Lewis Hamilton takes positives from being a ‘step closer’ after claiming Silverstone podium place

A return to the top three for Mercedes to challenge Ferrari and Red Bull after a season of struggle

Lewis Hamilton took the cheers from his home crowd and urged his team to keep trying to close the gap to the challengers for the Formula One title this season, after claiming third place at the British Grand Prix.

A combination of crashes, Safety Cars, problems to other vehicles and some fantastic late overtaking saw the seven-time champion finish on the podium for the first time since the opening round of the 2022 season in Bahrain, after a campaign of struggle with porpoising and control issues in the new Mercedes car.

But on a day when around 120,000 fans attended race day at Silverstone, Hamilton - who did briefly lead the race - praised the occasion as F1 at its best and hoped the performance could set a platform for improvement across the rest of the year.

“We’ve had the biggest show-up in history, thanks for this incredible support - we don’t see this anywhere else in the world,” he said after the race.

“I was trying to chase down the Ferraris, congrats to Carlos [Sainz, the race winner]. They were just too quick for me today but we’ve taken a step closer so we’ve got to keep pushing.

“We lost a bit of time in the pit stop so I was chasing. When you get a Red Bull behind you they are so fast on the straights, but it’s huge to be on the podium.”

The Red Bull driver who was behind him after the late Safety Car was Sergio Perez, who managed an incredible comeback after being last at one stage, ultimately finishing second. The Mexican was delighted with his ability to rise through the grid, with teammate Max Verstappen hampered by damage to his car floor.

“We didn’t give up and kept pushing and the opportunity came at the end,” he said. “I felt like I had the position and then Lewis was there - it was an epic final!

“My front wing got damaged pretty badly, I had to change it and went to last place - we recovered from there.”

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