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Hamilton: My heart nearly stopped


The Brit was relieved after limping to British GP triumph.

Lewis Hamilton admitted he had never experienced anything to compare with the dramatic finish to the British Grand Prix that saw him take the chequered flag with a flat tyre.

The six-time Formula 1® champion looked comfortable at Silverstone as he closed in on a seventh win in his home race.

However, a dramatic finale saw Hamilton almost caught by Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who was just 5.856 seconds adrift at the end.

Hamilton suspected he was having trouble with his front left on the final lap, before it blew out completely, leaving him to complete the race on three tyres.

He claimed to feel in control all the way but joked that his "heart nearly stopped" amid the excitement of the closing moments.

"Up until that last lap everything was relatively smooth sailing," Hamilton told Sky Sports.

"The tyres looked great. Valtteri [Bottas, his Mercedes team-mate] was really pushing incredibly hard. I was doing some management of that tyre, he looked like he wasn't doing any, so when I heard that his tyre went I was just looking at mine and everything seemed fine.

"The car was still turning no problem, so I was thinking maybe it was okay. The last few laps I started to back off and then just down the straight it just deflated. I noticed the shape just shift a little bit.

"That was definitely heart-in-the-mouth kind of feeling! Just driving and trying to keep the speed up - sometimes it'll take off and break the wing.

"Oh my god, I was just praying to get around and not be too slow. I nearly didn't get around the last few corners. I really owe it to the team."

Christian Horner, boss of the Red Bull team, told Channel 4 that "Lewis' luck rolls with him at the moment".

Toto Wolff, Hamilton's team chief at Mercedes, called it a "bittersweet result" after Bottas fell out of the points after looking set for second place.

Hamilton was the coolest man on the track.

"I was really chill for some reason at the end," Hamilton said.

"In my mind I was thinking, 'How far is it to the end of the lap?'.

"I could hear the gap coming down from 19 [seconds] to 10 so I was giving it the full gas out of [corner] 15 down to 16 and then the thing wasn't stopping.

"Oh my god, I have definitely never experienced anything like that on a last lap and my heart definitely probably nearly stopped.

"That's probably how cool I was because my heart nearly stopped."