Lewis Hamilton appeared to be subtly aiming for Max Verstappen after taking a remarkable podium finish at the British Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon. The Mercedes driver managed to finish third after a titanic battle with Charles Leclerc at the end of a hugely chaotic 52-lap race.
Hamilton battled tooth and nail with Leclerc through the twists and turns of Silverstone and even went wheel-to-wheel with the Ferrari driver in the infamous Copse corner. The 37-year-old gave credit to Leclerc for sensible driving before making subtle references to last year’s high-speed crash with Verstappen, which took place on the same part of the track and resulted in Hamilton receiving a 10-second time penalty.
“It felt long for a while,” Hamilton told Sky Sports F1 while in charge of the proceedings after the end of the race.
“A lot of things went against me. The gap was five or six seconds to catch the Ferraris, but I had a really good long stint and thought maybe we could fight for the win, but the pit stop wasn’t very fast and I struggled heat up [the new tyres]†
JUST IN: British Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton claims beautiful podium place
“Charles did a great job, what a great battle. A very sensible driver, clearly very different from what we experienced here last year [with Verstappen]†
“We had to run out of tires to get past him, but yeah. A really great weekend.”
This year’s result at Silverstone marked just Hamilton’s second podium finish of the campaign, with Mercedes struggling to keep up with rivals in the Constructors’ Championship over the course of the season so far. He will desperately hope the Silver Arrows maintain their newfound positive momentum when F1 returns to Austria next weekend to battle for another strong finish in Spielberg.
“We are still recovering, we still have work to do,” added Hamilton when asked where Mercedes stands after impressing at Silverstone.
“Many thanks to the team for all the upgrades this weekend, but we have to keep pushing and stay positive. It’s great to be back in the fight.”
Carlos Sainz eventually took the checkered flag to secure his first Grand Prix win for Sergio Perez and Hamilton, with a terrifying first lap crash involving George Russell, Alex Albon and Guanyu Zhou leading to a long red flag period at the start of the race. The latter, who flipped upside down before sliding over the gravel and into the barriers, had to be helped out of the cockpit and rushed to the medical center for precautionary checks before being happily discharged after being declared fit.
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