Lewis Hamilton has proven Sir Jackie Stewart's claim he no longer has the "hunger" for F1 emphatically wrong. The seven-time world champion secured his first race victory in 945 days on home soil at the British Grand Prix last weekend.

He cut a very emotional figure after breaking the record for the driver with the most wins at a single track, taking his Silverstone tally to nine. Nearly three years of pressure was lifted from his shoulders after two difficult seasons with Mercedes.

Doubts had begun to creep in about his ageing abilities, including from fellow British motorsport legend Stewart. Speaking last year, the 85-year-old questioned Hamilton's motivation with a damning six-word declaration - "Lewis no longer has that hunger".

He told German outlet Bild: "First of all, Lewis is one of the best to ever drive in Formula 1. But the truth is that in the last decade he competed with Mercedes for a team that was virtually out of competition.

"During this time, Lewis only had one real competitor: his respective team-mate. Except for 2016, he always emerged victorious from the duel. And then he lost to Nico Rosberg. With respect: a good driver, but not the most talented in the world.

"But Rosberg was hungry and had the absolute will to become world champion. Lewis no longer has that hunger. Because of that - and because the car is no longer quite as powerful - he has serious problems."

Hamilton looked like anything but a man who had lost his drive after taking the chequered flag on Sunday. He could be heard immediately crying on the team radio, and the tears continued to flow into his interview with Sky Sports, which also reinforced his determination to win.

"I can't stop crying," he admitted. "It's been since 2021, every day getting up, trying to fight, train, put my mind to the task, and work as hard as I can with this amazing team. This is my last British Grand Prix with this team.

"I wanted to win this so much for them, because I love them and appreciate them so much for all the hard work they've been putting in over the years. I'm forever grateful for everyone in this team. It's so tough [not winning since 2021].

"But the important thing is how you continue to dig deep even when you feel like you're at the bottom of the barrel. There's definitely been days between 2021 and here that I didn't feel like I was good enough or I was going to get back to where I am today.

"But the most important thing is that I had great people around me. A big, big thank you to everyone at the factory, and everyone here."

Stewart won three F1 world titles between 1965 and 1973, and the Flying Scot also finished runner-up twice in his nine seasons in the sport. His comments did prompt a response from Hamilton at the time, being told he was "short-minded" and should be encouraging the next generation of drivers.

2024-07-10T07:03:00Z dg43tfdfdgfd