Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff says Lewis Hamilton’s return to the top step of the podium at the British Grand Prix was an emotional affair and “almost like a little fairytale”.

Sunday’s event was Hamilton’s last race with Mercedes on home soil, and the Briton’s win marked a poignant conclusion to his tenure with the Brackley squad before his move to Ferrari at the end of the year.

The first part of the 2024 season was a struggle for Mercedes. After failing to win a single race in 2023 and with Hamilton’s own victory drought extending back to 2021, each race weekend felt like an uphill battle for the former championship winning outfit.

The elusive taste of victory appeared as nothing more than a far-off dream, overshadowed by the success of their rivals. However, slowly but surely, progress took hold in the Mercedes camp.

While George Russell had lucked in into his Austrian Grand Prix victory, Hamilton’s emotional win at Silverstone was on genuine merit.

“It was so difficult over the last two years performance; we couldn’t give the drivers a car that was able to go for the victories,” Wolff said after Hamilton’s achievement.

“To make him win again, the British Grand Prix, in his last race for Mercedes here, it’s almost like a little fairytale.”

©Mercedes

The race itself was anything but an easy Sunday drive for team and driver. While Mercedes initially controlled the pace, the unpredictable British weather threw a curveball.

McLaren capitalized on the wet conditions, showcasing superior performance. However, Mercedes clawed their way back and regained control as the track dried, helped by several miscues suffered by team papaya.

Unfortunately, Russell failed to see the checkered flag after a water leak forced Mercedes to retire his car on lap 33 of 52.

“It was difficult,” admitted Wolff. “We were really controlling the pace at the beginning and that was very encouraging.

“Then it started to rain and you see the massive performance that the McLaren had, and they were simply in the sweet spot of the tyre. But we came back in those conditions and I think we had it under control.

“It’s just a shame we DNF’d with George; he had the pace and we let him down here with a water leak. It’s just not great but the overarching result here with Lewis, last British Grand Prix… George is going to win one.”

Overall, Wolff emphasizes the significance of the win for Hamilton on a personal level, highlighting their shared journey and the emotional weight lifted by this victory.

“It’s clear our relationship goes back a long time,” said the Austrian. “Each of us has suffered at various stages.

“He’s been there for me and most recently I’ve tried to do my contribution to his doubting at times.

“That’s why it feels really good that he’s been able to put all the negative thoughts, all the negativity aside, and come up with this performance. I think it’s a weight off his shoulders.”

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