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

1 Comment

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.

Tequila Patron to end ESM and IMSA partnerships after 2018 season

Photo courtesy of IMSA
1 Comment

Earlier on Monday, Tequila Patron, a long-time sponsor in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, both at the team level – they have a long standing partnership with Tequila Patron ESM – and the series level, announced that they will be ending their sponsorships at the end of the 2018 season.

After sponsoring Highcroft Racing in 2008 and 2009 in the American Le Mans Series, Tequila Patron and ESM formed a partnership in 2010 to launch their own team. Since then, they have scored overall wins in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring, and the Petit Le Mans. They have also competed internationally, in both Prototype and GT categories.

“On behalf of the entire Extreme Speed Motorsports organization, it has been an honor to represent such an amazing brand for the past 13 years,” said team co-owner Scott Sharp via a team release.

“I have the deepest gratitude for all of (Patron CEO and ESM co-founder) Ed Brown’s support. Together we have tackled various challenges, won races at each step, and built ESM into such an incredible team. Simultaneously, it has been thrilling to watch Ed and his team build the Patrón brand in a meteoric fashion and along the way become an icon in the motorsports world! We will miss not carrying the now infamous green and black livery, but the same passion for excellence will remain!”

IMSA President Scott Atherton also expressed gratitude toward Patron for their long-time involvement.

“IMSA and Patron Spirits have enjoyed a fantastic partnership for more than a decade. Tequila Patron rose through the IMSA ranks, from a high-profile team sponsor with Patron Highcroft Racing beginning in 2008, through its entitlement sponsorship of the Patron GT3 Challenge starting in 2009, and its presenting sponsorship of the American Le Mans Series beginning in 2010,” Atherton detailed.

He continued, “Tequila Patron continued in a prominent position as the American Le Mans Series merged with GRAND-AM to create the new IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and has been our entitlement partner for the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup since 2014 in addition to its longstanding support of the Tequila Patron ESM race team and its pair of Nissan DPi race cars.

“All associated with IMSA – competitors, promoter partners, series officials and fans – will miss the iconic Tequila Patrón brand next year. On behalf of IMSA, we thank CEO Ed Brown and Tequila Patron for all they have done over the many years to help us grow IMSA and the sport as a whole. We’re more proud than words can express to have counted Tequila Patron among our family of premium brand partners.”

Team co-owner Scott Sharp, in a story posted on SportsCar365, asserted that the ESM team has every intention of continuing in 2019.

“We’re working on a number of options,” Sharp said. “Obviously I think we’ve singly got the best team we’ve ever had, personnel-wise. Having been refining over the years and making selected additions, we’ve gotten ourselves to be super strong. The goal is keeping everyone together. We’re working through a few different options that will hopefully allow us to do that.”

Follow@KyleMLavigne