Mercedes driver eased to another win at Silverstone despite his excursion to Mykonos earlier this week
LEWIS HAMILTON went from sinner to saint after this spectacular victory in the British Grand Prix.
The Brit’s name was booed on Wednesday night when he snubbed fans at a spectacular F1 parade in London in favour of a two-day holiday in Mykonos.
Spending time with pals on the Greek party island hardly seemed the ideal preparation for his home race in front of 140,000 fans.
Neither did it sit well with F1’s new owners, Liberty Media, who had splashed out £4.5million on staging the demonstration to boost the sport’s appeal.
But after this, his fifth win at Silverstone, and fourth in a row, Hamilton dedicated it to British racer Billy Monger, who lost both his legs earlier this year in a horrific motor racing accident.
He then honoured Great Ormond Street and Starlight Foundation children and a young fan from South Africa called Klaas Prinsloo Jr, who has been diagnosed with cancer.
As he lapped up the adulation from the fans at Silverstone before crowd-surfing it is difficult to paint him as the villain.
His victory coupled with Sebastian Vettel’s bad luck with a puncture on the penultimate lap, means that the German’s lead in the championship was cut from 20 to just ONE point.
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No wonder then, that Hamilton felt like a world beater.
He said: “Every day when we wake up I tell my team I want to take over the world.
“I’m really happy as with all that negativity that came into the weekend to be able to perform the way I have, the qualifying lap was awesome, and today there were no slips or lack of focus.”
This was Hamilton’s 57th victory of his career yet he stopped talk about being lauded as an F1 legend just yet.
He added: “Being thought of as a legend doesn’t resonate with me yet. Maybe when I retire and time has gone by.”
But this was a textbook win. He started on pole and was in the lead for every single lap before taking the chequered flag. He also set the fastest lap for good measure.
He was asked about why he is so good around this circuit, as this was his seventh podium in 11 years, to which he replied with a grin, “because I own it…
“I started racing here in 2002 and I go well. I am good at this track but the energy I get from the fans — I don’t think any other driver gets that. It lifts you up.
“This is the best I’ve driven, ever. You can’t hear the crowd but I can see them, I saw them cheering every single lap, every single corner.
“I watched a little bit of the race during the race! Once I got my gap I was able to watch a bit of it on the big screens.”
While his preparation for this race might have been questionable, there is simply no doubt about his brilliant ability when he is behind the wheel.
And, after such wretched luck in Austria following his gearbox penalty, and after being denied a routine win in Baku when his headrest came loose on his car, there was a turn of fate in his favour here.
Vettel was remarkably nonplussed about Pirelli’s failure so near the end when he was running in third place.
He added: “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose but we’re not here to lose, I don’t like losing, I hate it, so we want to make sure we turn it around next time.”
Vettel’s Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen also suffered a puncture two laps from the end and came home in third place behind Valtteri Bottas.
Driver of the Day: Lewis Hamilton produced a masterclass and did not make a single mistake.
Mistake of the Race: Daniil Kvyat again the guilty one as he hopelessly slammed into Carlos Sainz.
Move of the Race: Valtteri Botttas squeezed past Sebastian Vettel on lap 44 down the Hanger Straight and into third place.
Milkfloat: Pascale Wehrlein was again bringing up the rear in his slow Sauber.
Top Speed: 206mph was clocked by Bottas’s Mercedes through the speed trap.