Hamilton reveals similar drama in lower series after 'mind-blowing' last lap at Silverstone

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Lewis Hamilton revealed Sunday wasn't the first time he'd crawled over a finish line with a damaged car after suffering a last lap puncture at the British Grand Prix.

The six-time world champion had dominated Sunday's race at Silverstone but it almost all came undone when, just two laps after Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas' front-left tyre failed, he too had a near-identical delamination approaching Brooklands.

Thankfully, a precautionary pit-stop by Red Bull for Max Verstappen gave Hamilton enough of a gap to reach the chequered flag for a seventh home race win.

“Lewis’s race looked a cakewalk until the last lap of the race. It wasn’t of course, because he was driving superbly for the whole of the race," F1 motorsport boss Ross Brawn said.

“However, let us reflect on what he achieved on that last lap. No front left tyre on the car and he still took Copse and Stowe corners at more than 130km/h. He reached 230km/h on the Hangar Straight with only three wheels and a front left tyre flailing around - absolutely mind-blowing.


“He judged it to perfection to win the race by a few seconds and a brilliant example of the amazing talents and bravery of Lewis.”

Later asked if winning a race with a puncture was a new experience, Hamilton replied: “I don’t think I’ve won a race on three wheels before.

“There was a race in Formula Renault at Croft when the rear suspension had two rear springs and one had snapped off and through the left-handers, so I had one wheel in the air.

“That was a race where I was in the lead and I managed to hang on to win. It was similar here but obviously today was more extreme and the cost was a lot higher.”

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Though the 35-year-old explained how regular information from the pitwall helped him cruise home, he admits luck also played a big part.

“If the tyre gave up in a high-speed corner it would have been a much different picture so I feel incredibly grateful that it didn’t,” Hamilton added.

“It’s the fight for survival instinct which comes out and I was able to stay calm and really measured to bring the thing home.

“I heard Max was catching at crazy speed. He was 19 seconds behind at one point. I tried to pick up speed but the wheel was a mess.

“I was thinking how am I going to get through these last corners without losing too much time?

“But I got around Turn 15 and, once I got through the last two corners, I could hear the gap to Max counting down on the radio, seven, six, five seconds.

“I just managed to keep it together.”

 

         

 

 

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