Untelevised British GP footage shows Max Verstappen moment with Lewis Hamilton

Michelle Foster
Champagne celebrations for Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen

Champagne celebrations for Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen

Fierce rivals in 2021, Max Verstappen was one of the first to congratulate Lewis Hamilton on his British Grand Prix win before cracking a joke with the Mercedes driver in the cooldown room.

Hamilton came from second on the grid to win Sunday’s British Grand Prix, his first race win in 945 days.

Max Verstappen to Lewis Hamilton: “It’s been a while!”

The last time he stood on the podium’s top step was in 2021 at the penultimate race in a ferocious title fight with Verstappen. Drawing level with the Red Bull driver on points, they went into the season finale in Abu Dhabi in a winner-takes-all scenario.

Verstappen won the race with a last-lap-of-the-season pass in controversial circumstances, ending Hamilton’s reigning as Formula 1’s World Champion, and beginning his own.

But despite 2021’s intense rivalry, the Dutchman was quickly over to Hamilton on their cooldown lap back to the pits to congratulate him for Sunday’s victory.

Such has been the thaw in their relationship, they even cracked a joke in the cooldown room before heading to the podium with Verstappen caught on camera telling Hamilton: “It’s been a while!”

Hamilton, referring to Verstappen’s dominant run, replied: “Ball hogger!”

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Verstappen joined Hamilton on the podium having finished second after the reigning World Champion was unable to close the gap in the final stint.

Having overtaken Lando Norris to run second, Verstappen on his hard tyres appeared to have the pace over Hamilton’s softs but the Mercedes driver held on to win by 1.4 seconds.

“He of course drove a good race,” Verstappen told the Dutch media. “Also made the right calls and they just were a bit faster than us.

“And for him to win in front of his home audience, it’s always something special.”

As for Hamilton, he was emotional at having not only broken his duck but winning his final British Grand Prix as a Mercedes driver.

“I think, you know, since 2021, I’m just every day getting up, trying to fight, to train, to put my mind to the task and work as hard as I can with this amazing team,” he said.

“This is my last race here, the British Grand Prix, with this team so I wanted to win this so much for them, because I love them, I appreciate them so much, all the hard work they’ve been putting in over the years.

“I’m forever grateful to everyone in this team, everyone at Mercedes, and all of our partners. And I just want to say thank you to all of you for being here with us today. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

“Thank you! And then otherwise to all our incredible fans, I could see you lap by lap as I was coming around, and there’s just no greater feeling as to finish at the front here.”

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