Lewis Hamilton describes heart-stopping final moments before winning British GP

Formula 1 2020: Mercedes Valtteri Bottas emerges fastest at British GPs final practice session

Lewis Hamilton wins British GP after puncture on last lap

F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton somehow hung on to claim victory at the British Grand Prix despite finishing the race with only three complete tyres after suffering a puncture on the last lap.

The six-time world champion led from lights to flag, and through two Safety Car interventions, before he suffered a front left tire failure on his final lap, leaving him to nurse his Mercedes home with second-placed Max Verstappen in hot pursuit in his Red Bull.

Verstappen would have won had he not stopped late for fresh tyres in a successful quest for the point for fastest lap.

"Then of course Valtteri got a puncture".

When his tire melted, Bottas had to come back for a tire change and dropped out of the points altogether into 11th spot and 30 points behind Hamilton in the title race.

Rising British star Lando Norris, 20, was fifth for McLaren ahead of Lance Stroll in Racing Point's "pink Mercedes", Carlos Sainz in the second McLaren, Daniel Ricciardo and his Renault team-mate Esteban Ocon and Sebastian Vettel, who was 10th for Ferrari.

Bottas's failure cleared the way for Charles Leclerc to inherit third place after a tidy race from fourth on the grid, a strong result in a Ferrari auto that still lacks the pace of the leading two cars.

It was a remarkable finish to a race that had been soporific until that point, and Hamilton recognised that afterwards, saying over the radio, his voice drenched in relief: "That was close".

At the flag a relieved Hamilton even had to check with his team whether he had in fact pulled off the feat of steering the vehicle home with only three functioning tyres, asking his team: "Was that the last lap?" before receiving the reply: "That's it!"

The Finn limped around nearly an entire lap and was too far back to get into the points. Then it was a question of whether he could get around the remainder of the lap - more than half of it - before Verstappen caught him.

"The tyres felt great".

"Valtteri was really pushing incredibly hard, and I was doing some management of the tyre and he looked like he wasn't".

"When I heard that his tyre went I was just looking at mine and everything seemed fine".

"I've definitely never experienced anything like that on the last lap".

"It was heart in the mouth". I almost didn't get round the last two corners. "I think ultimately maybe we should have stopped towards the end once we saw the delaminations".

"The auto seemed to turn ok through Maggots and Becketts, thankfully".

"So I remember giving it full gas from [turn] 15 down to 16 but then the thing wasn't stopping!" So I got to the corner and a lot of understeer and I heard him go 9, 8, 7 [seconds] and I was like "just get back to the power" trying to get it to turn.

It was a dramatic finish to a race that could well have an equally substantial impact on the championship fight. This trophy shall not be confused with the trophy of the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, which is not revealed yet and will be presented by the main sponsors of that event- the Emirates. "Sector two [in Hamilton's fastest lap] was so much better than anything before and that's what makes it so special".

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