Emotional Hamilton tears up on last lap of British GP, thanks fans for support en route to win

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Lewis Hamilton had a tear in his eye on the final lap of the British Grand Prix on Sunday as he weathered a late storm to clinch his third victory on home soil.

Over 140,000 fans came out at Silverstone on Sunday to see the defending world champion claim his fifth win of the season after making an inspired pit call when a rain shower arrived late on.

Hamilton chose to make the switch to intermediate tires one lap before Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, and it proved vital in allowing him to win the race by 11 seconds.

“I think for the first time probably in my career I made the perfect choice tire-wise,” Hamilton said on the podium after the race.

“I’m really, really happy with that. Just managed to keep the car going. I think I lost a lot of temperature in my slicks. You guys are the best, I love you guys.”

source: Getty Images
Getty Images

Hamilton paid tribute to his fans at Silverstone on the podium after the race, admitting that he felt a tear in his eye on the final lap as he saw all of the British flags and banners.

“I was gunning the whole way, and I really just wanted to do it for you guys,” Hamilton said. “We did it. I’m so thankful for all the support, and I couldn’t have done it without you guys.

“Every lap, I can see you in the corner of my eye, and I felt you spurring me along so thank you so much. I’m so elated, you can’t imagine how happy I am.

“I started to tear up on the last lap just really hoping that I could hold on to it for you guys. I felt you all the way.

“I hope we can come back next year. I’m gonna keep pushing for this championship, thank you for all the support, now let’s party.”

Hamilton now leads the drivers’ championship by 17 points from Rosberg ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix in three weeks’ time.

NHRA Gatornationals: John Force qualifies 15th with no motor explosion, says ‘I need to race smart’ Sunday

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There’s good news and bad news for John Force fans.

The good news is the 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ did not suffer yet another motor explosion after enduring his third in three races during Friday’s qualifying session at Gainesville (Florida) Raceway.

In fact, Force intentionally feathered the gas pedal on his Chevrolet Camaro Funny Car to make sure it wasn’t again overtaxed, qualifying 15th with a run of 4.281 seconds at 222.88 mph.

Now for the bad news.

When Sunday’s final eliminations begin at 11 a.m. ET, Force will be matched against daughter and No. 2 qualifier, Courtney Force (3.914 seconds at 332.18 mph).

“It is a little bit of a bummer that I have to race him in the first round,” Courtney Force said of her father. “Tomorrow is a new day and we will have all our stuff ready and we will put on our game faces to go for that win.”

Courtney Force is seeking her second consecutive win, having also won two weeks ago at the second national event of the season in suburban Phoenix.

“I want to have a good side-by-side safe race tomorrow in round one,” Force said. “Our goal is to take my dad down and have a long day at the track winning rounds.

“We want to move the momentum over from Phoenix. I feel like my guys have a good handle on this Advance Auto Parts Camaro.”

But don’t count out dear old dad, an eight-time Funny Car winner at Gainesville.

“I am the kind of guy that, when it is qualifying day, I run it to the edge.,” John Force said. “I run it even if I know it will hurt itself.

“(With his three motor explosions this season) I am rethinking all that. What I am looking is the long haul. To go out here and say I have to win this race or I have to qualify low after as much stuff as we have put on the ground in Pomona and Phoenix and then to come here and do it again is bad. … We want to fix this problem and move on.

“Tomorrow I am going to have to play the odds game. I am going to run it to 700 or 800 feet and hope (Courtney) gets in trouble. I need to race smart.”

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