Winning his first race since that title fight, Lewis Hamilton cannot say if Sunday’s British GP victory will lay that to rest and mark the final stage in his healing process.

Back in 2021, Hamilton went wheel-to-wheel against Max Verstappen for the World title with the Mercedes driver winning the penultimate race of the championship to draw level on points.

Will Lewis Hamilton’s Silverstone win lay the ghosts of Abu Dhabi to rest?

Little did Hamilton know that would be his last win for 945 days.

Losing the World title to Verstappen one race later at the season finale in Abu Dhabi was a “painful” experience for Hamilton, especially considering the circumstances having led for most of the race before a controversial call by then-FIA race director Michael Masi.

Both Hamilton and his team boss Toto Wolff have spoken of the scars Abu Dhabi left behind as they dealt with the emotional fall-out of having been oh so close to that record-breaking eighth World title only to have it snatched away.

But whether Sunday’s British Grand Prix will signal the next stage in the healing process that allows Hamilton to move on, the Briton cannot say.

After all, he thought in 2022 that he was over it only to line up on the grid and realise he wasn’t.

“I think only time will tell,” he said of the impact of Sunday’s victory in putting Abu Dhabi 2021 to bed. “What I can say is that I’m not giving up.

“I feel like I’m making the right decisions with my life, with how I prepare and how I manage my time, the decision I’ve taken, for example, for next year, the commitment I still have to this team and the love that I still have for this team and the love that I still have for my job.

“I really, really love this job. And there’s never going to be anything that comes close to it. And it’s something I’m incredibly grateful for, to be in amongst these 20 drivers within this great sport that’s having such a momentous time.

“I do hope… Honestly, when I came back in 2022, I thought that I was over it. And I know I wasn’t and it’s taken a long time for sure to heal that kind of feeling.

“And that’s only natural for anyone that has that experience. And I’ve just been continuing to try and work on myself and find that inner peace day by day.”

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Lewis Hamilton feared win No. 104 was ‘never going to happen’

Winning the British Grand Prix, Hamilton not only set a new record for the most wins at a single circuit with his nine at Silverstone, it was also his 150th podium as a Mercedes driver.

He also extended his record for the most F1 Grands Prix victories to 104 some two-and-a-half years after winning his 103rd.

“I think with the kind of the adversity I would say that we’ve gone through as a team and that I personally felt, that I’ve experienced, those challenges, the constant challenge like we all have to get out of bed every day and give it our best shot,” he said.

“There’s so many times where you feel like your best shot is just not good enough. And the disappointment sometimes that you can feel, you know, and we live in a time where mental health is such a serious issue.

“I’m not going to lie, that I have experienced that. And there’s definitely been moments where you know, the thought that this was it, that that was never going to happen again.

“So to have this feeling come across the line, I think, honestly, I’ve never cried coming from a win. It just came out of me. And it’s a really, really great feeling. I’m very, very grateful for it.”

He shared that very emotional moment with his parents, both his father and his mother at the circuit to cheer him on.

“I’ve had my parents come to a race here and there,” he said. “We’ve had my mum was there when we won a championship. My dad’s been there when we won a championship. It’s always been just at a different point of life.

“First World Championship was incredible, but it was really difficult to absorb it all at the age I was at. I think this weekend, I think just within life, you know, your parents are getting older, we’re travelling so much. Time with family is a constant challenge.

“My niece and nephew are growing up and growing out their cuteness. But I’ve had them here this weekend, and I think they’ve all… We all try to be there for each other, even at a distance. But to have them there and…

“I mean, I know I’ve always had their support, but to be able to see them there and share this experience, they wanted to be at my last race, the last British Grand Prix with this team that have been so incredible to us.

“I mean, Mercedes obviously supported me since I was 13. So it’s definitely meant the most to have them there and to be able to share it with them.”

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