'Are you kidding me?!' Lewis Hamilton wins record seventh British Grand Prix despite finishing race with ONLY THREE TYRES
In dramatic scenes at Silverstone, Hamilton limped home to victory after having to negotiate the final turns of the 52-lap race with a flat front-left tyre.
British star Hamilton had seemingly been cruising to victory on home soil before being forced to endure a tense finish.
Incredibly, nearest rival Max Verstappen of Red Bull had pitted toward the closing stages of the race to get a run at the bonus point for fastest lap of the race, seemingly content to concede victory to Hamilton and Mercedes.
Had he not done so, he would have surely have caught the stricken Hamilton on the last lap, but instead finished just under six seconds behind his rival. Ferrari's Charles Leclerc completed the podium a further 13 seconds back.
Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas had earlier suffered similar puncture woes with 11 laps to go, sending him down the rankings from second to an eventual 11th-placed finish in a blow to his world championship ambitions.
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 car home with only three functioning tyres, asking his team: "Was that the last lap?" before receiving the reply: "That's it! You've done it, mate!"
The Twitter reaction summed up the climax to the race.
What a bonkers British Grand Prix, won once again by @LewisHamilton despite hobbling over the line. 👏🏻— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) August 2, 2020
Lewis Hamilton gets a puncture on the last lap AND STILL WINS THE BRITISH GRAND PRIX WITH THREE WHEELS ON HIS CAR ARE YOU KIDDING ME????WHAT A FINAL FEW LAPS. WOW. #BritishGPpic.twitter.com/qODiEW4Wa6— iGP Manager (@iGPManager) August 2, 2020
The Red Bull team radio called Hamilton "a lucky boy" for scraping home ahead of their man, but the Brit has now extended his lead at the top of the F1 leaderboard to 30 points with his third win of the season as he chases a record-equaling seventh world title.
The British star admitted it had been a "heart-in-mouth" moment initially, but that he was "really chilled" by the end of the race.
HAM: "Down the straight the tyre deflated and that was a heart in the mouth moment... I was just praying to get it round. I was really chilled at the end. Bono was giving me the info (about Max). I've definitely never experienced something like that on the last lap"#BritishGPpic.twitter.com/svd9QYVb57— Formula 1 (@F1) August 2, 2020
Hamilton is now on 88 points in the overall standings, with Finland's Bottas on 58. Dutch youngster Verstappen has closed the gap to Bottas to six points with his second-placed finished at Silverstone.