How 945 days of blood, sweat and tears were rewarded with Lewis Hamilton’s impressive victory at Silverstone

Things would get better as the season rolled on to Austria. Although Mercedes had been a step behind the leading Red Bull and McLaren machines of Verstappen and Lando Norris all weekend, Russell was there to pounce when the pair dramatically collided.

The good fortune behind Mercedes’ first win since Sao Paulo 2022 could not be denied, but it was telling that they were the team that picked up the pieces at the Red Bull Ring. Not Ferrari, not Aston Martin, or any other outfit.

FACTS AND STATISTICS: A record 17 years since his first, ever-green Hamilton took his 104th F1 victory

Hamilton delivers when it matters most

Mercedes returned to the UK in good spirits and despite a quiet first day of practice at Silverstone, where the team took a different approach to tyre choice, the background data suggested Russell and Hamilton were back in full contention.

The wet and dry conditions of qualifying seemed to help Mercedes, as the field switched from intermediates to slicks on a slick, cooler track. After Verstappen’s costly crash in Q1, which damaged the floor, the pair sent the home crowd wild by brilliantly taking the front row of the grid.

But while Russell led for one lap, an equally mixed race day saw Hamilton use all his experience to turn the intra-team battle on its head, even before his team-mate suffered technical problems.

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