SILVERSTONE, England (AP) — Lewis Hamilton held off Max Verstappen’s late charge to win a thrilling British Grand Prix on Sunday and secure his first victory since the penultimate race of the 2021 season.

Hamilton became the first F1 driver to win on any track nine times and also extended his F1 record to 104 wins. His last came at the Saudi Arabian GP in December 2021 — the year he lost the title to Red Bull driver Verstappen.

The seven-time F1 champion beat defending champion Verstappen by 1.5 seconds, with Lando Norris finishing third for McLaren.

“Love you guys,” a tearful-sounding Hamilton told his team over radio.

There were high hopes for a home win at Silverstone, with Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate George Russell on pole position ahead of Hamilton and with Norris going from third and Verstappen fourth.

Russell’s hopes of a second straight F1 win ended on Lap 34 of 52 with a suspected water system issue on his car. A few laps later, McLaren botched Norris’ tire change.

Verstappen overtook Norris with four laps left but could not catch Hamilton, to the delight of most of the 164,000 fans attending the race.

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AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing