed Norris around the outside of Turn Four on the opening lap to run third.

But the Red Bull did not initially show its usually formidable race pace and Norris was able to reclaim third place on lap 15 with a pass into Stowe corner.

Piastri followed the Briton through two laps later just as the first shower of rain started, bringing the McLarens, who had chosen a higher-downforce set-up than Mercedes and Red Bull, into their own.

Hamilton made the first move, though, passing Russell into Stowe on lap 18.

A few corners later, both Mercedes drivers slid off the track at Turn Two at the start of lap 19 as they wrestled for grip on the slippery track and Norris pounced, passing Russell at Turn Four before closing on Hamilton and passing him at Turn One on lap 20.

Piastri moved up into second behind him and the McLarens ran one-two for five laps as the track began to dry.

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