Lewis Hamilton paid tribute to the Silverstone fans following his controversial victory at the British Grand Prix.
140,000 fans were in attendance on Sunday, as part of the UK government's event research programme, and they witnessed a thrilling race that started with Hamilton colliding with his title rival Max Verstappen, who was sent spinning into the tyre barriers and out of the race.
The stewards deemed Hamilton was at fault for the collision and slapped him with a 10-second time penalty, meaning he had a mountain to climb to secure victory.
Formula 1
‘He’s going to get stronger’ - Hamilton on Verstappen and no animosity
24/11/2021 AT 12:52
Hamilton took on his task with relish, and after Mercedes told his team-mate Valtteri Bottas to move aside with 11 laps remaining he hunted down Charles Leclerc.
The crowd roared on Hamilton from the stands as he ate into the gap, and Leclerc’s Ferrari proved to be a sitting duck for the Brit.
Leclerc got out of shape at Copse - the scene of the crash between Hamilton and Verstappen - and a huge roar went up as the Mercedes sailed past.
Two laps later, Hamilton took the chequered flag to cut Verstappen’s lead at the top of the drivers’ standings to eight points - and he celebrated in front of the partisan crowd.
It was a taxing race in sweltering conditions, and Hamilton paid tribute to the fans for the support they showed him all weekend.
“We’ve got the best crowd here,” Hamilton said. “It’s a dream to win in front of them all.”
The drivers have a two-week break before resuming battle at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Formula 1
Hamilton will have 'spicy' engine back for Saudi Arabia - Wolff
22/11/2021 AT 17:56
Grand Prix Qatar
Hamilton wins Qatar Grand Prix to narrow title gap on Verstappen
21/11/2021 AT 15:40