Lewis Hamilton roared backmost from a first-lap incidental that sent title person Max Verstappen to the infirmary and overcame a 10-second punishment to triumph the British Grand Prix and reignite his rubric defence.
The seven-time champion won astatine his location way to drawback a tally of 5 races without a triumph and slash the spread to Verstappen astatine the apical of the drivers' title from 33 points to eight.
"Honestly it's been specified a hard year, 1 I've thoroughly enjoyed, I emotion this conflict but affectional roller coaster arsenic it ever is wrong a championship," Hamilton said.
"Did I deliberation that we would ever beryllium backmost successful the rubric fight? I prayed and hoped for it but I thought that it would beryllium a agelong slog to effort and regain immoderate of the points. We're present closer, he's inactive got rather a fewer points up but the contention is on."
This season's rubric conflict boiled implicit connected 1 of the hottest days of the year, successful beforehand of 140,000 fans astatine a packed Silverstone, with the terrifying incidental that saw the contention red-flagged and Hamilton fixed a penalty.
"I dummied him, moved to the close for that spread and I was beauteous acold up alongside him but I past could spot helium wasn't going to backmost out, and we went into the corner, and we collided," Hamilton said aft the race.
"Of course, that's ne'er the mode I privation to triumph a contention – oregon successful general, to contention – but yes, these things bash happen. I conscionable anticipation he's OK and I look guardant to galore much races."
The 23-year-old Verstappen was near fuming successful hospital.
"Glad I'm ok. Very disappointed with being taken retired similar this," Verstappen posted connected Twitter. "The punishment fixed does not assistance america and doesn't bash justness to the unsafe determination Lewis made connected track.
"Watching the celebrations portion inactive successful infirmary is disrespectful and unsportsmanlike behaviour but we determination on."
When asked aft the contention whether helium should apologise to Verstappen, the Brit was defiant.
"I don't deliberation I'm successful the presumption to person to apologise for anything, we're retired determination racing, I heard Max is successful infirmary and that decidedly concerns me," Hamilton said.
"None of america ever privation immoderate of america to ever get injured, that's ne'er my intention, truthful I truly anticipation he's okay.
"I'll deed him up aft this conscionable to cheque he's okay, and we unrecorded to combat different day. There'll beryllium a batch of pugnacious races coming up and we person to larn to onslaught a decent balance.
"I don't hold with the stewards but I instrumentality my punishment connected the chin and get connected with my job. I'm not gonna whine astir it, everyone's gonna person a antithetic opinion, I don't truly attraction what radical think. I bash what I bash and americium truly grateful for today."
Hamilton dropped from 2nd to 5th arsenic helium served his punishment but helium swiftly picked up 2 spots erstwhile helium returned to the way and past Valtteri Bottas was ordered to determination retired of his Mercedes teammate's way.
That gave Hamilton 11 laps to pursuit down person Charles Leclerc successful a Ferrari and helium made the walk for the triumph with conscionable 2 laps to spell — and connected the aforesaid country wherever helium had tangled with Verstappen.
The British operator was cheered connected to his eighth vocation triumph astatine Silverstone by the passionate location fans, who besides gave him a lasting ovation.
"What a large occupation guys. Thank you truthful overmuch for continuing to propulsion this year, I americium truthful inspired by you guys. There's a agelong mode to spell but I judge successful you guys," Hamilton said connected squad vigor earlier driving a triumph thigh brandishing the British flag.
Then helium climbed the obstruction and ran toward the grandstands waving the emblem to his adoring crowd.
Verstappen crashed retired of the contention aft clashing with Hamilton, with the Dutchman spinning hard into a obstruction with an interaction which registered astatine 51G.
"With Max, you cognize he's precise aggressive. And past today, I mean I was afloat alongside him, and I didn't person capable space," Hamilton said aft the win. "But careless of whether I hold with the penalty, I instrumentality it connected the chin and I conscionable kept working."
The contention was red-flagged to let for repairs to the tyre barrier. Verstappen, wobbly arsenic helium climbed from his car, was initially seen successful the Silverstone aesculapian halfway but past transported to a section infirmary for further evaluation.
"He's a satellite champion, helium shouldn't beryllium making maneuvers similar that. It's unacceptable," Red Bull squad main Christian Horner said.
"I don't attraction what Lewis said. Have a look connected your ain analysis, gully your ain comparison; for me, that's a hollow victory.
"I anticipation Lewis is precise blessed with himself. Lewis has got much than capable acquisition to cognize that that's unacceptable.
"I'm conscionable precise disappointed that a operator of his caliber should marque specified a move. It's dangerous. It looked desperate. And he's enactment a competitor, thankfully uninjured, successful hospital. For me, that's a hollow victory."
"The effect – convey God we haven't had a operator that's been earnestly injured oregon worse today," Horner told F1.com.
Horner past said connected Channel 4 that Hamilton was blameworthy of "dirty driving".
"I deliberation it was a hopeless move," helium said. He failed to marque the determination successful the archetypal portion of the lap, which helium was evidently geared to do, and past it was conscionable a hopeless determination sticking a instrumentality up the wrong which you conscionable don't do.
"Copse is 1 of the fastest corners successful the world. You don't instrumentality a instrumentality up the inside. That's conscionable soiled driving."
Verstappen bushed Hamilton astatine the commencement for the 2nd time successful a enactment astatine Silverstone and the 2 rubric contenders furiously zigzagged for position. The drivers touched astatine slightest doubly arsenic Hamilton tried to gaffe past Verstappen for the lead.
"He was massively winded," Horner said of Verstappen aft the collision.
"That's a hellhole of alleviation to spot him get retired due to the fact that that country is 1 of the fastest connected the calendar. It was wholly retired of bid to instrumentality a instrumentality up the wrong there."
Hamilton's beforehand instrumentality touched Verstappen's rear instrumentality the 2nd clip the drivers made contact, and the Red Bull careened disconnected course, done the gravel and into the tyre barrier. A tyre from Verstappen's car bounced disconnected the car during the spin.
Leclerc took implicit the pb and Mercedes brag Toto Wolff sprinted to contention power to reason against immoderate punishment to his driver. Hamilton told his Mercedes squad the presumption successful the country was his and helium was not to blame.
"I was up going successful there, man," Hamilton radioed. "I was afloat alongside him, my line. Yeah, helium turned successful connected me, man".
Following a hold of 45 minutes the contention restarted with Hamilton starting from 2nd aft Leclerc passed him successful the moments aft his collision with Verstappen.
Hamilton was past slapped with a 10-second punishment which helium served astatine his pit halt connected thigh 27 of 52. That dropped him to 4th down Lando Norris, Bottas and a twelve seconds adrift of Leclerc.
Hamilton passed Norris connected thigh 31 earlier Bottas was ordered retired his mode by Mercedes. The satellite champion past acceptable astir hunting Leclerc with the spread reduced to conscionable 1.5 seconds with 4 laps to run.
Verstappen survives large clang astatine British GP
On thigh 50 of 52, Hamilton enactment his Mercedes connected the wrong of Leclerc's Ferrari done Copse earlier backing retired of the move, but the Monegasque ran wide and Hamilton assumed the pb to the delight of the partisan crowd.
He crossed the enactment 3.8 seconds wide of Leclerc with Bottas completing the podium and Norris finishing fourth.
It was Leclerc's champion decorativeness since coming 2nd astatine the season-opening contention successful Austria successful 2020 and his archetypal podium since 3rd spot astatine Silverstone past year.
"I gave not 100 per cent but I gave 200 per cent, I gave each of maine but it was conscionable not capable successful the past 2 laps," Leclerc said. "We expected aft qualifying to beryllium competitive, but not arsenic competitory arsenic this."
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