Lewis Hamilton says winning the British Grand Prix for a record sixth time, extending his championship lead with victory at his home race, “feels incredible.”
Valtteri Bottas led from pole, but Hamilton put considerable pressure on his Mercedes teammate throughout the first stint before extending his own run after Bottas’ stop. Just then, Antonio Giovinazzi’s Alfa Romeo spun off into the gravel, triggering the safety car and allowing Hamilton to switch to hard tires. He then ran to the end — and to victory — while Bottas needed a second stop to fit tires of a different compound.
Afterwards, the defending champion said it is a special feeling to be the most successful driver in the history of the race.
“It feels incredible,” Hamilton said. “I’m not really one to look at statistics; I really take it one race at a time, I like that approach. When I came here this weekend, I had people talking about the number of poles I have here. I didn’t really take any notice of it, but it was great to have the opportunity to shoot for [a new record].
“Until I stopped to think of how many [British GP] wins I have, I didn’t really know if I had four, five, or whatever it was. To then hear that I have six and to be up there with the greats … I remember growing up watching this sport and watching a lot of the greats and meeting a lot of the greats, even working with one of the greats. Now to be up there with them is one of the coolest things.”
After crowd surfing with his jubilant home fans to mark his 80th GP victory, Hamilton said the memories he is making at Silverstone will last long after he retires.
“This is the greatest single moment of any athlete in the world — to wave his or her flag as the No. 1 or with gold or whatever it may be in their home country. It’s been the single most incredible feeling and is the most special moment an athlete can have.
“Look at all this incredible support! They always ask you how much does it lift you up, and it’s a huge amount of energy, but a lot of weight comes with that, a lot of responsibility. People buy merchandise and flags and you just want to deliver for them — not only for yourself and your own ability but all you can do for your team.
“I’ve got like 40 family members here from my mum’s side and my dad’s side, a bunch from the Caribbean, so I really just wanted to deliver. And when you achieve something like today, see all those British flags … One day I will look back at a picture of me in the car with that flag — I will look at that and be able to smile until my dying day.”