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Jeddah 2021. Silverstone 2024. Between these two dates, an entire life for an F1 driver. This is the time elapsed between Lewis Hamilton's penultimate and most recent, extraordinary victory. On his home circuit, in front of a crowd that adores him, the seven-time world champion climbed back to the top of the podium. He did so with an incredible performance, maintaining a high pace in the final laps on slick tires, holding off first Lando Norris and then Max Verstappen.

Is The Hammer back? "I thought I wasn't the same as before," Lewis admitted through tears. First hugging a mechanic, then his father, and finally his mother, he was overwhelmed by a cascade of emotions. Despite his 39 years, 344 Grands Prix, seven world titles, 104 wins, and 104 pole positions, Hamilton once again shows that when his car is up to the task, he is always ready to deliver.

At Silverstone, the Mercedes looked like it did in its glory days: starting from the front row and consistently at the top in the race, battling with McLaren and Red Bull. A result unthinkable just a few weeks ago. While George Russell's win in Austria last Sunday was a fortunate surprise, Hamilton's victory at Silverstone was well-deserved. It will be interesting to see if Mercedes can maintain this level of performance in the upcoming races. We are halfway through the season with 12 Grands Prix remaining in a championship that is proving to be competitive and unexpectedly entertaining.

The only downside for Toto Wolff's team was the unexpected retirement of Russell due to a coolant leak that caused engine failure. A real shame for George, who was leading in the first part of the race but then slipped to fourth, with a chance to recover. Wolff had not hidden that developments could bring the W15 back to the top, and the great work of James Allison is finally bearing fruit. At Silverstone, Mercedes was fast in all conditions, and the challenging English circuit confirmed the validity of their updates. Now we just have to wait for Budapest for further confirmation.

Red Bull-Honda didn't seem to be in top form, lacking speed in the mixed dry-wet conditions of the first part of the race. However, in the dry final laps, Max Verstappen was able to push hard, reclaiming second place from Lando Norris and closing in on Hamilton. The duel was thrilling, with Verstappen finishing just 1.4 seconds behind his rival. After the race, the Dutchman was as satisfied as if he had won. There were no on-track incidents with Norris, neither when the Englishman passed him in the early stages nor when Verstappen took back second place. This is the right sporting spirit.

McLaren-Mercedes missed a great opportunity for victory due to strategic errors in pit stops and tire choices. Norris, not blameless, made some mistakes that prevented him from catching Hamilton in the final laps, surrendering second place to Verstappen. With intermediates, McLaren was leading with Norris and second with Oscar Piastri, but late pit stops compromised their result. Having the fastest car but not capitalizing on it is truly frustrating.

Ferrari had a tough weekend, with Carlos Sainz finishing fifth and Charles Leclerc only 14th and lapped. Sainz raced well with a perfect tire strategy, but things went differently for Leclerc. Putting on intermediate tires too early, when the track was still mostly dry, was a mistake. The team had predicted heavy rain, but Leclerc, seeing the dry track, could have waited. Many other drivers delayed their tire changes, waiting for clearer indications from their teams.

Ferrari still managed to stay ahead of Haas-Ferrari, which finished sixth with an incredible Nico Hulkenberg, while Kevin Magnussen didn't fully exploit the car's developments. Important points for Aston Martin-Mercedes, with Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso finishing seventh and eighth, and for Williams-Mercedes and Racing Bulls-Honda, with Alexander Albon and Yuki Tsunoda returning to the top 10 after three scoreless races.

Alpine-Renault experienced a downturn after scoring points in the previous four races. Pierre Gasly, who started last after changing his power unit and many other parts, didn't complete even a lap, while Esteban Ocon was uncompetitive, through no fault of his own. Sauber-Ferrari drivers also struggled, remaining the only team with zero points. One wonders what they are thinking at Audi...

© Cavalieri Garage & Co.


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