Lewis Hamilton: ‘I Can’t Stop Crying’

2024 British Grand Prix, Sunday Lat Images
2024 British Grand Prix, Sunday Lat Images

With 104 wins to his name, an emotional Lewis Hamilton is savouring winning the 2024 British Grand Prix like no other race before, as the seven-time World Champion took the top step in Formula 1 for the first time in more than 900 days…

‘I can’t stop crying. I think, you know, since 2021, I’m just every day getting up, trying to fight, to train, to put my mind to the task and work as hard as I can with this amazing team and this is my last race here, the British Grand Prix, with this team so I wanted to win this so much for them, because I love them, I appreciate them so much, all the hard work they’ve been putting in over the years.

‘I’m forever grateful to everyone in this team, everyone at Mercedes, and all of our partners. And I just want to say thank you to all of you for being here with us today. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. and then otherwise to all our incredible fans. I could see you lap by lap as I was coming around, and there’s just no greater feeling as to finish at the front here.’

2024 British Grand Prix, Sunday Sebastian Kawka

It had been two and a half years since Hamilton last tasted victory, but with victory today, the Brit was able to put some of his own self-doubt behind him.

‘It’s so tough, I think, for anyone. But I think the important thing is just how you continue to get up and you’ve got to continue to dig deep even when you feel like you’re at the bottom of the barrel. I mean, there’s definitely been days between 2021 and here where I didn’t feel like I was good enough or whether I was going to get back to where I am today.

‘But the important thing is I had great people around me continuing to support me and my team. Every time I turn up and see them putting in the effort that really encouraged me to do the same thing. And otherwise, my fans, when I see them around the world, they have been so supportive. So a big, big thank you to everybody back at the factory, everyone here. I love you guys, and God bless you.’

With a catalogue of special wins to his name, what makes this one stand out for Hamilton is the fact he was finally able to climb his way back to the top after such a huge drought.

‘I think ultimately because it’s been such a long time. It’s been 900… Someone just told me 946 days or something like that since the last win. And, you know, really challenging, you know, a difficult time obviously 2021 and then coming back in with a car that we’ve not been able to fight with for the last couple of years.

‘I think just it’s been incredibly mentally challenging. I think for everyone in the team, but I think just knowing how hard everyone’s continued to work, knowing how I’ve managed just to keep my head in it, and then with everything that’s happened this year as well, with so many emotions this year, obviously announcing that I’m that I’m leaving and at the same time starting with a car that we didn’t feel that we could win with to then finally be in a place where we win and not only that but at the British Grand Prix in front of my home crowd there is… Honestly, it’s the most incredible honour to be standing on the top of the podium and hearing the national anthem with the King’s name in it, for example. It’s the first time I’ve had that. And then also my family’s here.

‘It feels different to previous races and particularly races where you’re having race after race after race or seasons where you’re having multiple wins. I think with the kind of the adversity I would say that we’ve gone through as a team and that I personally felt, that I’ve experienced, those challenges, the constant challenge like we all have to get out of bed every day and give it our best shot.

‘And, you know, there’s so many times where you feel like your best shot is just not good enough. And the disappointment sometimes that you can feel, you know, and we live in a time where mental health is such a serious issue. And I’m not going to lie, that I have experienced that. And there’s definitely been moments where you know, the thought that this was it, that that was never going to happen again.

‘So to have this feeling come across the line, I think, honestly, I’ve never cried coming from a win. It just came out of me. And it’s a really, really great feeling. I’m very, very grateful for it.’

2024 British Grand Prix, Sunday Sebastian Kawka

In what has become an instant classic, Hamilton battled with his teammate as well as the McLaren duo of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri for a hard-fought victory…

‘It was really tricky conditions because it was wet from Turn 14 to 15 but then dry in places, Turn 9 was dry. So the tyres, the whole left side was graining for both of us, I’m pretty sure for Lando as well. And at the beginning it was really difficult to close that gap. And then obviously I started closing that gap to him.

‘But I think on those tyres, it was starting to dry up and it was about just trying to get the right timing. And I think if Lando had stopped before us, it would have been very, very, very difficult to have got by. And I think the moment in which I came out of Turn 15 and I came in and he stayed out, I knew that this was the moment that I was going to have the chance to undercut him. And then after that, I think, I could see him in my mirrors coming through a particular corner and I could just see him right there.

‘Every now and then he put in a really quick lap and I couldn’t match their pace when they did do that lap, when they did a low, I don’t know what it was, a 20, I can’t remember what number the lap was, it was 0.3 something.

‘And then at the end, obviously, when Max started to close in, again just trying to give it absolutely everything right on the edge, full attack to try and keep the gap at three seconds, whatever it was. And the tyres started to just drop off a little bit towards the end.

‘So I think it was the perfect distance of a stint. If we had another five laps I don’t know if we would have held on to it but I’m grateful that we were able to.’

After getting out of the car, Lewis Hamilton’s dad was one of the first to celebrate, embracing his son in a touching moment.

‘I’ve had my parents come to a race here and there. We’ve had, you know, my mom was there when we won a championship. My dad’s been there when we won a championship. It’s always been just at a different point of life.

‘First World Championship, you know, was incredible, but it was really difficult to absorb it all at the age I was at. I think this weekend, I think just within life, you know, your parents are getting older, you know, we’re travelling so much. Time with family is a constant challenge. My niece and nephew are growing up and growing out of their cuteness. But I’ve had them here this weekend, and I think we all try to be there for each other, even at a distance.

‘I mean, I know I’ve always had their support, but to be able to see them there and share this experience, they wanted to be at my last race, the last British Grand Prix with this team that have been so incredible to us. I mean, Mercedes obviously supported me since I was 13. So it’s definitely meant the most today to have them there and to be able to share it with them.’


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